Garland photographer Rachel Guillory will be the first to tell you she doesn’t do outside.
A self-proclaimed concrete jungle type, digging in the dirt and planting vegetables would be the last activity she’d be caught doing. Well, that is, before she started her latest photography project a year ago.
After completing class projects looking at the work of south Dallas’ Bonton Farms, the University of Texas at Dallas grad was moved to do her part in alleviating the area’s food desert.
Last September she began weekly visits to Bonton’s new acreage to document its transformation from concrete dumpsite to a fully functioning farm.
“Images tell a story, they evoke emotion other than just me going out there to plant.” said Guillory, who also is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
It wasn’t long before she sat down her camera and got her own hands in the dirt.
“I couldn’t not help,” she said. “I’d take my images, put my camera down, and get super dirty.”
It was a change of pace from the work she’d been used to with her commercial clients in the Dallas area.
“There’s new stuff every week, so it’s never the exact same experience,” Guillory said of Bonton.
“We all know there’s beauty in nature, but it’s right here in Dallas and it doesn’t require you driving two hours.”
Of the thousands she’s taken, Guillory selected 30 images to be featured in an upcoming art show, “Bonton Farms: A Reclamation of Land” at the Aloft Downtown Dallas hotel. The one-night show Aug. 29 is being funded through a $7,500 grant from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs’ Cultural Vitality Program.
Guillory wants visitors to see there’s beauty in work and nature in their own backyard.
“We all know there’s beauty in nature, but it’s right here in Dallas and it doesn’t require you to drive two hours,” she said.
She plans for proceeds from the show to fund a coffee table book of her work documenting a year in the life at Bonton Farms Extension and its work to give area residents access to fresh foods.
“Sometimes money isn’t the solution. It’s the time, people, and the community,” she said.
IF YOU GO
Bonton Farms: A Reclamation of Land
When: 7 p.m. with VIP reception at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 29
Where: Aloft Downtown Dallas, 1033 Young St., in Dallas
Cost: $20 for general admission; $35 for VIP
More Info & Tickets: bit.ly/2f5uuBZ
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