The changing cultures and myths of the American Southwest is the theme for a new juried art exhibit that will feature photography by Jay Hemphill, Western New Mexico University photographer.
The exhibit, Representing the West: A New Frontier, will open January 28 at the Sangre De Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo, Colorado. Hemphill will exhibit a collection of three black and white photographs in a piece titled A New West.
“My hope for this piece is to engage the viewers in a conversation about our society and its dominant institutions, the good and the bad,” said Hemphill. The three photos feature a soup kitchen client, a rural church, and the burnt landscape of a recent fire in the Gila Wilderness.
“These photos are meant to work together in a triptych design,” said Hemphill. “When viewed together, the images can create a powerful narrative about our society that is meant to be interpreted in many different ways.”
Hemphill earned a fine arts degree with an emphasis in photography from WNMU in 2003. A Kansas native, he arrived at WNMU on a tennis scholarship. Hemphill has been the university photographer since 2012. His work has been on display in various galleries and in publications including New Mexico Magazine and High Country Times.
The opening reception for the exhibit will take place on Friday, February 3 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Sangre De Cristo Arts Center.