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Looking for Texas
by Rick Vanderpool

In 1994, shortly after moving to Commerce, Texas, photographer Rick Vanderpool began a series of trips that would total over 20,000 miles and 54 days to visit all 254 counties in Texas. While he photographed anything else that caught his interest from road kill and wildflowers, to grand views and tumbleweeds he was mostly looking for Texas; simply the word, in all its infinite variety of size, shape, color, style and material. Anywhere. On anything. And with character as in worn, weathered, carved, etched, painted, stitched, tooled, scrawled, scratched or sculpted. From movie marquis, t-shirts and belt buckles; to barns, ball caps and tattoos.

Selecting from the more than 1,000 images of the state name, Vanderpool fashioned a unique graphic representation titled "Looking for Texas." He then set about to enlist a couple dozen other photographers to cover all 50 states in a similar manner. StateArt was born.