After a short-lived tenure as a middle school English teacher and athletic coach, Will Jacks finally settled into a career as a photographer. After finishing Journalism graduate studies at the University of Mississippi in 1996, he returned to his hometown of Cleveland, MS and opened a photography studio. Eventually that grew to also serve as a regional photo gallery, and in September 2013 Time Magazine recognized its Eudora Welty exhibit as one of the top thirty ways in the world to experience photography offline.
Will is active in the photographic and arts communities, serving as an executive board member for the Delta Arts Alliance, a past governor-appointed board member of the Mississippi Blues Commission as well as a current governor appointee to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission.
His first monograph documents the juke-joint Po’ Monkey’s Lounge which serves as a prism for examining cultural tourism and preservation. It is slated for release by University Press of Mississippi in November of 2019. In 2018 he returned to school at the Maine College of Art where he is a May, 2020 candidate for an M.F.A. in Studio Art. His practice now incorporates lens-based mediums of photography and video, community engagement, and an increased focus on darkroom-based multimedia and sculptural works.
Currently Will makes his home in the Mississippi Delta where he teaches at Delta State University, but he can often be found on rural backroads somewhere in the South exploring people, culture, history, geography, and the entanglement of where those worlds collide.