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Kitty Alice Snead and the Fiesta Guadalupana


by Brad Ford Smith 23 Oct 2008

Guest blogger Brad Ford Smith is a Dallas artist and arts conservationist. If you are into photography or anthropology, you really should see the photographs of Kitty Alice Snead. She is presently exhibiting a body of work at the Janette Kennedy Gallery. The closing event is this Thursday, Oct. 23 from 6 – 8 p.m. […]

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Guest blogger Brad Ford Smith is a Dallas artist and arts conservationist.

If you are into photography or anthropology, you really should see the photographs of Kitty Alice Snead. She is presently exhibiting a body of work at the Janette Kennedy Gallery. The closing event is this Thursday, Oct. 23 from 6 – 8 p.m. But, please note that the show has been extended until the end of the month.

This is an exhibition of photographs and videos that document the Tarahumara’s celebration of Fiesta Guadalupana. The celebration takes place each year in a small, indigenous community in Mexico’s Copper Canyon. There are no grocery stores or gas stations in this hidden valley, only footpaths leading to small families of subsistence farmers. This remote population practices traditions and rituals that have changed very little sense the Spaniards first made contact.

Kitty has been hiking these trails and photographing Fiesta Guadalupana for 10 years. These are not “Look what I did on my exotic summer vacation” photos. This is an in-depth investigation of a culture. Vacation photos give you a view of the Eiffel Tower from the ground looking up, and from the top looking out. Kitty is photographing the rusty nuts and bolts. She is documenting the basic material that makes this community unique.

With such a rich subject matter it is not too surprising that Kitty’s skills as a photographer and printer are often over looked. But, you would be hard pressed to find a better technical printer in Texas. She comes from the old school of photography that strongly believes in producing photos built on a foundation of technical knowledge, compositional training and studied, intuitive response. Her attention to tone, contrast and texture result in images that are dramatically powerful.

So, drop by the Janette Kennedy Gallery this month to get a glimpse of a different way of life, and to see photographs that are just plain beautiful.

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