Mission, Vision & History

Our Mission

Texas Photographic Society is a non-profit organization that celebrates the photographic arts, inspires creative development and provides opportunities to engage with the community.

Our Vision

Founded in 1984, TPS supports its members and the community at large by offering exhibitions, publications, workshops and mentorship programs. Members share a passion for creating, appreciating and understanding all forms of photo-based media, providing a platform for artistic expression, dialogue and innovation in the photographic arts.

Our History

Texas Photographic Society evolved out of an Austin based photo co-op, which was formed in the late 1970s by a small group of photographers who banded together for cooperative film purchasing purposes. In 1982, the group formalized into the Austin Photographic Cooperative (APC) led by President Roy Flukinger. They reorganized in 1984 and incorporated under the name of Texas Photographic Society when Roy Flukinger, Rick Williams and Ave Bonar instituted the Articles of Incorporation, developed supporting bylaws, and attained “not-for-profit” status. Within two years, TPS boasted over 100 members.

During this period, the following persons served as President: Danny Schweers (February 1984-85); Robert Labry (December 1985-86); Julie Newton (November 1986-87); David Stence (November 1987-88); Rick Williams (December 1988-91); George Bristol (December 1991-92) and Rick Williams also served as Executive Director (December 1991-92). Contact Sheet, the society’s longstanding newsletter, was born in 1983—during its first incarnation with APC—and is still in production today. It was edited by Robert Haslanger and published by James Voight at the time. Between 1987 and 1991, TPS established two annual juried exhibitions, now known as the Members’ Only Show and The International Competition, which remain the society’s flagship shows.

In 1993, D. Clarke Evans was elected President, a position he held through 2013. A long-time board member and TPS advocate, Clarke played a pivotal role in the group’s early history and directed TPS into the next frontier. Under Clarke's visionary leadership, TPS became a model non-profit organization, garnering the society "State Wide Service Provider" status from the Texas Commission on the Arts. During Clarke’s tenure, TPS enjoyed record high membership rolls, expanded its international presence and initiated many new significant programs. Over the years, he organized exhibitions across the United States and abroad in addition to educational programs, fellowships, workshops and lectures. After two decades of exemplary contributions to TPS, Clarke retired as President of the Board and Director of TPS and was proudly acknowledged with a reception in his honor during April 2014. Clarke, now serving as President Emeritus, continues to support TPS as it forges ahead under the direction of Amy Holmes George, former TPS Vice President.

Today, TPS continues to flourish. The society is delighted to be celebrating over 30 years of providing programs and services for photographers and their audiences across the country. TPS is backed by a hard-working Board of Directors as well as a dynamic President’s Council and Advisory Council—together 36 strong—which include professional artists, educators, authors, curators, collectors and industry leaders in the field of photography. And while "Texas" is in the name, TPS sustains an active international following with members from 10 countries and 44 states. 

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