ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for these Hawley High School art students, the memories are priceless.
“To be in the middle of a historical event was really cool, and it was nice as an adult watching them interact with history,” said CTE photography teacher Evynne Caffey.
As a part of Hawley ISD summer CTE photography program, Caffey says students can experience life through a lens.
“We were all in the same spot; we were all in the same area, but every personality in each student and photographer saw things in a different way,” said Caffey.
Over the last few weeks, Caffey says she and the students have traveled over a thousand miles taking pictures, leading them to capture the devastation of the Mesquite Heat Fire.
“We’re driving by, and you just see all the dead livestock as it’s just lying on the ground,” said CTE student Ava Davis.
“I was overwhelmed by the smell and blackness around it,” said CTE student Hailey Crutchfield.
While on the trip, the students approached their assignment as photojournalists, recording history as it was happening. In the photos, black char, burnt landscape, and even the pink fire retardant are seen.
“I took pictures of anything that was burnt or had burnt pieces and had a little green on it because I wanted to show that there was going to be still life after this,” said Crutchfield.
For recent high school graduate, Rylie Price says being on this trip meant a lot more.
“My sister has some special health issues that I’m trained to take care of,” said Price.
Price also recently enlisted in the army, soon leaving behind her family and sister Reagan who also attended this trip, for the next 5 years.
“The experience to not only be there with my sister but to really cherish the things you have in life because they can literally in a split second not be there anymore,” said Price.
Now their photographs are shared with the community, allowing others to see the Mesquite Heat Fire from different points of view.
As a part of Abilene’s June ArtWalk, the students’ work is now on display at the Cockerell Art Gallery, located at 1133 North Second Street.