Celebrating National Parks of California Exhibit

May 10, 2016

This year, 2016, is the centennial year of the establishment of the National Park Service. Although Yellowstone was established as a national park in 1872 the protection of that resource was handled by both the U.S. military and eventually the civilian government for 44 years. The National Parks Service (NPS) became the agency of the Department of the Interior that was given responsibility of managing national parks in 1916. The Park Service and number and types of park areas it manages has grown tremendously over the past 100 years.

As a way of honoring the NPS and the national parks within California the Wildng Museum of Art and Nature in Solvang, California established a call of entries for the Celebrating National Parks in California Exhibit. The exhibition will run from Friday, June 17, 2016 to October 3, 2016. 

The call for entry was managed via OnlineJuriedShows.com. Currently the virtual exhibition is on display there. I entered two pieces in the competition. One of my two entries, Infinitude No. 5 | Death Valley, was accepted for inclusion in the Celebrating National Parks in California exhibit.

Infinitude No. 5Infinitude No. 5 | Death ValleyInfinitude No. 5 | Death Valley Juried Selection: Celebrating National Parks in California at the Wilding Museum in Solvang, California. Exhibit Dates: June 18 - October 3, 2016

Dozens of entries were reviewed by the exhibition jurors who represented expertise in western art, photography, and painting. Selection was limited to 51 unique entries for the Wilding Museum exhibition. Only a handful of photographs were chosen to be included in the 51 accepted entries.

About The Image
The Infinitude No. 5 | Death Valley fine art image was made in January of 2016 during my first visit to Death Valley National Park. It is a 10" x 30" panorama make up of twelve individual images. Each image was shot with a 50 mm lens in order to approximate the normal view of the human eye. The image was created by selectively managing the color and visual density of the panorama. It represents a new focus of my landscape work and is perhaps best understood from the artist statement below.


Artist Statement
Infinitude No. 5 | Death Valley

To be in a wild landscape is an opportunity to experience the infinite. This long-held idea of infinitude in nature is reflected in the creative approaches of a number of landscape painters that have inspired my work.


Hudson River School master Thomas Moran depicted humans in landscapes in small scale as a means of illustrating the grandeur of the natural world. Canadian artist Lawren Harris used color and modernist form to communicate the universal spiritual value that the landscapes of the Canadian North embodied. Western landscape artist Maynard Dixon used simplification of shape coupled with broad perspective to present the humbling vastness of the great American interior west.


My approach to landscape photography uses the ideas of these master painters in the composition and development of a photographic image. As part of that process, I create large format images depicting human activity as near insignificant, or absent, in a landscape that is visually smoothed to a simpler conceptual form. I intentionally constrain the depiction of national park lands as vacation spaces defined by human dominance or activity. The goal of my work is to envision landscapes that inspire a contemplative understanding of wild places through scale and a rendering of how spirit and matter are joined in the experience of nature. 


My process involves making a series of highly detailed images of a chosen landscape. These are combined into a large scale panoramic image. During image processing special attention is paid to retaining and managing elements of detail, color, and scale that contribute to a sense of universality. In this sense my editing reflects a spiritual exploration of activity and repose that mirrors the visual quality of the final image.

I am quite pleased to have this image accepted in this important exhibition. To have Infinitude No. 5 selected by the talented and highly respected jurors is truly an honor. I am looking forward to the event.

Exhibition Jurors
The jurors for the Celebrating National Parks in California exhibition were:

Judy Larson
Santa Barbara, California

Marc Muench
Santa Barbara, California

Thomas Paquette
Warren, Pennsylvania


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