Voices of Courage: Louisiana Trail Riders exhibition opens at artspace

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – An art professor from Louisiana State University will share his collection of photographs, capturing the culture of African-American cowboys, in his exhibition “Louisiana Trail Riders.” It opens Saturday, June 12th at artspace, located at 708 Texas Street in downtown Shreveport.

“I was out on a Sunday motorcycle ride and came across a riding group on one of the country roads in rural Louisiana,” said Jeremiah Ariaz, LSU professor and photographer.

So he pulled over and pulled out his camera. He was invited to spend the day with the group.

“It came to a conclusion in a big open space… a field… and people were having a cookout and people were having a good time,” Ariaz explained. “There was music playing.”

That encounter led to four years of joining the weekly rides, documenting the Louisiana Trail Ride culture and researching what he says are little-known traditions and contributions of Black cowboys.

“This equestrian culture and this Creole culture in Louisiana, of people on horseback, extends back to the 1700’s,” said Ariaz.

He wrote a book and created a traveling exhibition, which he hopes will be enjoyable and enlightening.

“I felt that there were very limited depictions of Black life in popular media and what my photographs showed was grace, joy, pride, and just beauty,” shared Ariaz. “I hope that it can expand what felt to be a very limited depiction of Black life.”

Click here to learn more about the exhibition and other events at artspace.

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