Jeremiah Ariaz received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and MFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His artworks explore the West as both a physical space and a terrain for the imagination. Notions of place and history, the relationship of idealized landscapes to the lived environments, and romantic myths of the West inform his work.
Ariaz has exhibited artwork, delivered papers, and has been invited to speak about his photography nationally and internationally. Recent projects include Plain Song, Staging the West, Tucumcari, Reconsidering Landscape, Fact and Fiction: Imaging the West, and Louisiana Trail Riders.
Ariaz is an Associate Professor of Art at Louisiana State University.
Plain Song features photographs from my family’s ancestral farm in Russell County, my mother’s home in Great Bend, and friends and family in Kansas where I was raised.
The biographical images show a stark and sometimes unsettling beauty. On the farm that has been in the family for five generations, Big Creek runs through the landscape, a symbol of the continuity of time. Here my cousin, his wife, and eight kids currently reside, re-inhabiting a land first homesteaded by our kin at the opening of the frontier. Most of the area is still designated as frontier today, with a population density of fewer than six people per square mile. People seem to simultaneously stand out from, yet be shaped by the surroundings. The photographs show the fragility of life on the Great Plains – as well as the resilience of those residing there.
To view more of Jeremiah’s work please visit his website.