About the Gallery

The Gammill Gallery is located in the west wing of Barnard Observatory. Named for Lynn and Stewart Gammill of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, longtime supporters of Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi, the Gammill Gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions devoted to documentary photography of the American South.

The Gammill Gallery has featured the work of numerous photographers, including Bern and Franke Keating, Birney Imes, Jack Kotz, Todd Bertolaet, David Wharton, Wiley Prewitt, and Jane Rule Burdine. Each year, the Gallery exhibits works produced by students in the Southern Studies program.

The Gammill Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., except for University holidays. For more information, contact us.

Current Exhibit:

DishPit Panorama

Photographs by Angie Mosier On Display Through October 31

Photographed in Atlanta, Georgia, Summer 2019

SouthTalks Lecture with Angie Mosier and Mary Beth Lasseter at noon, Wednesday, October 23

Artist’s Statement: When you admire the people who devote their careers to making great food, gaining access to a professional kitchen feels like winning a backstage pass to a concert by your favorite band. The rhythm of the restaurant is compelling to witness, and to capture on film. Most times, we photographers turn our lenses toward the executive chef working the pass, the cool grace of the pastry chef, or the heated action on the line. Throughout service, while the chefs, prep, pastry, and front of the house workers play solos and make harmony together, a backbeat player keeps them in step, working at a low drone that gives stability to the composition. That player is the dishwasher.

Dishwasher can refer to the position held by a human or the actual machine that the human uses to clean the dishes. Both are important and rarely regarded until one shuts down. The kitchen staff appreciates and respects the women and men who work the dishpit, but dining room guests rarely think about the importance of their position. Restaurants are designed to hide the dish station. It can very difficult to see the person working the machines and sinks. It’s often darker there. Long aprons shield dishwashers. In the dishpit, they work, keeping the beat.

These images document the work of sanitation. A close look in a dishhpit can tell you where you are: A dishwasher working a bakery handles wares that are much different than the pots and hotel pans used in a cafeteria. The heavy-duty plastic drinking vessels used in a breakfast diner get cleaned in a different way than the delicate crystal coupes at a cocktail bar. For the protection of travelers, knives have to be secured to the table in an airport restaurant, and they get cleaned on the spot.

The machines are valuable pieces of equipment that quickly and efficiently sanitize racks of ware with sprays of hot water and controlled portions of soap. The dish worker gets a steam facial every time he lifts the door and pulls out a rack. The employee brings the beat to the pit. Most of these folks work multiple jobs in another restaurant or profession. Many times they work other positions in the same restaurant. Some are fresh-faced aspiring chefs, working to prove that they can labor long, soggy hours before moving on to prep work. Some drive their own cars. Others rely on three or four different modes of transportation to get to their dishpits. All have stories to tell about labor in the modern South.

I photographed this collection in the natural style of the dishpit—gritty, grainy, fast-paced, and sometimes blurry. Some images are high contrast, others are low, to match the personality of the space, the work, and the complex and beautiful individuals I met.

Above: Eric Mason and Zachary “Z” Huff

Below: Eric Mason, Home Grown in the Reynoldstown neighborhood