Noel Camardo is a photographer based in Brooklyn, NY, who grew up in downtown New York City. He received his BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology. His work focuses on the humor and pathos of life. For the past twelve years he has lived in Brooklyn, NY working in commercial photography while also pursuing his personal work. Today we share his series Dusty Roses.
Dusty Roses was made in and about Corsicana, Texas, while I was a resident at 100West artist residency. This is a story about an aging American town, attempting to find its identity after an incredible oil boom.
In the early 1890s the City of Corsicana, Texas had outgrown its water supply. While attempting to tap a water well in the area, the city hit a large pocket of oil. This was the first significant discovery of oil west of the Mississippi River, and it led to Texas’ first oil boom.
By 1900, Corsicana had grown considerably, with three banks, twelve newspapers, eight hotels, forty-nine retail stores, a cotton mill, thirty-two doctors, and thirty-five saloons. The oil boom brought a new wave of prosperity to the town. In 1953, it was claimed to have the highest per capita income of any Texas city. However, as oil production faded, the economy turned away from oil.
Today’s economy is little reliant on oil and gas. Major employers include Russell Stover Candies and Collin Street Bakery, Corsicana Bedding, the Kohl’s and Home Depot distribution centers, and Navarro Regional hospital. There are several 24/7 pharmacies, grocery stores and chain department stores scattered about the town. College Park Mall is an enclosed shopping mall which primarily houses a Beall’s clothing store. Additionally, a 24-hour Wal-Mart Supercenter is located on the southwestern edge of the town.
To view more of Noel’s work, please visit his website.