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Professor’s photography uncovers Native American history

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October 24, 2012

Emily GómezEmily GómezEmily Gómez, associate professor of art at Georgia College, will share her images exploring Native American culture of the Southeast and Midwest during a fall exhibition.

“Unearthed: A Photographic Search for Native American History through the Landscape” will exhibit at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 29, at the Museum of Fine Arts located at 102 S. Columbia St. The exhibit will remain on display through Friday, Nov. 30.

“I make these photographs in order to think about those who lived here before us,” said Gómez. “The photographs and accompanying text in this exhibition show viewers the locations of places that are historically significant to Native American history and culture — whether an ancient mound or former town site in Ohio or on the front campus of Georgia College.”

A reception and talk with Gómez will take place at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Museum of Fine Arts.Chief Menominee Memorial, Plymouth, Ind., by Emily Gómez.Chief Menominee Memorial, Plymouth, Ind., by Emily Gómez.

The event is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Georgia College Department of Art, the exhibition coincides with Native American Heritage Month. Celebrated during the month of November, Native American Heritage Month acknowledges the cultures, traditions, histories and contributions of Native American people.

Gómez’s photography is part of an ongoing series she has worked on since 2003. Georgia College faculty research grants partially funded the framing and photographic materials for this exhibition.

“The project involves a great deal of historical research as I travel throughout the Southeast and Midwest to photograph places where Native American people once lived,” she said. “This series has taught me who lived here before us; how and why they died or were removed; and what we choose to remember or ignore about our nation’s past.”

Gómez teaches darkroom and digital photography at Georgia College.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in photography from Loyola University Chicago in Chicago, Ill. She earned a master’s degree in photography from the University of Georgia in Athens.

Gómez is an adopted member of Santee Indian Nation of South Carolina. She also is a member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Atlanta Photography Group and Society for Photographic Education.

“As I photograph these sites, I wonder how much more culturally rich our nation would be if the Santee, Cherokee, Creek, Potawatomi, Anishinabek and other nations were not forcibly removed from their ancestral lands,” said Gómez. “Through photography, we can learn more about our nation and how to improve it by remembering the darkest parts of our past rather than by only celebrating our accomplishments.”

For more information about this exhibition, contact Carlos Herrera at 478-445-7025. Visit to view Emily Gómez’s work.


ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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For more information, contact University Communications at (478) 445-4477.