From Dorothea Lange in the Great-Depression 1930s, and Robert Frank in the Cold-War 1950s, to Stephen Shore in the Vietnam-era 1970s, Walker Pickering continues the grand tradition of socially engaged photographic road trips across the United States. With his medium-format film camera, he discovers and documents a panoply of American places in square-format photographs that remind us of who we are as individuals and members of a society. Urban parking lots, rural roads, monuments, motel rooms, and roadside attractions receive Pickering’s equal, loving attention. Often infused with golden sunlight and blending beauty with apparent ugliness, his landscapes are both physical and psychic spaces.
– Toby Kamps, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Menil Collection
Esprit de Corps
In the United States every spring, musicians travel to cities throughout the country for several weekend training camps. They are 21 years or younger and are members of elite marching organizations known as Drum & Bugle Corps. Summer is filled with non-stop bus travel, full-day rehearsals, marching practice, and little privacy. They compete and bond through an activity that is at once unknown by much of the general public yet beloved by their many fans. As autumn nears, high school and college marching bands begin their own summer band camps in preparation for a season of football halftime performances and competitions.
Most members of the marching arts are in their late teens and early twenties. This age range coincides with some of the most awkward and complex times in a young person's maturation. Many aspects of their lives are in constant flux, as they cultivate myriad interests and lasting friendships. A sense of camaraderie develops between people when music is connected to physical activity. Esprit de Corps refers to that camaraderie — literally, the spirit of the group — that unites these young people.
Walker Pickering is an artist and educator from Texas, now living in the Midwest. He is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he has taught photography, video, and bookmaking since 2014. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, and is included in a number of private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and The Wittliff Collection of Southwestern & Mexican Photography. He is the recipient of the 2013 Clarence John Laughlin Award.
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