The exhibition and publication were produced in conjunction with the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), a widely acclaimed research organization that uncovers and examines human interaction with the land through focused projects in the form of exhibitions, guided tours, and online databases of exemplary and unusual sites in the United States. The exhibition featured up to 50 Texas sites that demonstrate how oil has sculpted the state’s terrain, with the exhibition being organized according to the oil industry’s “upstream” and “downstream” functions, phases of production before and after the refining process. “Upstream” displayed oil fields, off-shore oil pipelines (crude oil and natural gas), terminals, tankers, and crude storage. “Downstream” featured refineries, petrochemical plants, and distribution (finished product pipelines, storage, and shipping.) Texas Oil served as the culmination of CLUI’s year-long residency at the University of Houston.
The Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston received a grant in support of the exhibition Texas Oil: Landscape of an Industry on view from January 17 to March 28, 2009.