CAROLYN BROWN | COWBOY DIARIES
This is my credo as a photographer: to document the fathomless mystery of man’s culture-- the smell, the taste, and most of all, the visual aspects of how one believes, dresses and carries out domestic ritual. In short, the many unique ways each of us lives our life as an inhabitant of this earth.
Recently I paired two photographs representing ancient cultures--one from the colorful vegetable market at Chichicastenango, in the El Quiché area of Guatemala, and one from praying Palestinian men at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, located in the Israeli-Palestinian part of Jerusalem. These are more than 7,000 miles apart, and their customs, language, dress and beliefs are as vastly different from each other as they are fascinating.
Here in Texas is an equally fascinating analogy of customs and culture—inhabitants from Caddo Lake in East Texas and those from North Texas Fort Worth Stockyards. Both speak English, each in a different way— with influences—perhaps one from France and one from Spain and/or Germany. One is a hunting and fishing community living in the cypress forest, the other represents the old West cattle-herding cowboys of the grassy plains on the Chisolm Trail. Both filled my camera viewfinder with incredible imagery that I cherish.
The bonus of spending time in such places is to know the residents who live and work there. Like the Caddo Lake experience, the Fort Worth Stockyards is populated by people who have become my friends for the rest of my life. It was only with their cooperation and help that these photos could be made.
Photographs from the Fort Worth Stockyards will become a large, full-color book published by A&M Press in the fall of 2020. It will include text written by J’Nell Pate Barnes who published her doctoral dissertation on the Fort Worth Stockyards at the University of North Texas in 1982.
My heart goes out in thanks to all the cowboys, cowgirls, longhorns, and horses who are a part of this incredible living history--my personal adventure making their photographs--“Happy Trails to You”.
MICHELLE O’MICHAEL | KARMA ON DEMAND
Mechelle O’Michael’s, Karma on Demand, will include free standing and wall mounted painted metal sculptures. Her focus, as the title of the show hence, is about finding peace wherever you are. The pieces are meant to bring a since of calm to the viewer and their environment. She received her Masters degree from Houston Baptist University Masters of Fine Art, and BA from UT Austin in 2013. O’Michael’s work is in public and private collections across the nation.
TONI SWARTHOUT | DIALOGUE
American born artist Toni Swarthout has worked for decades as a contemporary abstract painter. She paints in a series format, demonstrating her ever-evolving and distinctive style. On display at Craighead Green Gallery, the work from this new “Dialogue Series”, consists of strong colors and lines that are born out of, as the artist calls it, “chaos”, followed with “order”. The works convey the depth and balance that can be achieved in the midst of chaos. She approaches life in much the same way, always finding the meaning and depth in even the most unfamiliar moments. Her technical approach moves and changes in each new series, yet there is always her familiar, distinctive tone within each new piece. Expectations based on work itself are her most useful tools. In other words, anything she needs to know about the next piece is contained in the last piece. And, anything that she loves is in the last contact with what she loves. In this new series, the viewer can follow this distinct dialogue, which lends itself to the transformation of each new piece. Swarthout’s inspiration is derived from her studies of the great abstract painters, such as Rothko, Twombly, Mitchell, and Richter, to name a few.
Swarthout is a self-taught artist, approaching the canvas in an uncensored, unlimited creative process. Her works offer the viewer the opportunity to experience art from a grounded place while, at the same time, guiding them through the unfiltered experience of creating.