Texas Tech University

2023 High and Dry Juror: Bill Wright


 Bill WrightAccomplished businessman, author, and photographer, Bill Wright has explored and recorded journeys from all over the globe. His 1998 University of Texas Press publication, Portraits from the Desert: Bill Wright's Big Bend, follows the release of two photographic studies of Native American tribes, The Texas Kickapoo: Keepers of Tradition and The Tiguas: Pueblo Indians of Texas. His book A Bridge from Darkness to Light shares his experience teaching digital photography to young Afghan students. Fort Phantom Hill explains the mystery behind those tall ruins you find in Jones County, echoed in the architecture of Frontier Texas! in Abilene. His book, People's Lives: A Photographic Celebration of the Human Spirit, was released by the University of Texas Press in 2001, and the photographs from this collection continue to tour. In the spring of 2005, Texas A&M University Press released The Texas Outback: Ranching on the Last Frontier. In this project, Wright wrote the text, and the photographs are those of June Van Cleef. In 2013, Bill partnered with Marcia Daudistel to produce Authentic Texas: People of the Big Bend. His tenth book, The Whole Damn Cheese: Maggie Smith, Border Legend, followed in 2018. In 2021, TCU Press re-released an updated Bridge from Darkness to Light and, in 2023, published the journal of Celia Hill—another book in his series about Big Bend residents. Bill continues photographing everything that catches his eye and enjoys mentoring other photographers.

Bill is a long-time supporter of Texas Tech International Affairs. In 2021, we were honored to display “People's Lives: A Photographic Celebration of the Human Spirit”, a traveling exhibit of Bill's photographs produced by Humanities Texas. His work is included in many state, national, and international collections.