Houston – Houston Center for Photography presents its newest exhibition Travelogues featuring works from Nathan Hoang, Sara Macel and Natalie Slater, three artists who join the long-time tradition of photographers who hit the open road in search of something. Curated by HCP’s Programs Coordinator Caroline Docwra, the exhibition draws reference upon the classic American road trip and the artists such as Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange and others who each captured the open road and explored unfamiliar cultures. “The photographers in this exhibition are three young American artists who have been inspired by this tradition and have approached the theme in their own way,” stated Docwra. “They each have traveled across the country and told their story in a way that is unique to their own perspective and personal history.”
Each artist undertook a different challenge to create this body of work, and yet the photographs in this exhibition each have the same end goal, which is to ultimately aim us back home. Hoang pulls at our heartstrings with images and memories from our home states across the country. Macel brings her father home from years on the road as a traveling salesman with one last hoorah. Slater urges us to remember our past, cherish our hometowns and preserve our memories of home as she compares the past to the present along historic Route 66.
Hoang, Macel and Slater will be present at the exhibition opening on Friday, September 12 starting at 5:30pm to discuss their works and answer questions. A formal talk will take place at 6pm that evening.
Nathan Hoang: HOME
HOME is a documentation of all 50 states, expressed both by familiar images and a list of memories graphically represented in the shape of the state. As a native Texan who no longer lived in his home state, Nathan Hoang naturally became homesick and subsequently created a poster that listed out all the things he missed about Texas. After receiving a few requests asking if he could make some posters for other’s home states, his project “HOME” took shape. Hoang raised the funds to travel to every state over a three month period via a successful Kickstarter campaign, which allowed him time to meet and live with locals to learn why they really call their state home. To accompany the text, he found a symbol for each state that is often an everyday visual occurrence for locals, but captured through Hoang’s humorous eye to show a more colloquial view on the landmark. Each image holds a story unique to that state and the people he met on his journey.
Sara Macel: May The Road Rise to Meet You
In this remarkable pseudo-documentary and biography, Brooklyn-based Sara Macel followed her father, a traveling salesman, on his trips across the US. In popular mythology, few professions are as emblematic of this mobile, ambitious and commercially minded nation as the traveling salesman. As the Internet and outsourcing make this once ubiquitous occupation obsolete, May the Road Rise to Meet You explores the life of a businessman alone on the road. On a larger scale, this project explores the changing nature of “the road” in American culture and in the history of photography. With these images, Sara Macel creates a visual narrative of her father’s life separate from his family structure. In the same way that a family photo album functions to present an idealized version of their history, these photographs are what both Macel and her father want the visual narrative of his working life to be remembered as.
Natalie Slater: Mother Road Revisited
Mother Road Revisited is a project conceived by photographer Natalie Slater that celebrates the history of Route 66. The project consists of nearly 100 photographs taken in the 1950s, which Natalie has paired with photographs she shot along the modern day Route 66, many taken as she traveled the route in her revamped 1964 Shasta. Part of her process is finding the exact location where each historical photograph was taken and setting up her own shot from the same vantage point. Natalie then studies the difference between the old photograph and her view before she combines the two pictures into a single image that shows both the new parts and vintage aspects of the scene. The resulting collage dramatizes the transformation that have shapes the route over the years: Once one-way streets now show two-way traffic, and swimming pools brimming with guests have given way to abandoned lots.
Additionally, after photographing each vintage image Natalie places a historical plaque at that site that displays a QR Code specific to the location of the photo. The viewer can scan the QR Code with their phone in order to see the vintage image of the scene in front of them. This addition to the project causes the experience to become an interactive history lesson of Route 66 and ultimately help show what America has done to its once booming American symbol, the “Mother Road.”
About the Houston Center for Photography
Connecting People with Photography
HCP’s mission is to increase society’s understanding and appreciation of photography and its evolving role in contemporary culture. HCP strives to encourage artists, build audiences, stimulate dialogue, and promote inquiry about photography and related media through education, exhibitions, publications, fellowship programs, and community collaboration. HCP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving as a resource to its members and the community with programs that have regional and national impact.
Houston Center for Photography is supported by The Houston Endowment; City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance; The Brown Foundation; The Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation; Meyer Levy Charitable Foundation; Simmons Foundation; Julie and Drew Alexander; Patricia J. Eifel and Jim Belli; Artists’ Framing Resource; Larson-Juhl; Antonio Manega, Gazer Design; JBD Foundation; Joe Aker; Deborah Bay and Edgar Browning; The John M. O’Quinn Foundation; Sterling-Turner Foundation; Poppi Massey; Howard Greenberg Gallery; Cemo Family Foundation; John D. Chaney; Barbara and Geoffrey Koslov; Art Colony Association; Frazier King; Gardere, Wynne, Sewell LLP; Celia and Jay Munisteri; Joan and Stanford Alexander; Charles Butt; Joan Morgenstern; Burt Nelson; Jereann Chaney; James E. Maloney; Sue and Bob Schwartz; Bob Gomel; Mid America Arts Alliance; The Joan Hohlt and Roger Wich Foundation; The Wortham Foundation, Inc.; Texas Commission on the Arts; Dornith Doherty; Jessica Todd Harper; Kathryn and Tim Lee; Whole Foods Market; Susan and Patrick Cook; Elizabeth and David Anders; Howard Hilliard and Betty Pecore; Renate Aller; Ballard Exploration Company Inc.; Lillian H. & C.W. Duncan Foundation; Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc.; Wendy and Mavis Kelsey, Jr.; Stuart C. Nelson FS; Amegy Bank; Catherine Couturier Gallery; Andy Freeberg; Mariquita Masterson; Muffy and Alexander K. McLanahan; Dixie Messner; Rocky Schenck; Mickey and Mike Marvins; Nena D. Marsh; Tatiana and Craig Massey; Brad Temkin; Lauren Marsolier; Rebecca Roof; Jim Dow; Natan Dvir; Sally and John Hopper; Joel Lederer; The GE Foundation; Rubi Lebovitch; Thomas Damsgaard; Cara and Jorge Barer; Keliy Anderson-Staley; Krista and Mike Dumas; Sherry and James Kempner; James R. Fisher; Aker Imaging; Kevin E. Bassler; Cameron International Corporation; Houston Camera Exchange; Jerry Reed; Robertson-Finley Foundation; Jeremy Underwood; QUE Imaging; Frank Sherwood White; John C. Lewis; Mike Stude; Bevin and Dan Dubrowski; Vadim Gushchin; Dodie Otey and Richard S. Jackson; Bob Gulley; Azita Panahpour; Bryan Schutmaat; Paul Smead; Eddie Allen and Chinhui Juhn; Gay Block; Stanford L. Dow; Martin Elkort; Kathleen Schmeler; Susan and Steve Solcher; Scott R. Sparvero; Tamara Staples; The Beth Block Foundation; Louis Vest; William Winkler; Eric Faust; Keith Carter; Libbie J. Masterson; ExxonMobil Foundation; Christopher Ashby; Janet and Roger Durand; Kelly and Norman Bering; Laura and Tom Bacon; Donna J. Wan; Corey Arnold; Carolyn Brown; Caleb Charland; Wyatt Gallery; Judy Haberl; Henry Horenstein; Manjari Sharma; Priscilla A. Kanady; Marisa Cigarroa Heymach; John H. Duncan, Jr.; Wallace Wilson; Anne Tucker; Marcia Patrick; Shelley Calton; Randy and Laurie Allen; Susan Burnstein; Michael Crouser; Joe Levit Family Foundation; Robert L. Gerry, III; Molly Hipp and Ford Hubbard, III; Leslie and Mark Hull, Fan and Peter Morris; J. Andrew Nairn; Dee Ann Pederson; Betsy and Charles Powell; Del Zogg.
HCP is located at 1441 West Alabama in the Museum District of Houston. Hours: Wednesday–Thursday, 11 am–9 pm; Friday, 11 am–5 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 11 am–7 pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday. For more information, please call 713.529.4755 or visit www.hcponline.org.