Monday, August 31, 2015

Institute of Texan Cultures exhibit looks at Texas through photo editor’s eye

sand dunes
neon Texas flag

Top photo: Monahans sand dunes
Bottom photo: Neon Texas flag at Institute of Texan Cultures

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(Sept. 28, 2011) -- One of the most memorable images of the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio is its 11-foot-tall neon Texas flag.Paired with the silhouette of a cowboy, it's a Texas icon recognized across the state.It's an image J. Griffis Smith captured in 1986 and one of the signature pieces of "Griff Smith's Texas: A Retrospective Through the Lens and Images from Texas Highways," a photographic exhibit running Oct. 1-March 25 at the Institute of Texan Cultures.

Smith has worked for Texas Highways, the official travel magazine of Texas, for more than 25 years and has been the photo editor since 2009. According to a March 2011 article in the magazine, his work has sent him "from Alpine to Zephyr." During his career, he has covered a wide spectrum of subjects from majestic landscapes to unique people who have contributed to the tapestry of Texas culture.

"With the use of creative lighting and composition, I strive to make the obvious appear almost bigger than life," said Smith. "I want to get the viewer to feel like they could actually put their hand into the scene and touch whatever subject I am photographing."

Among the 58 images in the exhibit are landscapes such as the Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, the lighthouse at Port Isabel and the Monahans sand dunes.The many portraits in the exhibit include an Indian woman at the Tigua reservation near El Paso, father and son accordion players in Buda and a trick roper at the Dixie Dude Ranch in Bandera.

"Griff Smith's Texas" describes the artist's work on-location and what was involved in capturing some of the images. A video component of the exhibit offers the visitor insights into the creative process at Texas Highways, which determines the subjects and stories Smith shoots or selects images to illustrate.

"The Institute of Texan Cultures tells the stories of Texas and Texans, and 'Griff Smith's Texas' accomplishes this in spectacular fashion,"said Bryan Howard, ITC director of exhibits."Texas Highways has helped shape perceptions of Texas for residents and visitors since 1974, and for the past 25 years, Griff has shown the beauty, diversity and mystery of our state."

The Institute of Texan Cultures is on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m., Sunday.Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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Labor Day Holiday

All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
All Campuses

Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.

Sept. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus


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