“The Ties That Bind” features original works which focus on the theme of the family. The show was commissioned by Women & Their Work with the aid of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Photography Survey.
Rita Starpattern, director of Women and Their Work, explained the origin of the exhibition’s theme. “During President Carter’s White House Conference on the Family, it was discovered that there were many different views on what makes up a family. The exhibition seeks to explore the ways in which people live with people, not in a prescriptive way of telling people how they should be, but in an explorative way, by letting them see many different approaches to the concept of family.”
The photographers who participated in the Photography Survey program and exhibition were Gay Block (Houston), Alan Pogue (Austin), Barbara Riley (Corpus Christi), Janice Rubin (Houston), Wendy Watriss (Houston), Ron Evans (Dallas), Suzanne Paul (Houston), and Keith Carter (Beaumont).
These photographers had published and exhibited widely at the time of this show. Their photo credits include news magazines such as Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, Nuestro, Texas Observer, and Texas Monthly, and art journals such as Artweek, Art in America, and Camera Magazine. Each photographer had exhibited in museums, shows, and galleries.
The Ties That Bind was also exhibited from September 17th to October 30th, 1982, at the Nave Museum in Victoria. During that exhibition, photographer Barbra Riley presented a lecture about her work.