The Department of Art welcomes to Space 204 an exhibition of compelling photographs by Jeremiah Ariaz. On display from February 21 through March 14, Tucumcari documents a once thriving, now uncertain New Mexico community. An opening reception will be held Thursday, February 21, from 4 to 6 p.m.
The Tucumcari project, four years in the making, seeks to explore a community and way of life influx. Ariaz first visited the small, vibrant New Mexico town of Tucumcari by happenstance in 2006, the year of its centennial. He and his camera were at once drawn to the historic buildings and “the way their brilliant colors shone in the western sun light.” Sometime later, another trip down that same stretch of highway brought him back to Tucumcari, and he was startled by the changes he saw—changes due to both the national economic downturn and local struggles. Ariaz has worked to tell the tale of “an American place caught between a vanishing past and an uncertain future.”
Select photographs from Tucumcari have been featured in numerous exhibitions, including the Atlanta Photographers’ Gallery (2009), the Halpert Biennial at the Turchin Center for the Arts (2009), where Ariaz received the juror’s prize, and Center for the Arts (2010) and B Gallery in Rome, Italy (2013). In addition, two photographs are included in the 2011 publication, “Exploring Color Photography” by Robert Hirsch. While completing the series, Ariaz was twice named a finalist for the Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography.
Ariaz received the BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, the MFA from State University of New York at Buffalo, and has exhibited his work and lectured both nationally and internationally. He was recipient of a Schomburg Fellowship as well as a Canadian-American Studies grant, which led to the publication of the limited edition artist’s book, “A Spectacular Fall,” and accompanying exhibition.
Space 204 is located on the second floor of the E. Bronson Ingram Studio Art Center, 25th Avenue South and Garland on the Vanderbilt University campus. All Space 204 exhibitions are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.