African Wisdom in Image and Proverb Series



African Wisdom in Image and Proverb Series



African Wisdom in Image and Proverb Series



African Wisdom in Image and Proverb Series



African Wisdom in Image and Proverb Series


Rolling Fork, Mississippi From the Mississippi Series



Baxterville, Mississippi From the Mississippi Series




Love, Mississippi From the Mississippi Series


Clarksdale, Mississippi From the Mississippi Series



Clarksdale, Mississippi From the Mississippi Series



Betty Press

Betty Press has been teaching photography at University of Southern Mississippi since 2003. She grew up in rural Nebraska on a farm. She is best known for her photographs taken in Africa where she lived and worked in Kenya from 1987 to 1995 and in Sierra Leone in 2008-09 while her husband was on a Fulbright scholarship. Now living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi she photographs the South as well as in Africa.

Her photographs have been widely exhibited and collected around the world as well as being selected for many juried competitions. In 2011 she published her first award winning photobook I Am Because We Are: African Wisdom in Image and Proverb. She captured a stunning, life-affirming portrait of the African people and culture.

Her current documentary project deals with living in Mississippi and trying to better understand the “place” where she now lives. In 2012 she received the statewide award in photography from the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters and in 2013 a Visual Artist Fellowship Grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission. She is represented by Panos Pictures, London; Photographic Image Group, Portland, Oregon; International Visions Gallery, Washington, DC; Fischers Galleries, Jackson, Mississippi, and One Off Contemporary Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya.


- Mississippi: The Place I live
Scenes from a photo book-in-progress, shot with old cameras that render images with the imperfections, rawness, soft focus, and unexpected shafts of light that reflect the people and the complicated history of this state.

Exhibitions, grants, awards for my current project

Pop Up Show featuring Mississippi photographs Fischers Galleries, Jackson, Mississippi Oct 2014
The American South by Ain’t Bad Magazine, Morris Museum, Augusta, Georgia Sept-Oct 2014
University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Art Faculty Selected Works. Mississippi photographs. Hattiesburg, MS. Sep-Oct 2014
Slow Exposures. Photography from the Rural South. Pike County, Georgia September 2014 Jurors: Aline Smithson and Alexa Dilworth
· Women In Photography International Special Feature SILVERSHOTZ (Australia) COLLECTIBLE
last printed edition 2014 Volume 8, Edition 5. One of eleven photographers chosen to feature their photographs in this special edition.


I Am Because We Are: African Wisdom in Image and Proverb <> was published in September 2011. It includes 125 black and white duotone images selected from my African work taken all over East and West Africa since 1987 combined with related African proverbs compiled by Annetta Miller. The images of daily life deal with knowledge, cooperation, love, beauty, friendship, hope, humor, sorrow, happiness, gratitude, dance, tradition, faith, peace, war, death and human relationships. These are the same themes found in African proverbial language: thus the idea of coupling the images with proverbs. Together they offer a powerful expression of African wisdom and the universality of human emotions, ideas, and knowledge.
The book highlights the importance of community; we exist in community and we share the responsibility for that community with others. This book is making a significant educational and artistic contribution to the appreciation and understanding of African culture and society as well as our own.


Women In Photography International Special Feature SILVERSHOTZ (Australia) COLLECTIBLE
last printed edition 2014 Volume 8, Edition 5. One of eleven photographers chosen to feature their photographs in this special edition.
2012 Photography award, Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters <> Invitation to give the Memorial Lecture at the Bassey Andah Foundation <;events.htm> , Calabar, Nigeria January 14, 2012
2011 Grant finalist for Michael P. Smith Fund For Documentary Photography <> , New Orleans Photo Alliance
Three of the best photo books of 2011, the Christian Science Monitor <>
NPR Interview: November 20, 2011 Book was featured on NPR Sunday Morning Edition <>
PHOTOBOOK AWARD: One of the top self-published photobooks of 2011 by Davis Orton Gallery <> , Hudson, NY. Exhibition of winning books Nov 18 - Dec.18, 2011
Book Launch, Talk & Signing September 8, 2011 Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Widely sold in the United States, several African countries, Europe and Australia. Now distributed by the University Press of Mississippi


Adjunct professor of Photography, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, since 2003
Worked on personal photo projects/Accompanied husband on Fulbright to Sierra Leone, 2008-9
Adjunct professor of Photography, Stetson University, Deland, Florida 1996-2003
1987 - 1995 Photojournalist (Based in Nairobi, Kenya covering East and West Africa)


Mississippi imPRESSions, April-May 2013 Thirsty Hippo, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
African Wisdom in image and proverb, Elder Gallery, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln. Nebraska Sept – October 2012
African Wisdom in image and proverb, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi September 2012
African Wisdom in image and proverb, McKenna Museum of African-American Art, New Orleans, LA Dec. 2011 –Jan. 2012 part of the PHOTONOLA Festival
African Wisdom in image and proverb, Oddfellows Gallery, Hattiesburg, MS Oct-Nov. 2011
African Wisdom in image and proverb Exhibition and Book Signing, International Visions Gallery, Washington, DC September. 2011
Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away Goddard Studio Gallery, Hattiesburg MS 2011
Africa in images and proverbs, WorkSpace Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska Sep 4-Nov 4, 2009
Africa in images and proverbs, University of La Verne, La Verne, California March-April 2005
Africa in images and proverbs, The New Gallery, University of Miami, Florida January-February 2005
Reflections of Africa, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Lakewood, CO Oct 2004
Reflections of Africa, Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania February 2004
Covered and Uncovered: Photographs and African masks, Art League, Daytona Beach, Florida August-Sept 2003
Reflections of Africa: Photographs from Africa and the Diaspora, Baldwin Photographic Gallery, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, March-April 2003
Travelers’ Tales: World Views, Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida October 2000-Feb 2001
Lens of the eye – Fabric of the Mind, University Gallery, College of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida May-July 2000
Reflections of Africa: Photographs from Cuba, Trinidad, and Belize, Harris House of the Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, Florida October 1999
One World: Photographs from Mali, Crealdé School of Art, Winter Park, Florida October 1997
The Power of the Spirit: The African Independent Church Movement, French Cultural Centre, Nairobi, Kenya May 1995
African Moments: Black and White Photographs from East and West Africa. The Charles Sumner School Museum, Washington, DC March-May 1993
Principia College, Elsah, Illinois February 1993
The Deland Museum of Art, DeLand, Florida February-April 1992
Gallery Watatu, Nairobi, Kenya October 1990


Panos Pictures <> , London, UK
Photographic Image Group <> , Portland, Oregon,
International Visions Gallery <> , Washington, DC
One Off Contemporary Art Gallery <> , Nairobi, Kenya
Fischer Galleries <> , Jackson, Mississippi
Oddfellows Gallery, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Art Photo Index, Photo Eye Santa Fe, New Mexico


Society for Photographic Education (SPE)
Women In Photography International Charter Member


FaceBook Page I Am Because We Are
Twitter Betty Press

UPDATE - JULY 2015 - MARCH 2016

Her Mississippi project is currently a book-in-progress. The photographs have been included in many juried exhibitions and added to several private and public collections. Publications including Lens Culture, Silvershotz Magazine, South x Southeast Magazine, Lenscratch, Rfotofolio, ACurator, Oxford American, Aint Bad, Atlanta Photography Group and John Wall’s Southern Photographer blog have all published her work.

In 2015 she was featured in the portfolio show sponsored by the Atlanta Photography Group. She received an Award of Excellence in the Mississippi Collegiate Art Faculty Juried Exhibition and an Honorable Mention at Slow Exposures, Photography from the Rural South in Pike County, Georgia. The Mississippi Museum of Art and The Do Good Fund of Southern Photography each have added several of her photographs to their permanent collections.

She was chosen to be part of 2015 ‘Ones to Watch’ by Atlanta Celebrates Photography

UPDATE: Photographer response - NO NEW UPDATES: MARCH 2016 - APRIL 2017

Subject: Re: CHARTER GALLERY - curator Beinecke
Date: 2017-05-04 16:12
From: betty press <>

Hi Jean, I looked at my file. It is fine as it is. My email and
website are correct.
Thanks for all your work.
Betty Press

Women In Photography International Charter Member

Betty Press
Hattiesburg, MS

©Copyright for all images remains the property of exhibited photographer, and promotional use for Women In Photography International. All inquiries regarding use of and purchasing image use rights must be directed to the photographer.

File: GALLERY & BIO complete - August 30, 2014
UPDATE: Photographer response - NO NEW UPDATES: MARCH 2016 - APRIL 2017

UPDATE FINAL: May 2017 website content 1999-2017 file transfer to the Beinecke.
All organization files, computer, external hard drive, printed materials, photographs,
DVDs, books, competitions files and onsite installation art work

Maerials included: Books, catalogs, invites, etc.

Aloma . Alpert . Alt . Asimow . Balcazar . Bartolomeo . Bartone . Bauknight . Berger . Bigbee . Biggerstaff . Blair . Burns . Carr . Clendaniel . Connelly . Corday . Dean . Dooley . Ebert . Ferro . Flamer . Gates . Gerideau-Squires . Goldberg . Gottlieb . Greenblat . Henry . Hofkin . Jacobi . Jacobs . Jentz . L'Heureux . Jimenez . Keller . Kim-Miller . Kitchen . Lee . Madison . Maltese . McLemore . Meiser . Meltzer . Miller . Money . Neroni . Ohman . Olin . Pettit . Pinkerton . Poinski . Press . Pulga . Richards . Rink . Roter . Schneider . Siegfried . Silverman . Simonite . D.Stevens . J.Stevens . Stewart . Taylor . Temmer . Terry . Trenda . Tuggle . Vanderford . Waage  -  Exhibitor List Page



Women In Photography International Archive is held at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, Peter Palmquist Western Americana permanent Collection since 2003. The inclusion of WIPI hard copy and digital files from mid-2003 to present will be added to the collection. The 2014-2015 WIPI CHARTER GALLERY is set up for inclusion into the upcoming newly renovated Beinecke Library. The CHARTER MEMBER gallery of dedicated women photographers is a spotlight to introduce and showcase historical documentation and current member work.

Beinecke File thru 2003 - Series IV - Women in Photography International Records Literary and image rights, including copyright, belong to the photographers and authors or their legal heirs and assigns.

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