Actor and photographer Jason Lee (left) talks about his displayed photos with Will Gillman (second from right) and Chris Brown at Kettle Art Gallery in Dallas. Lee starred in the television show My Name is Earl and the movie Mallrats, among others. 

Actor and photographer Jason Lee (left) talks about his displayed photos with Will Gillman (second from right) and Chris Brown at Kettle Art Gallery in Dallas. Lee starred in the television show My Name is Earl and the movie Mallrats, among others. 

Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer

If you're into celebrity spotting, you should have been at Kettle Art Gallery in Deep Ellum last week. Actor Jason Lee — known for his work in Mallrats and My Name is Earl — is exhibiting his photographs in Deep Ellum.

Lee has shown his work in California and New York, but this is his first time in Texas. Lee moved to Denton a couple years ago. He visited Deep Ellum just once before hanging his work at Kettle.

Writer Robin Turner looks at photographs by actor and photographer Jason Lee at Kettle Art Gallery in Dallas.

Writer Robin Turner looks at photographs by actor and photographer Jason Lee at Kettle Art Gallery in Dallas.

Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer

Lee is one of 25 participants in "Significance Imposed," a group show featuring local writers and photographers that's open through June 3. With an emphasis on rural Texas landscapes, a dozen photographers each contributed four images. Thirteen writers interpreted the photographs with poetry and prose.

"We wanted to combine words and images," co-curator Steven Reeves explains. He curated the show with his wife, Erin Reeves, and both contributed photographs. To recruit local writers, they enlisted the help of Deep Vellum co-founders Anne Hollander and Will Evans, Pegasus Reading Series host Sebastián H. Páramo, and White Rock Zine Machine founder Lisa Huffaker.

Yup, that's actor and photographer Jason Lee hanging out at Kettle Art Gallery in Dallas, where four of his photos are on display.

Yup, that's actor and photographer Jason Lee hanging out at Kettle Art Gallery in Dallas, where four of his photos are on display.

Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer

Steven Reeves says they wanted photographers "who have a narrative quality," and Lee's work came to mind. Last year, he released a book of distant photos of stark landscapes found on Texas road trips called Jason Lee Vol. 1: Instant Film. With a limited edition of just 500 copies, it sold out quickly.

For the Kettle show, Lee's pieces used an old, mirrorless camera, which requires him to capture images upside-down. Taken at night, two somewhat eerie shots capture an empty gas station and liquor store, presumably out in the middle of nowhere. Two photographs taken in daylight show cars parked at abandoned houses.

It's official: Actor Jason Lee lives in Denton

These works are from his second photo book, A Plain View, slated for release in the fall. "A Plain View," Lee's solo show with 42 images from the upcoming book, opens June 2 at Artspace111 in Fort Worth.

Lee intentionally avoided reading the words displayed with his photos at Kettle Art.

"It's a separate thing for the viewer," Lee says. "It definitely makes it more interesting, but it's somebody else's interpretation. I am just leaving it in its own universe somewhere.

"Photography is a very simple thing for me. I tend to not analyze it," he says.

"Significance Imposed" is on view at Kettle Art Gallery, 2650-B Main St., Dallas, through June 3. Below are the photographers and writers involved in the show, including Dallas Morning News photo editor Guy Reynolds: 

A man looks at photographs by Dallas Morning News photo editor Guy Reynolds at Kettle Art Gallery in Dallas.

A man looks at photographs by Dallas Morning News photo editor Guy Reynolds at Kettle Art Gallery in Dallas.

Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer
  • Diane Durant & Christopher Stephen Soden. 
  • Don Essmiller & A. Kendra Greene. 
  • Devyn Gaudet & Andrew Koch. 
  • Justin Goode & Caitlin Pryor. 
  • Jason Lee & Sebastian Paramo. 
  • Paxton Maroney & Dan Collins. 
  • Erin Reeves & Leslie Aguilar. 
  • Steven Reeves & Courtney Marie. 
  • Guy Reynolds & Fatima-Ayan Malika Hirsi. 
  • Rachel Rushing & Robin Turner. 
  • David Simpson & Lisa Huffaker & Tim Cloward. 
  • Patti Simpson & Joe Milazzo.

All photos are for sale. Lee's are $500 unframed and $650 framed.

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