Ashton Thornhill is a photographer working on the Llano Estacado of Texas. He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and lived there for the first ten years of his life. He and his twin brother David followed their mother to Washington DC and her new job with the then Senate majority leader. Through all kinds of twist and turns the twins landed in Dallas, Texas for high school in the 1960s. Then for Ashton, college studies at Texas Tech. After several years working as a photojournalist, Ashton returned to Lubbock and Texas Tech University. Here he taught photography for the next twenty-nine years. Now retired from the incessant meetings of academe, his interest in this distinctive environment on the plains of Texas have invigorated his photographic interest and challenged his creativeness.
Ashton studied and worked with Hershel Womack at Texas Tech. He had workshops with Kate Breakey, Annie Liebovitz, Ansel Adams, Cole Weston, W. Eugene Smith, Gene Richards, and Keith Carter, among others.
Grounded as a black and white, silver gelatin, photographer of the 60s and 70s Thornhill reluctantly embraced digital tools more than a decade ago. With the advances in digital image making, and eliminating the toxic chemicals and wasted water of the silver gelatin age, Ashton now makes his photographs digitally and prints with the finest color inks and most stable papers available.
Selective Exhibition Record
National/International Juried Group Exhibitions:
Photograph, “Cotton field and Trees” selected as one of 57 images out of 1,447 entries for the “Trees” exhibition at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas. Kevin Tully, juror.2020
Photograph, “Bledsoe Gin” selected to K Space Contemporary national 3rd Coast BIENNAL exhibition juried by Rigoherto Luna, Christie, Texas, September 3rd, 2020
Three photographs accepted in the Dallas Metro Arts Contemporary, Photo National Juried Exhibition, Plano, Texas. 65 works accepted from 43 artists, from 18 states. Portfolio selected best of show. Juried by Byrd Williams IV. 2020
One photograph accepted in the Texas Photographic Society’s Member Only Exhibit juried by Catherine Couturier. 2019
Two photographs accepted, one as third place award and the other as an honorable mention award, in the Texas Photographic Society’s Foto Texas II. Laura Wilson, juror. Exhibit opens at the Museum of the Big Bend, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas. 2018
Photograph selected for “STILL LIFE” exhibition at A Smith Gallery, Johnson, City, Texas, Kate Breakey, juror. Awarded The Director’s Award. 2018
Four Photographs selected in NIGHT – Strathmore Mansion, Bethesda, Maryland. National Competition, juried by Adah Rose Bitterbaum and Erwin Timmers, 2018
Two Photographs selected for the Texas Photographic Society’s TPS27 The International Competition, juried by Kate Breakey, 2018
Two Photographs selected for the Art League of Baytown’s Fotofest Exhibition 2018, “Meditation: Contemplating Stillness”, juried by Steve Goff and Beckwith Thompson, 2017
Photograph, “Nineteen Hay Bales” selected to K Space Contemporary national juried exhibition American Dream. Corpus, Christie, Texas, July 7, 2017
Photograph, “Dancing with Mesquite” selected as one of 67 images out of 1357 entries for the “Trees” exhibition at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas. Michael Kenna, juror.
“Plainview Parking Lot – Plainview, Texas” Selected for third place in the 10th Third Coast National Exhibition at K Space Contemporary Gallery, Corpus, Christi, Texas. 59 pieces were selected, by juror Sharon Kopriva, from 611 images submitted.
Five photographs included in “Experiencing Nature” an exhibition at Houston Methodist Hospital in conjunction with 2016 FotoFest, Houston, TX. February – July, 2016. Curated by Jean Caslin and Diane Griffin Gregory.
Photograph, “Dancing with Mesquite” won second at High and Dry juried exhibit at Texas Tech University’s International Cultural Center- 2015. – Miguel Gandert, juror.
Photograph, Ropesville Warehouse, Ropesville, Texas selected as 1st place at New York City for Photographic Art, Rural Impressions – Exhibit at Manhattan’s Jadite Gallery 413 West 50th Street. 2015 – Frank Meo, juror.
Nine photographs selected by juror Rxion Reed, for the biannual Photo Exhibition: Illuminance at The Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock, Texas. Photograph, Slaton Gin II was awarded 1st place. 2015
A portfolio of five photographs was selected to be part of the 2014 CURRENTS exhibit during NOLAphoto week in New Orleans, Louisiana. The exhibit was held December 4, 2014 through January 5, 2015 at the Ogden Museum. It was curated by Roy Fluckinger.
Photograph selected for Texas Photographic Society’s 26th Annual Members Only Show, 2013, juried by Elizabeth Krist, Senior Photography Editor at National Geographic magazine.
Photographs selected for the Illuminance Exhibit 2013, Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock, Texas , Dianne Dobson, juror.
Photograph selected First Place in High and Dry exhibit, International Culture Center, Texas Tech University. 2012 – O Rufus Lovett – juror
Photograph selected for the exhibition – SIMPLY – Center for Fine Arts, Ft. Collins, CO. 2012 – Louise Clements – juror
Photograph selected for PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT. Online Gallery Annex – 35 selected out of 1000 entries. – S. Gayle Stevens – juror.
Photograph selected Second Place in High and Dry exhibit, International Culture Center, Texas Tech University. 2011 – Roy Fluckinger – juror
Photograph selected from 1,787 entries by 265 artist. The exhibition sponsored by the Texas Photographic Society. TPS14: Ben Breard juried The National Competition. 2005
Solo and Group Exhibitions:
Ashton Thornhill: Photographs of the Llano Estacado & Southern Plains of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico – LEA COUNTY MUSEUM – Lovington, New Mexico : February 21, 2019 through June 24, 2019.
TEXAS NOIR – Photography by Ashton Thornhill. THE GRACE MUSEUM – Abilene, Texas : Thursday, March 30, 2017 through Saturday, August 12, 2017.
Shadow and Silhouette – One person show at LHUCA – Helen Devitt Jones Studio Gallery 2014 – Linda Cullen – curator
P3 – A collaborative show by John Chinn, Wendell Warman-Adams. Buddy Holly Center Fine Arts Gallery. 2013 – Jaquilne Bober – curator
Art on Texas Gallery: Lubbock, Texas. 2008
Buddy Holly Center Fine Arts Gallery, One person show. Lubbock, Texas. 2007
One person show at the Center for Contemporary Art, Abilene, TX, curated by Richard Martin. Thirty-six photographs exhibited. 2000
Currently represented by the Charles Adam Gallery, Lubbock, Texas.
The Lea County Museum, Lovington, New Mexico
The Strathmore Mansion – Bethesda, Maryland
The Grace Museum – Abilene, Texas
Southwest Collection: Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
Harry Ransom Center – University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
Numerous private collections