'Lasting Light' exhibit opens at MNA

If you missed seeing it at Kolb Studio, the popular exhibit, "Lasting Light: The Photography of Grand Canyon" will be on display, with enhancements, at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff through Sunday, June 17.

The exhibit is a celebration of the best photographs of a mysterious and ever-changing landscape, by a select group of fine art photographers.

Additionally, raptors from MNA's Natural History Collections soar above the gallery, representing the many raptors species that make their home in and around, or migrate through, the deep canyon.

While the average traveler might only spend a short time at the rim of the canyon, professional Grand Canyon photographers commit to hiking through rugged backcountry, carrying enormous packs of equipment, and spending hours or sometimes days waiting for a fleeting moment of magical light to capture the perfect image.

Landscape photographers typically spend from six to nine months of each year in the field, usually alone and at great expense.

This exhibit showcases the work of 26 photographers and is sponsored by the Grand Canyon Association, Hance Partners and Grand Canyon National Park. Six nationally recognized jurors from within the photography world chose the 60 images.

Raptors added

This exhibit adds to what was shown at Kolb Studio, with interpretations by MNA co-curators Alan Petersen, guest curator of fine art, and Dr. Larry Stevens, curator of biology and ecology.

They have integrated the art of photography and the science of natural history to deepen understanding of the canyon's unique and fragile habitat and raise consciousness of its biological diversity.

The hawk, eagle, condor and owl specimens on display were salvaged after accidents with lead shot, electric wires or collisions with moving vehicles.

"MNA is pleased to be joining with the Grand Canyon Association for this extraordinary presentation of photographic images from Grand Canyon National Park," MNA director Robert Breunig said. "We are also excited about adding the biological interpretation on the raptors of the Grand Canyon ... emphasizing the convergence of science and art, in this case photography and biology."

"We like to think of a photograph as visual truth-an objective source," said Petersen. "But like all artistic mediums, the artist uses a great deal of manipulation in the creation of an image. Technical and artistic decisions are made in the equipment used, the composition of the image and the processing of the image. And there are 'happy accidents' that can occur during all phases of the creative process."

Exhibit jurors

This exhibit was conceived and nurtured by Richard Jackson of Hance Partners, Inc., a professional photography lab in Flagstaff. The jury of photography professionals included Andrew Wallace from the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson; Christopher Burkett, a nationally-known landscape photographer; John Altbert, retired vice president of Eastman Kodak Professional Photography Division; Peter Ensenberger, director of photography for Arizona Highways magazine; Annie Griffiths-Belt from National Geographic Magazine and Terry Etherton, owner of a fine art photography gallery in Tucson.

Photographers

Photographers whose images are in the "Lasting Light" exhibit are Tom Bean, Sue Bennett, John Blaustein, Dugald Bremmer, Tom Brownold, Mike Buchheit, Michael Collier, James Cowlin, Sherry Curtis and Alfredo Conde, Dick Dietrich, Jack Dykinga, Dave Edwards, Geoff Gourley, George H. H. Huey, Liz Hymans, Jerry Jacka, Gary Ladd, Larry Lindahl, Robert McDonald, Randy Prentice, John Running, Raechel Running, Kate Thompson, Tom Till, Stephen Trimble and Larry Ulrich.

To accompany the exhibit, Northland Publishing recently published "Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography," by Stephen Trimble. The book presents every photograph featured in the exhibit, plus dozens of additional contemporary and historic images and essays from the photographers.

BookPage Magazine publishers commented on the Trimble text saying, "This collection is a superlative explication of America's very own world wonder."

Some of the exhibit text is excerpted from the book, which will be available for purchase at the museum throughout the exhibit.

Getting there

MNA is located three miles north of historic downtown Flagstaff on Highway 180. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors (65 and up), $3 students, $2 children (ages 7-17), and it is always free to members.

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