In anticipation of the opening of Christi LaViolette’s new series “Life Looked Over: A Picture of West Texas History,” we asked her how she felt her series fits in with Goliad’s fascination with empty spaces — as well as what we can expect to see on April 9th.
The tie between Goliad’s fascination with empty spaces and Life Looked Over was a great fit because I was already interested in capturing the landscape as opposed to the people. It felt intrusive to hinder the people by photographing them personally. The emptiness of the landscape is a perfect tool to try to convey the history and culture of west Texas.
I think artistic value can be seen in any aspect of life when one looks at the right perspective. I find myself particularly fond of cities such as those in west Texas because they are so unique and beautiful but yet have been largely abandoned.
For this series, I really wanted to accentuate the inherent art in the landscape, so I used Kodak Endure Premier metallic paper for the black and white images. This paper produces remarkably clean whites and rich blacks, so the contrast in each images becomes very powerful. The reflectivity of the paper also adds an element to the contrast that helps capture the striking emptiness of the region. For the color images, I used a combination of Kodak Endure Premier paper and Photo Rag archival paper. Both offer very rich color ranges and deep, rich blacks
Goliad Media presents the opening of a new photography series by 2015-2016 Artist-in-Residence Christi La Violette. “Life Looked Over: A Picture of West Texas History” captures the history, culture, isolation, and freedom of West Texas life. From the artist’s statement:
It was only after physically being in these towns that I learned of the story of Milton Faver, who owned the largest ranch in Texas and employed countless ranch-hands from Mexico, or the struggle of Shafter residents to fight the installation of the Trans-Pecos pipeline, or the immensely expensive TARS program that created a larger than life blimp to keep Mexican immigrants from crossing the Rio Grande into Texas. I wanted to show the people of West Texas, but it felt too intrusive into their way of life. Instead the structures left behind, looked-over, or forgotten seemed to paint the picture of life in West Texas, both from its beginnings in the 19th century to present day. Every image is in some way overlooked but crucial to the past and present of the history of West Texas and its many border towns.
“Life Looked Over” opens Saturday, April 9th from 12:00-4:00 at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton, TX. The opening is free to the public and will also feature guest artists Camille Green, Leslie Hartman, and Ashley Young.
From the expanses of the Chihuahuan Desert to the secrets of the Piney Woods, Texas is travelers’ country. Home to several distinct cultures, the only common trait among the far-flung people of the Lone Star State is hardscrabble grit—a persistence in the relentless landscape.
But there is more to Texas than tumbleweeds and tornadoes. The people who define the state’s distinct cultures live in uneasy truce with their own history, undermining tradition and making their own rules. Texans are nothing if not solitary, even together in a crowded theater in Lufkin, Texas, hosting Mandy Patinkin for an a cappella thunderstorm performance. Or on the beaches of Mustang Island, where laws don’t apply. Or huddled against the desert cold in distant Marathon for a fire-lit music festival.
In Reverb, TX, Harlin Anderson takes you to each of these places and more, carving a traveler’s path between major highways and larger-than-life cities. His travelogue is part memoir, part confession—a journal of growth, loss, and exploration. This is a brutal, breathtaking debut, and it will leave you wandering for years to come.
Harlin Anderson attended the University of Missouri on a journalism scholarship before ultimately earning an M.A. in creative writing from the University of North Texas. He worked as a copywriter in the entertainment industry for several years, and he is the co-founder of the ambitious but short-lived literary magazine The Porch as well as creative director of Lumberjack Fest, a music and arts showcase now entering its twelfth year. He’s written about music, literature, and television for a variety of websites, including Hulu.com. Harlin lives in Denton, Texas with his wife and three dogs.
Minding Days, the second solo album by singer-songwriter Kody Jackson, tracks a decided shift in southern folk-rock Americana. Sometimes western, sometimes aggressive, now and then lyrical—Minding Days blends slide, resonators, acoustic and electric guitars, and harrowing vocals to evoke burning Texan winds, personal tragedies, and spiteful backwoods reckonings from the darkest blue-collar dreams. Anger, pain, realism. Minding Days is a deeply reflective and starkly personal album that resists easy categories and familiar trends in favor of something greater than the sum of its parts.
Denton-based singer-songwriter Kody Jackson has played with a number of D/FW acts across the past fifteen years, including The Fabulous Badasses, Spitfire Tumbleweeds, Old Warhorse, and The Big Ole Bastards. Widely recognized for the range of his baritone vocals, Jackson reinvents his signature sound on Minding Days to complement studio musicians Tex Bosley (Spitfire Tumbleweeds, Warren Jackson Hearne and Le Leek Electrique) and Justin Collins (Burnt Sienna Trio, Spitfire Tumbleweeds). Minding Days was recorded and mixed by Collins and mastered by Carl Saff.