Mary Beth Meehan is a photographer, writer, and educator who is committed to meaningful, in-depth coverage of her own communities. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. She has exhibited her photographs nationally and internationally, and has lectured nationwide on the subject of long-term, community-based documentary projects. She was also nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize.
Her current installations in Newnan feature massive, wall-sized photographic portraits of Newnan-area residents whom Meehan met while embedded in the local community. The project--sponsored by SOTA--is funded by The Hollis Charitable Trust in Newnan.
A total of seventeen portraits currently appear around downtown Newnan and the UWG Newnan Center. See if you can spot them all.
Ariel: Wadsworth Auditorium, Jefferson Street
Ariel attends Cotillion in Newnan, a traditional social etiquette and dance training program beginning in fifth grade.
Zahraw and Aatika: Lee and Jefferson Streets
Zahraw and Aatika were born in Georgia, and have lived their whole life in Newnan. At Northgate High School, they both belonged to the National Honor Society (Zahraw was the president), the Beta Club (Aatika was president), the Spanish Honors Society, and the Key Club. Zahraw now goes to Georgia Tech; Aatika to Georgia State.
Trent: Long Place
Trent graduated from Newnan High School as a member of ROTC before joining the U.S. Army. He served for one year in South Korea, before being stationed in El Paso, Texas.
Brittany: UWG Center
Brittany, a native of Texas, moved to Newnan when she met her husband. She works at the University of West Georgia.
Jineet: Presbyterian Church, Perry Street
A server in the Latino Market in Newnan, Jineet worked to save up enough to buy herself a special dress from Mexico for her 21st birthday.
William: Full Circle Toys and Games, Madison Street
William is the son of a mill owner in Grantville, Georgia, and has spent his life traveling the world. He lives in a meticulously restored Neoclassical house in Newnan.