Fine Art Photography Daily

Landry Major: Keepers of the West


©Landry Major, Racing The Storm

The Center for Photographic Art, in conjunction with PhotoLucida, is pleased to announce the 2023 Critical Mass Solo Exhibition Award. This year’s recipient is Landry Major. The artist will be exhibiting a large selection of gelatin silver prints from her long-term project, Keepers of the West and will be on the walls of CPA through November 5th, 2023.

Ann Jastrab of CPA shares her thoughts:

When I saw Landry Major’s first large silver gelatin print at the Center for Photographic Art years ago, I didn’t know who she was. I actually didn’t know that she was a woman. I thought with the name Landry, she was a man and maybe a cowboy or a ranch hand or a wrangler or someone who worked the land. The image was of a cowboy with his hat titled down over his face pushing through some thick brush leading his horse on foot. I’m a darkroom printer and the silver print was sublime, breathtaking really. I thought how this photographer merged the two things I love, film and horses, into one magical moment that was more than a portrait of a cowboy. It was a portrait of a lifestyle and not an easy one. Time would pass and there would be another Landry Major image in another juried show, this one of a horse and rider galloping on a ridge under a storm filled sky. The moment is everything, the rush for home, the pending rain, the magnificent animal ears forward racing along. And then I met Landry, a petite woman with blond hair and not a cowboy, but someone who understood what the choice to live that type of life meant.

When the Center for Photographic Art was given the opportunity to present a Solo Show Award to one photographer in PhotoLucida’s Critical Mass competition, I looked through the portfolios of the Top 200 artists and saw Landry Major’s portfolio. Here was a chance for me to fill the gallery in Carmel, California, with not one or two beautiful silver gelatin prints from Landry’s long-term project, “Keepers of the West,” but we could present nearly 30 images from this incredible series. It’s an honor and a gift to be able to bring this exhibition to our historic gallery. Thank you to PhotoLucida and to Landry Major for all your work on making this dream come true.


©Landry Major, The Barn in Winter

Keepers of the West

My childhood summers were spent on a family dairy farm in Nova Scotia. Waking at dawn and herding cows alone in the field, where the only sounds were the birds waking and the gentle murmurs of the cows. The smell of fresh milk and fields of grass were the touchstones of my youth. The barn where I helped my uncle hand-milk the cows is now gone back into the earth.

My ongoing series Keepers of the West took me back to fields at dawn, this time on the family-run ranches of the American West. Visions of the West have long been central to our culture, but the way of life of the cowboy and the family-run ranch is fast disappearing.

Over half of all family owned ranches in Montana are run by people over 65 and many of their children are not choosing to remain in ranching.

It is because I recognize these struggles that my series celebrates the beauty of family-run ranches. The lives of these people are framed by hardship, yet they thrive in the simpler way of life that remains their routine, and in the stewardship of the land and the animals they tend.

Over the past four years I have witnessed the strength, determination and commitment of these families to continue this way of life, and pass it on to their children. The images are made up of the places, people, and creatures that have welcomed me into their world to remind us of the arresting moments of grace and beauty found in a life lived under the wide-open western skies.


©Landry Major, The Crossing

Landry Major is an American artist based in Los Angeles, California. Her imagery explores the ideas of home, culture and our relationship to the land and animals that we steward. In a world that has become more virtual and digital, her work is a reminder of a more visceral and simple life. Landry has won honors from Critical Mass, Communications Arts, and Lurzer’s Archive. Her work has been seen in Black + White Magazine (UK), Analog Forever Magazine, Western Art Collector, The New York Times and Time Magazine.

Instagram: @landrymajorart


©Landry Major, The Family Gather


©Landry Major, End of Day


©Landry Major, Freedom


©Landry Major, Houston, TX


©Landry Major, Coming Home


©Landry Major, Crae In The Field


©Landry Major, Bronco Riding


©Landry Major, Buck Hits with a Stick Regalia


©Landry Major, Justin and the Sky


©Landry Major, Houton, TX


©Landry Major, Houton, TX


©Landry Major, The Crossing


©Landry Major, Dip in the Water Tank

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