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Louise Serpa:


Exhibition: Louise Serpa: A Rodeo Celebration

Dates: January 13 - March 1, 2006

OpeningReception: January 27   5:30-7:30 p.m.

Location: Temple Gallery, 330 South Scott Avenue, in the Temple of Music and Art. The Temple Gallery is managed by Etherton Gallery 

Contact:    624-7370

Contents:  Internationally acclaimed photographer Louise Serpa captures the action and verve in a series of photographs that characterizes a sport given to dust, danger and the daring of the rodeo rider. Her instinct for the decisive moment is realized in a chronicling of the history of the Tucson Rodeo and rodeos throughout Arizona.

Serpa’s forty year coverage of the rodeo is featured in a variety of images that have become hallmarks of her work. Skeeter in the Dust, shot in 1963, is a tightly cropped image that envelops the viewer in an atmosphere of dust and dynamism as a rider heads for inescapable obscurity. As Serpa comments, “We couldn’t see him and so couldn’t time the ride.”  Cotton Eye, 1989, another signature work depicts a horse who has dumped his rider and looks as if it is about to pulverize him in a bucking rampage.

The first woman granted the privileged position of shooting inside the arena, Serpa was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth in 1999 and received the Tad Lucas Award from the National Rodeo Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 2002. Her book Rodeo was published in 1993 by Aperture Press for which Serpa wrote the text and supplied all the photographs. Her work has also been fielded by the Arizona Commission on the Arts for the last three years and is currently featured in the Tucson International Airport.

In the ring or out of the ring Serpa says she likes, “…any job that involves watching somebody who is efficient, who enjoys what he or she is doing. It’s a sort of a dignity-in-labor thing that has always interested me.” Now that she has officially retired from photographing inside the arena, Serpa is focusing largely on the expressive qualities of hands and faces and those moments found behind the scene:  a judge clenching a timing clock behind his back, a kid stretching as he prepares for his first rodeo competition, or a cowboy and a bull eyeball to eyeball.  “I can record the tension in hands, how the light is acting, how a person is feeling. It doesn’t have to be a cowboy on a horse. As long as it’s a dedicated movement, I want to capture it. As long as I can hold the camera, I’ll be out shooting,” she says.

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Gallery hours are Monday - Friday 10am-6pm
and prior to Arizona Theatre Company performances

The Temple Gallery is managed by
Phone: 520-624-7370

at the Temple of Music and Art
330 South Scott Avenue
Tucson, Arizona

Etherton - Temple Gallery