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Lone star: Dornith Doherty receives big honor for her photography work

Dornith DohertyDornith Doherty, right, is still amazed she can make art by capturing light rays radiating off her subjects.

And others have found the Distinguished Research Professor’s photography amazing.

The Texas Commission of the Arts named Doherty the 2016 Texas State Visual Artist 2D from more than 600 nominees. The Commission also named its state poet laureates, musician and 2D and 3D artists for 2015 and 2016, and the Texas State Legislature approved the appointments in May.

 “It is a profound honor to be appointed Texas State Artist,” Doherty said. “I am inspired by the prolific creative and intellectual achievements accomplished by my esteemed fellow artists during the span of their careers. Their steadfast commitment to making serious work that is challenging and contributes to the cultural life of our state makes me very proud to be counted among them.”

Doherty, who has taught in the College of Visual Arts and Design for 19 years, has focused on the “complex relationship between the natural environment and human agency through photographic projects focusing on landscape stewardship and genetic resource preservation.”

Her projects include documenting “the culturally inflected landscape” of the Rio Grande River valley in a series called Agua Quemada and photographing the preservation work of seed banks from around the world in Archiving Eden

Museums around the world have exhibited her works, and numerous magazines and journals have featured them. She was a 2012 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and has received grants from the Fulbright Foundation, Japan Foundation, the Society for Contemporary Photography, the Indiana Arts Commission and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

She also was a 2010 UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts Faculty Fellow, which allowed her to take a semester off from teaching to pursue her art.She received her bachelor’s degree from Rice University and a master’s of fine arts in photography from Yale University.

“I am fascinated by photography and its poetic realism,” she said. “The metaphoric qualities of photographic images captured my attention from the start, and I've photographed seriously from that moment on.”

- Jessica DeLeón, University Relations, Communications and Marketing

Dornith Doherty joins the other Texas state poet laureates, musicians and 2D and 3D artists for 2015 and 2016 (from left to right) artists Vincent Valdez, Margo Sawyer and Dario Robleto and (second row) musicians Jimmie Vaughn Joe Ely, Texas Senator Jose Menendez, Doherty, and poets Laurie Ann Guerrero and Carmen Tafolla. Photo courtesy Dornith Doherty.

2015-16 Texas State Artists

Posted on: Fri 26 June 2015

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