Sagebrush Vernacular is a book published by Nevada Humanities featuring the photographs of Peter Goin's Advanced Photography curriculum.
This story begins in the late summer of the first year of the new millenium. Under cool lights on a hot August afternoon, students gather in a university classroom. Only days before, I had challenged every one of them that their work would occupy a place in Nevada's history—if they rose to the occasion! "How often," Peter asked, "...does any artist have an opportunity to know—in advance—that their work will be saved for posterity?" The thought that what they were about to begin would result in a significant collaborative document, a substantial archive, is both wonderful and sobering at the same time. Regardless of my challenge, the photographs must endure for their own intrinsic value, for the quality of the craft and of the vision, and because of the breadth of the collaborative effort. Yet it is worth noting that these are undergraduate students early in their photographic training, untested in professional arenas. On this day, these students were offered an opportunity to bear witness to Nevada's changing rural agricultural landscape.
This resulted in the Nevada Humanities publication edited by Stephen R. Davis, Assistant Director, and was heraled by many, including Governor Guinn in a public ceremony.
The photographs from this project, approximately 500 of them, are housed in the Special Collections Department, University of Nevada, Reno. This archive is the largest, most significant archive of photographs created in the history of Nevada. Its historical significance is already being recognized, as many of the structures have been torn down, burnt, or damaged. (The entire collection of images can be found here.)