Traveling ‘American Farmer’ exhibit at Chandler Museum - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Traveling ‘American Farmer’ exhibit at Chandler Museum

April 15th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Traveling ‘American Farmer’ exhibit at Chandler Museum

By SanTan Sun News

A new traveling exhibition, “American Farmer,” has arrived at Chandler Museum.

Running through May 25, it features 45 portraits, by photographer Paul Mobley, showing the geographic and cultural diversity of those who grow the nation’s food.

“The portraits capture the soul of our country’s farm communities and document a rural culture that remains rooted in the principles of tradition, family, integrity, and hard work,” a museum spokeswoman said in a release.

Crisscrossing the country, from Alaska to Florida, Mobley and his camera were welcomed into the homes of hundreds of farm families. Mobley came to know the independent farmer’s spirit from both behind the lens and across the dinner table. The resulting images show farmers with a strong sense of where they belong in the universe, a close connection to the land, and a willingness to take risks.

The images are accompanied by stories in the farmers’ own words that are both a testament to their enduring hospitality and a glimpse into the hardships and joys of a quickly disappearing way of life—one that once defined our national identity and now struggles to remain vital.

From Jim Taber, a young single father raising cattle in Montana, to Shirley Schollenberg, the daughter of Alaskan homesteaders, Mobley’s heroic photographs reveal the true face of American farming.

“They remind us what it means to live with simplicity, contentment, and decency in a world that so often forgets,” the spokeswoman said.

“American Farmer” was curated and organized by ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

“One of the reasons we are hosting this show is to connect Chandler’s agricultural past to farmers across the nation,” said Jillian Nakornthap, exhibits curator at Chandler Museum.  “We’re adding historic photographs and objects from Chandler to show the breadth of the farming in our area.”

From noon-12:30 p.m. May 3, the museum’s History Bites program will present “Arizona Agriculture, Then and Now by Arizona Farm Bureau Outreach Director Julie Murphree. RSVP on

Chandler Museum is located at 300 S. Chandler Village Drive and is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 1-5 p.m. Closed Monday. Free admission.

Information:, or 480-782-2717.

ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to over 100 small- and mid-sized communities a year to “create access to an array of arts and humanities experiences, nurture the understanding of diverse cultures and art forms, and encourage the expanding depth and breadth of cultural life in local communities.”