John Key

I have been taking photographs for more than twenty years.  My only formal photographic education was a photojournalism course and a course in darkroom printing that I took in college.  I shoot both black and white and color film and do all of my own darkroom work.  Though I shoot a variety of subjects and in a variety of places, the landscape of the Texas Panhandle has been the focus of my work.  Some people say that the panhandle is flat and uninteresting, but I have never found this to be true.  Photography is primarily about capturing light.  With the right sky and the right light, even the most ordinary, flat, cultivated land can take on a magical quality. Cacti, yucca, rock formations, and other seemingly harsh elements of the landscape here can be beautiful and interesting in the light of dawn or dusk.  The breaks in the caprock (even beyond Palo Duro Canyon) are endlessly fascinating to me.  I took courses in geology and anthropology in high school and developed an appreciation for the unique character of this area and the forces that created it.  I can think of nowhere I would rather be than along the Canadian River or one of its creeks in the first two or the last two hours of daylight on a day with clouds in the sky.  This is what I try to express in my  photography.


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Key was born and raised in Dumas, Texas and is a graduate of Dumas High School.  He holds a BA degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of International Journalism degree from Baylor University.  He  also served as an officer in the United States Army and Army Reserve and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

Key has exhibited prints at the Panhandle Art Center and The Colony Frame and Gallery in Amarillo.  In the recent past, he has displayed prints at shows of the Amarillo Fine Arts Association and the Galleries at Sunset Center, among others.  In April of 2012, he had a one-man show at the Dumas Art Center, and from 2013 to 2014 he exhibited photographs in Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport as part of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce's "Art in the Airport" program.