Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

February 12, 2007

Contact: Contact: Mike Emery
713.743.8186 (office)
713.415.6551 (pager)


The media often depicts the small southeast Texas town of Vidor as a hotbed of racial tension. Photographer Dave Anderson has shown a different side of the community in his book “Rough Beauty,” which he will discuss during a lecture at the University of Houston.

Sponsored by UH’s new Visual Studies program, this free public event will begin at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 19 in the Kiva room of UH’s Farish Hall. Anderson will talk about “Rough Beauty” and present slides from this unique photographic project. He’ll also answer questions from the audience and sign copies of his book and photos, both of which will be sold at the event.

“Rough Beauty” is a collection of photographs taken between 2003 and 2006 that features images of Vidor’s residents and its rural landscapes.

“Dave Anderson’s wonderfully evocative photographs of Vidor provide a fascinating site for discussions of perception, interpretation and investigation,” said Tracy Xavia Karner, director of UH Visual Studies and associate professor of sociology. “He holds up a mirror to a relatively invisible, though large and growing, segment of our society. His images, I would argue, tell us as much about ourselves as the residents of Vidor.”

Anderson’s work was recognized at Houston’s 2004 FotoFest Meeting Place, and he earned top honors at the Santa Fe Center for Photography 2005 Project Competition. He previously worked for President Bill Clinton’s communications and media affairs office and MTV’s “Choose or Lose” voter registration campaign. He has been recognized as “one of the shooting stars of the American photo scene” by Germany’s fotoMAGAZIN and was on Photo District News’ list of photographers to watch. His work has appeared in several publications including Esquire, ESPN and Stern.

UH’s Visual Studies program explores all aspects of visual culture. It draws on faculty from more than a dozen disciplines including anthropology, art, cognitive science, communication, history, literary and media studies, optometry, philosophy, psychology and sociology. It is unique in its breadth and inclusiveness in the United States.

The lecture is co-sponsored by Watermark Fine Art Photographs & Books and UH’s Texas Learning and Computation Center. For more information, visit

WHAT: Visual Studies lecture: Dave Anderson on “Rough Beauty”
WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 19
WHERE: University of Houston
Farish Hall – Kiva Room
Houston, TX 77004
For directions, visit
WHO: UH Visual Studies

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at