Stove Works / 1250 E 13th St. November 8 - 30th (Reception: November 8 5:00pm - 7:00pm)

Megan Ledbetter


2023-24 Current Art Fund Grantee (Knoxville, TN) with additional support from Trust for Public Land and Stove Works (Chattanooga, TN)


Desolate is the spot and wild the road, if road it can be called that leads to it. […] For a generation an acre of ground hidden in the hills has been used to receive the remains of unclaimed and indigent dead and still half the people one meets knows not where it is. To find it the seeker must blindly follow the trails leading over the spurs of Walden’s Ridge. Only a visit would convey a just idea of the horrors of that place.

Chattanooga Daily Times

Sept 2, 1906

There are many written accounts describing the horrid conditions, criminal trespasses, and overall lack of humanity in a place now referred to as The Field: a municipal burial ground for the poor and dispossessed in operation from 1890-1912. During that time, The Field was no more than a dumping ground on the outskirts of Chattanooga, and the historical narrative is clear that this land has been deeply wounded time and again, still carrying the trauma of indecency, betrayal, and abandonment. The upcoming exhibition at Stove Works weaves a visual narrative that directs viewers to contemplate the complexity of this location, adds to the historical record, and holds a space in the collaborative effort toward repair.


Megan Ledbetter (1980) is an artist and educator based in Red Bank, Tennessee, whose lens-based work explores personal, cultural, and historical narratives tied to place.

Her current photographic project,The Field, is part of a larger collaborative initiative to recognize and repair a derelict municipal cemetery for the poor and dispossessed in operation from 1890-1912. Through generous support from the Current Art Fund (2023-2024), her work combines visual imagery, historical research, and community engagement to shine a light on the complex overlapping histories at this abandoned burial ground.

She earned her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design (2011), a BFA from East Tennessee State University (2008), and a BA from Auburn University (2002). She attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013 and was awarded a Resident Artist Fellowship from Anderson Ranch Arts Center in 2014.

Image: Megan Ledbetter, Mayapples in The Field, March 2023, Silver Gelatin Print, 20x24 inches