News & Events

Weizenblatt Gallery Features Photographic Exhibit by Mars Hill Alumnus Joe Franklin

Franklin Arches

"Arches" by Joe Franklin

As a part of homecoming festivities at Mars Hill University, Weizenblatt Gallery in the Moore Fine Arts Building will feature a stunning photography exhibition by MHU alumnus Joe Franklin '73 of Asheville.

This is the fourth year that Weizenblatt Gallery has featured the work of alumni during homecoming weekend. The exhibition will be free and open to the public each weekday from 10 am until 4 pm, from October 7 through November 7. An opening reception will take place on the Saturday of homecoming, October 11, 10 am until 1 pm, during which the artist will be available for discussion.

Joe Franklin got his start in photography as a student at Mars Hill College. He worked as a student photojournalist during his undergraduate career, with photographs appearing in the Hilltop student newspaper, and the Laurel yearbook. He also provided photos for press releases issued by the Department of Public Information.

Franklin now teaches economics and chairs the Department of Business Administration at Newberry College (SC). But photography remains an integral part of his life. He often uses his photos in the classroom, to complement and enhance his presentations.

"A good photograph can be a very effective pedagogical tool, especially in today’s visually-oriented Internet society," he said.

Franklin Hurricane Falls
"Hurricane Falls" by Joe Franklin

His photography has also appeared in local and regional newspapers, magazines, phonebook covers, webpages and brochures. While his work includes a variety of photographic genres and venues, it is landscape photography that he finds to be the most challenging and personally gratifying. Numerous galleries of Franklin's favorite places are featured on his website, But for personal reasons, a special focus of Franklin's work is the Blue Ridge Parkway.

"Much of my photography honors the memory of my late father," he said. "As a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s, Dad was one of the original surveyors on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Many of my photographs are taken from the Parkway during early morning or late evening hours to capture the beautiful scenes he must have enjoyed."

Franklin said that his favorite photograph is the one he'll take tomorrow. "I'm always looking for that perfect shot but never finding it. However, the fun is in the chase!"" he said.

He has been married to his wife Janet for 32 and they have two daughters. Both he and Janet love hiking, which complements Joe's love for photography. "When I’m not teaching or grading papers, Janet and I enjoy hiking in the Carolinas and photographing God's beautiful creation," he said.