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Brant Barrett
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2016

Bright Leaf

After the Civil War, when “King Cotton” was laid low, tobacco became the savior of the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Bright Leaf or flue cured tobacco, provided the small family farmer the means to pay off his debts and even prosper on the proceeds from a few acres.

Today, the regions ubiquitous tobacco barns lie empty and rotting. The warehouses that were the centerpieces of a town’s success are gone or being demolished as safety hazards. Main Street in the Pee Dee has been replaced by the “big box” store.

Still, there are a few farmers planting tobacco. In this series I have chosen to document their labors because tobacco has been so important to the people and the history of this region.

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