The 33 students, along with Principal Jean Blankenship and consultant Karla Gutierrez visited the Institute of Texan Cultures on March 31 to see UTSA President Ricardo Romo’s “Small Town Texas” photography exhibit and learn how Romo, as a historian, set out on this unique project.
Romo used photography to help document the barrios of East Los Angeles while working on master’s and doctorate degrees in history. As president of The University of Texas at San Antonio, his travels have taken him around the state, with little time to visit the small towns he passed through on the way to his destinations.
Rhett Rushing, a researcher with the institute, visited the Beeville students March 25. As the director of the institute’s oral history program, he shared his knowledge and experience on how to legally, ethically and effectively record and photograph citizens, capturing their stories for academic pursuit and historic preservation.
At the institute, educators Carey Eagan and Olga Paolucci led workshops on interpreting photos and how to write effective captions using the “W’s of journalism,” who, what, when, where and why. Combined with Romo’s passion for photography and his perspective on capturing the histories of small towns through pictures and stories, the students documented Beeville for their own exhibit at the institute, which was displayed as a part of Family Day on May 15.
The students were welcomed back to put on “Beeville: My Small Town,” a show of photography, artworks and travel brochures they created as a result of the project.
The project has now come back home to Beeville and is on display at the Beeville Art Museum.
The museum will hold an opening reception Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. for this exhibit, as well as the Children’s Exhibition and Texas Artists’ Exhibition. The reception will be given as a part of Family Art Day.