Travis Whitfield at Western Graphics Workshop, Inc.

 

1939

 

Travis Whitfield was born and raised in rural east Texas, near the small town of Linden. He grew up in a more "Folk-type" atmosphere with very primitive living conditions. As a child, Travis started drawing from nature, scenes that usually included farm animals in a pastoral or woodsy setting.

 

Travis was a "country boy" but was able to attend the University of Houston, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1968. In the early 1970's he was an Artist in Residence at Tamarind Institute (a lithography workshop) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After a brief stint teaching watercolor at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston in 1977, Travis moved to Keachi, Louisiana where he had previously worked. There he established his studio and began chronicling the lives of the older African American residents through his painting, photography and audio recordings. The project, "Further on Down the Road," is a means to an end of this experience.

 

I was raised up on a farm in Northeast Texas, which must be the reason why I've always been drawn to rural scenes and to the lifestyles of the "country people" in my paintings. I think it is the remnants of the more "folk" atmosphere or endangered simple ways that I am intrigued or curious about. In my drawings and paintings, I have always wanted to get beneath the surface and learn more about my subjects, whether it be trees, flowers, or people. When it came to people who posed for me, I wanted to almost live with them and learn every conceivable aspect of their refinement. So, I began studying and chronicling their daily lives through photography, audio recording, drawing and painting. This project is a culmination of this valuable time conceived and produced by all of us.

 

-Travis Whitfield

 

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