Photographs by Peter Brown | Stories by Joe Holley (Maverick Books and Trinity University Press, 2017)
For three decades, Peter Brown has taught photography classes in Rice’s continuing education program, inspiring hundreds of students along the way. For the past quarter century, he has been drawn to landscapes and small-town scenes. In this collection, Brown collaborates with Joe Holley, who writes the “Native Texan” column for the Houston Chronicle, to create a portrait of Texas that ranges widely in subject matter while being devoid of the usual stereotypes — a Texas far from the bragging crowd. Dividing the state into regions, Brown contributes imagery that creates a visual context for Holley’s illuminating essays on rural life. In the book’s introduction, Brown writes, “Our collaboration describes the way we feel: That there is much to be seen, heard and appreciated in these little towns. That there are creative and energetic people working with good ideas that they apply locally, and that their stories are worth passing on and celebrating.” While the photographs are not intended to illustrate specific essays, image and story are perfectly in sync in their appreciation of a side of the Lone Star State that rarely makes the headlines. Brown’s photographs are collected in museums across the country, and he is the award-winning author of numerous collections, including “On the Plains” (Norton, 1999), “West of Last Chance” (Norton, 2008) and “Seasons of Light” (Rice University Press, 1988).