Texas Tech University

National Ranching Heritage Center Hosts 'SaddleUP: An Evening with Joe Vitone'

Adrian Hawkins

March 1, 2022

Cowboys herding cattle in Jeff Davis County, Texas, in 2016. (Photo by Joe Vitone)

The event is scheduled for this Friday evening.

* Cowboys herding cattle in Jeff Davis County, Texas, in 2016. (Photo by Joe Vitone)

Photographer Joe Vitone will discuss the creation of his exhibit, "SaddleUP: Texas Ranching Tradition," Friday (March 4) from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Red McCombs Main Gallery at the National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) at Texas Tech University.

Vitone, a documentary fine art photographer and educator, focuses his work primarily on capturing life in the countryside and traditional agriculture locally and abroad. Vitone is professor of photocommunication at St. Edwards University in Austin.

“His work is held in several collections,” explained Scott White, NRHC Helen DeVitt Jones Endowed Director of Collections, Exhibits and Research. "They include the Cleveland Museum of Art, Center for Creative Photography, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Hungarian Museum of Photography and Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History."

Supported by a grant from The State Affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the SaddleUP exhibit features 21 framed 18-inch-by-22-inch portraits and 19 framed 11.5-inch-by-17.5-inch action photographs, as well as a film by Lori Najvar offering insights on modern Texas ranchers, their lifestyles and the challenges they face.

The traveling exhibit opened in the Texas State Capitol in 2018 and is made available to museums throughout the state by PolkaWorks, a multimedia nonprofit dedicated to unique aspects of cultural traditions. 

Made possible by the Helen Jones Foundation, the reception will be free of charge and include refreshments and hors d'oeuvres. The SaddleUP exhibit will remain on display through 2022.

About the NRHC

The NRHC is a 27-acre museum and historical park that offers educational programs and exhibits about ranching history and contemporary ranching issues. The center is located at 3121 Fourth St. in Lubbock and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, and the historical park is wheelchair and stroller accessible.