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News Release — October 8, 2009

Keith Carter

Grand Reopening of the Wittliff Collections exhibitions features Keith Carter

SAN MARCOS, Texas—For the past year, construction has been in progress on the Wittliff Collections’ new galleries and public spaces. Now the expansion is nearly complete, and the doors will open on the brand-new exhibition spaces. Readings and other events are already being held in the new areas, and the following exhibitions will be on view beginning October 17 from the Wittliff’s major literary and photography archives.

The Grand Reopening will be celebrated at 7:00 pm on Saturday, October 17 with a public reception and special program and book signing featuring Keith Carter.

As part of the 2009–2010 Common Experience, The Lightning Field: Mapping the Creative Process illuminates how authors struggle to find exactly the right word to do the right job. Notes, journals, drafts, and other work by Cormac McCarthy, Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower, Sam Shepard, Jovita González, Katherine Anne Porter, Rick Riordan, the King of the Hill writers and Texas Monthly journalists illustrate a variety of compositional journeys, from the spark of idea through the very last proof. This exhibition runs through March 1, 2010.

The permanent exhibition of Lonesome Dove props, costumes, set designs, Bill Wittliff’s script drafts and fine-art photographs, continuity photographs, and other interesting materials from the making of the epic miniseries continues to draw people from far and wide.

The photography galleries now offer more than twice the previous exhibition space—nearly 130 images are on view through March 13, 2010.

In the original spaces, the show Nueva Luz / New Light includes over 40 recently acquired photographs by other accomplished Texas artists and some of the biggest names in the field: Edward Weston and Tina Modotti, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Joel-Peter Witkin, Michael O’Brien, and Robb Kendrick, to name but a few.

Featured in the new galleries is work by Keith Carter from A Certain Alchemy and Fireflies, his two most recent books from UT Press. Called “a poet of the ordinary” by the Los Angeles Times, internationally acclaimed photographer Keith Carter uses light and chemistry to reveal hidden meanings in the real world. Drawing from the nature of animals, popular culture, folklore, and religion, his pictures explore relationships that are timeless, enigmatic, and mythological.

Keith Carter

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1948, Carter moved to Beaumont, Texas, at the age of five, and has lived there since. His mother, Jane, supported the family as a portrait photographer, and one of Carter’s earliest memories is of waking in the middle of the night to see his mother developing pictures at the kitchen sink. The orange safelight illuminated images as they emerged in their developing trays, leaving a deep impression upon him.

Self-taught as a photographer, Carter received a BBA degree in 1970 from Lamar University in Beaumont, where he is now a professor and holds the endowed Walles Chair of Art. In 1998, he received Lamar University’s highest teaching honor, the University Professor Award, and he was named the Lamar University Distinguished Lecturer. This year, Carter received the Texas Medal of Arts and the Art League Houston Artist of the Year award.

Ten books of his work have been published, among them Keith Carter Photographs: Twenty-Five Years, Ezekiel’s Horse, and A Certain Alchemy in the Wittliff Collections’ Southwestern & Mexican Photography Series. His images have been widely exhibited in Europe, the U.S., and Latin America, and they are included in numerous permanent collections, including the Wittliff, which holds the largest archive of Keith Carter photographs in the world.

Grand Reopening with Keith Carter
Saturday, October 17, 7:00 pm
Alkek Library, Seventh Floor | Texas State University-San Marcos | 512.245.2313
Carters recent books will be for sale at the event by the University Bookstore.
Alkek Library, Seventh Floor | Texas State University-San Marcos | 512.245.2313