A photo in the exhibit from Aaron Turner, graduate student

Photographer: Aaron Turner

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Visual Communication students and faculty capture working-class people photos

The Ohio University Multicultural Center is sponsoring "Salt of the Earth," a photography exhibit showcasing works by Associate Professor of Photography Gary Kirksey and graduate students Won Suk Choi, Sarah Tilotta, Aaron Turner and CK Vijayajumar from the School of Visual Communication.

The exhibit is currently on display at the Multicultural Center Art Gallery in Baker University Center, and will close April 15.

The curated photographic prints pay homage to "Salt of the Earth" societies, immortalized in references as varied as the Bible and popular music as people who are humble, reliable and lack pretension.

"Often the phrase is applied to working class people," said Sarah Tilotta, "sometimes implying economically valuable groups who have been swept under the rug of society."

Tilotta photographed the conditions of sugar cane workers of Haitian descent living as minorities in the Dominican Republic. Other visual themes present among the exhibited works are post-industrial life, depopulation and cultural overlap.

Aaron Turner, a second-year master's student in the School of Visual Communication, hopes that visitors to the exhibit will appreciate the stories being told in the exhibit.

"[Photographers] try to tell stories," Turner said," and most of the time we tell other people's stories to share them [so that people] begin to care about the communities that are visible and other communities that are similar and continue the storytelling."

The Office of Multicultural Programs sponsored this event. It is free and open to the public.

The Office of Multicultural Programs focuses all its programs and activities on intercultural teaching and learning. It provides a place where members of the university community, representing a variety of backgrounds, can participate in programs and activities. All programming is designed to increase human understanding through the study and expression of culture.