PaperCity Magazine

Round Top Show Guide Spring 2023

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PHOTO FOCUS: BLACK COWBOYS IN THE LENS DREW PERLMUTTER COURTESY THE ARTIST A rising talent on the national photographic scene comes into focus in Round Top this spring, in advance of a soon-to-be-announced project with a major Houston arts institution. Gem Hale is a former Texan now residing in Atlanta, where he's an in- demand photographer specializing in the music scene. Clients include Atlantic Records, Capital Records, and Houston headquartered Stomp Down. But it's a personal body of work that he brings to Round Top. Hale says of the "Hay Day" series, his second Texas solo: "I have been working on this project for the past four years on Black ranches in the American South/Southeast to explore where I came from … spending time on trail rides, farms, and horse ranches, making connections with these people while trying to get an idea of why they are still so passionate about not just the culture but the necessity of the job." Co-organized by Mathis Walker, another 20-something in the wings, Hale's documentary images are billed as "a celebration of Black cowboys telling the story of a narrative lost to time but alive and well in the South." The lyrical photographs — land, animals, ranchers — are simple, direct, and luminous, speaking to identity and the underknown American tradition of the Black cowboy that Hale's lens sensitively records. "Gem Hale: Hay Day," Friday and Saturday, March 31 and April 1, 2 to 10 pm, at a private farm, Ledbetter; open to the public, RSVP required, gemxhale. com/hay-day-galler y-round-top-texas. Catherine D. Anspon A rtist Ryan Buenning h a s l a u n c h e d a 14,000-square-foot seasonal venue dubbed The Horseshoe, opening in time for the March Antiques & Design Show, with Prize Home + Garden and artist Chad Kilgore as headlining vendors. The Horseshoe is located on properties formerly occupied by The Royal Standard and The Texas Rose, across Highway 237 from the Marburger Farm Antique Show. Other familiar vendors signed up to show at The Horseshoe this season include Antiques & Vintage and Mill Collective. The Horseshoe will also debut upcycled industrial equipment from furniture maker Iron Rodeo. Buenning currently resides on the venue property, having made a move from his home base in San Francisco to Round Top during the pandemic. His grandly scaled silhouettes of classic country music stars (Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings) are a fa- miliar sight along Highway 237 during the antiques shows. "My business has flourished in Round Top, so it made sense for the hub to move here," Buenning says. "I saw an opportunity to be a landlord instead of just a tenant and put a creative spin on the place." His future expansion plans include clearing space for vendor tents and an outdoor seating area with food and drink offerings under the sprawling oak trees. The Horseshoe, 2105 S. Texas Highway 237, Round Top. Candice Cowin The Horseshoe HITS THE GROUND RUNNING Gem Hale's See Me for What I Am, 2021 Gem Hale Ryan Buenning, owner of the new Horseshoe venue Iron Rodeo 117

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