In mid-October, I attended an American Farmland Trust event at Rising Meadow Farm in Liberty, NC. I was there to host our SCA popup exhibit, Rising Meadow, curated by Medford Curatorial Associate Tsing Liu. Tsing’s position is being funded by Houck and KB Medford to support the access and preservation of Houck’s documentary photograph collection housed in Special Collections & Archives which focuses on the states of North Carolina, Virginia, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Tsing selected images, wrote and mounted labels, designed the exhibit format, and assisted with marketing and outreach.
Houck Medford is from Waynesville, N.C., and is a third-generation dentist. He attended Wake Forest University (1972), received a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Emory University, and after a residency at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, was the first faculty member of Wake Forest University Medical Center’s Department of Dentistry. In 1997, Medford created the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and left the organization in 2010 as CEO Emeritus and Founder.
Houck focuses his artistry on documentary photography, filmmaking, and artists’ books and has created numerous series on different geographic landscapes throughout the region. One of his most recent publications, Rising Meadow, was a collaboration with former North Carolina Poet Laureate, Joseph Bathanti, who provided his poetry to correspond with Houck’s photographs.
Rising Meadow Farm, owned by Ann and Ron Fay, is 128 acres of fields, meadows, and woodland. Their focus is on raising sheep, both for wool and meat, in addition to Angora goats, llamas, and chickens. In 2011 the farm was placed under a Conservation Easement with the Piedmont Land Conservancy.
Houck and Joseph are donating the proceeds from their Rising Meadow book sales to the American Farmland Trust, a nonprofit organization in the United States that works to protect farmland, promote environmentally sound farming practices, and keep farmers on the land. The event was to thank Houck, Joseph, the local farming community, and donors.
Tsing is next curating What Happened? Houck Medford’s Documentary Witness for Floyd County, Virginia, which will be on display at the Yadkinville Cultural Arts Center in Yadkinville, North Carolina. The exhibit will be on display beginning January 5 through February 24, and there will be an opening reception on Friday, January 13, from 5:00-7:00 pm.