Terri Holbrook, Rural Kansas Member Since November 2016 Artist Statement The exquisite architecture of Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza, the city’s fountains, the people, their art, music and rich history served as the backdrop for Ms. Holbrook’s first thirty-five years. In sharp contrast, the culture and images of Northwest Kansas’ High Plains sculpted the next decades. It was the rich history of these high plains and its photographic documentation that compelled and eventually captured her attention. In 2005, Terri began working with a notable historian, author and journalist writing articles for a small regional paper. Subsequently, she was introduced to a remarkable woman, nationally recognized, fellow historian, Angela Bates. Together, Holbrook and Bates embarked on a journey which would culminate in the formation of the Kansas High Plains Black Migration and Settlement Preservation Project. The unprecedented project captures and reflects the history of the black migration and settlement into the western High Plains, specifically Phillips County, relative to focal migration to and settlement of Nicodemus. The Kansas High Plains Black Migration and Settlement Preservation Project identifies and correlates common individuals and families relative to this migration and settlement and, principally, Phillips County. Terri’s photographic documentation and pictorial preservation of the settlement sites is unparalleled. Terri has been photographing historic places, peoples, sports, events for decades, progressing from the standard 35mm film camera to the digital era. Terri was privileged to have known and cherished as her adopted grandfather, Harrison Hartley, a notable artist and painter who was well acquainted with Walt Disney and whose artistic work forever influenced the attitude and tonality of her photography. Too, Terri’s paternal grandfather, Randolph Holbrook, was a affluent photographer in the Springfield, Missouri area during the early 20th. Century, certainly having effect upon her talents and work. Her work, her photographic style, is continually evolving. She is currently working on a photo-journalistic project entitled Faces of ‘Demus and is compiling research for a book on the intimate historical relationship between the pioneers of Nicodemus and the settlement of Phillips County. Possessing a pioneering spirit of independence and tenacity, Terri continues to travel the high plains of Kansas, photographing, researching and writing about the people, their land and history.
Terri’s photo-journalistic style is distinctive, modern, with timeless, classic elements. The depth of her work extends beyond the mere surface recording. Her signature style endeavors to depict the soul of her subject existent beyond the facade.