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The Low Turn Row: A Journey in Time

With Wendy Watriss, Frederick Baldwin, and Corey Harris

Nov 10, 2018, 06:30 PM Moody Center for the Arts $20.00 Get Tickets

This is a story about discovery of history and heritage, the ten-year journey of Wendy Watriss and Frederick Baldwin, two free-lance photographers who left their life of global reporting in 1971 to work in the USA to revisit and relive the stories of people whose families settled and cultivated the frontier and how their histories shaped the social and political character of our nation today. Living for two years in the back pasture of African American farmers, Watriss and Baldwin photographed, listened, and recorded the stories of people who settled and developed Grimes County, a county north of Houston, the western edge of the corn and cotton culture that grew from the arrival of white, Old South planters who moved west in search of new lands for cotton farming in the 19th century.

This event is the beginning of a longer documentary about their journey through the American experience. It is a combination of images, words, music, dialogue, and conversation based on the story of people and their memories in photographs and video, excerpts of films, interviews, and live performances of Blues music of  live Blues music of Mance Lipscomb, who described the experiences of African Americans in Grimes County.  Renowned Blues musician Corey Harris, who is playing Mance Lipscomb's music, will also do a live performance of contemporary Blues music.

Country, Year United States, 2018
DirectorJohn Simmons
Runtime60 MINS, 00 SECS
SubjectHistory, Photography
Event TypeLive Cinema
Special Guests

Wendy Watriss and Frederick Baldwin

Co-founder of FotoFest International in 1983, Wendy Watriss has worked as a freelance photographer, writer curator, newspaper reporter, and producer of television documentaries from 1965-2017. From 1991 to 2014, she was FotoFest’s artistic and publications director, curating and organizing more than sixty international exhibitions on photography and mixed media art. Watriss conceived and produced the award-winning book Image and Memory: Photography from Latin America, 1866-1994 and several other books, as well as eleven FotoFest Biennial catalogues. With Frederick Baldwin, she co-authored Looking at the U.S. 1957-1986 and Coming to Terms: The German Hill Country of Texas. As a documentary photographer in her own right, Watriss’ own work has been exhibited internationally; her photo documentary essays have been published worldwide in The Smithsonian, Life, Newsweek, The New York Times, GEO, Stern, among many others.


Co-founder and chairman of FotoFest, Frederick Baldwin has had an extensive career as a photographer working around the world. His photographs have been published in Esquire, National Geographic, Life, The New York Times, Newsweek and Geo, among many others. Baldwin taught photography at the University of Texas and was the head of the photojournalism program at the University of Houston. He was Peace Corps director in Borneo in the 1960s and, subsequently, worked in the civil rights movement as a volunteer photographer for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He has published two books of his photographs on the civil rights movement in Savannah, Georgia, Freedom’s March (2008) and We Ain’t What We Used to Be (1983).

Wendy Watriss and Frederick Baldwin have been co-recipients of many honors and awards including the Vision Award from the Center for Photography (Woodstock, NY) for their contributions to photography and photographic artists, nationally and internationally, the  Lifetime Achievement Award from the Houston Fine Arts Fair (2012). Photographs by Wendy Watriss and Frederick Baldwin are in the collections of The Menil Collection, Houston; Bibliothéque Nationale de France, Paris; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas at Austin.

Corey Harris

With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Corey Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music. Although well versed in the early history of blues guitar, he’s no well-mannered preservationist, mixing a considerable variety of influences – from New Orleans to the Caribbean to Africa – into his richly expressive music.

In 1995, Alligator released Harris’ debut album, ‘Between Midnight and Day’, a one-man, one-guitar affair that illustrated his mastery of numerous variations on the Delta blues style. In 1999, Harris released what most critics called his strongest work to date, ‘Greens from the Garden’, a kaleidoscope of black musical styles. On Rounder Records in 2002, he released ‘Downhome Sophisticate’, a typically eclectic outing that explored his African influences and added Latin music to his seemingly endless sonic palette. Reggae influences came to the forefront in his Telarc albums Zion Crossroads  (2007)and Blu Black (2009). Released in 2013, ‘Fulton Blues’ found Harris revisiting several of his hybrid blues forms in a varied and interesting set.

In 2003 Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese film, ‘Feel Like Going Home’, which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. In 2007, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship – commonly referred to as a “genius award.”. That same year, he was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Bates College.