Western photographer Scott T. Baxter has spent the past eight years photographing families who have been ranching in Arizona since 1912 or earlier.

The fruit of his labor, dubbed “100 Years, 100 Ranchers,” is on display through May 13 at Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal Four, in the form of large-format, black-and-white photographs.

Baxter will give an insider’s account of the project Tuesday in Queen Creek, telling stories of the people he followed and how he crisscrossed the state, trying to capture their way of life before it disappears. 

He’ll also show about 25 images.

“I really photographed this like I would have 100 years ago,” he says. “It was basically film and a lens and a tripod.”

The monochromatic images not only preserve a component of the state’s history and identity; they allow the spirits of the Arizonans pictured to emanate from beneath crinkled hats, dusty Western shirts and bushy mustaches.

“100 Years, 100 Ranchers” is an official Arizona Centennial Legacy Project. It will be exhibited May 17 through Oct. 7 at Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg and June 16 through Sept. 23 at the Tucson Museum of Art.

DETAILS >> 7 p.m. Tuesday. Queen Creek Branch Library, 21802 S. Ellsworth Road. Free. (602) 652-3000 or www.mcldaz.org.

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