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Exploring the backroads and byways, James Parker has spent ten years documenting our vanishing entrepreneurial past in these photographs. These images of days gone by remind us of a more peaceful prairie, one not encumbered by fracking and natural gas exploration, or towering farm cooperative silos. Two-lane gravel roads criss-cross our countryside, delineating the sections and homestead lines from another time. Ranch and farm, small town mills and elevators, and railroad spurs now silent save for the whistle of the wind dot the landscape.
There is a peacefulness inherent in these photographs. The wide open spaces that originally drew our ancestors draw us now, with their broad horizons and blue skies. Fencelines and homesteads still endure long after the families that built them have moved on. Standing on the edge of the prairie, one gets the sense that nothing much has changed, yet change is constant. These photographs help us to remember what we value most about our agrarian past, and perhaps can reclaim again.
The eldest son of a historian, I’m interested in the architectural artifacts and geologic history of the West. As an explorer, I use the lens to further my examination of interesting man-made and natural subjects. As an artist, I’m interested in the effects of the passage of time on a geologic and a human scale. Sweeping western vistas, quirky artifacts & architectural details highlight my fine art work. Whether photographing patterns of wind and water in a desert canyon or the textures of a faded ranch, my visual commentary echoes the politics, history and cultures that collided in Westward expansion. Each image invites the viewer to imagine her own story in the things we've left behind. I am also available for portraits, events and assignments. With a degree in Visual Communication, my design experience adds a layer of expertise not usually available from commercial studios.