Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In the Rotunda

The In a New Light photo exhibition is now comfortably resting in its new home in the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda until January 22.  Words cannot accurately describe the beauty and power of such a magnificent building, and it is a humbling honor for the boys to display their art and share their stories within its walls.   As I struggle to sufficiently describe the experience of being in such a place, what comes to mind is a feeling similar to that sense of awe, wonder, and reverence experienced in a beautiful natural place such as the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.  The Rotunda is a work of art itself, and the feeling makes me think of a statement from painter Paul Cezanne:  "Art is a harmony parallel with nature."  I suspect the In a New Light artists have discovered that harmony, and they are sharing it with all of us.  Enjoy the photos below.

I would like to extend a special thanks to the National Park Service, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and the Capitol Police for making the Rotunda exhibition a reality.  I would also like to thank Courtney Georgia,  a UW-Green Bay student visiting the Rotunda who ended up volunteering her time to set up much of the exhibit.  That sense of kindness and giving among the community has been the driving force behind In a New Light since its inception.

-Ben Thwaits, Project Leader

Friday, January 7, 2011

To the Capitol!

The In a New Light exhibit has been on a busy and exciting journey over the last few months, and on January 10, the journey continues to its biggest destination yet:  the main floor of the Capitol Rotunda in Madison.  What an honor!  All twenty six framed photos will be on display in the Capitol building January 10-22. 

The exhibit will be travelling to Madison from Wausau, where it was warmly welcomed in the Ahrsbrak Gallery at UW-Marathon County for over a month.  HERE is a press release from the exhibition.  It was even featured in a news segment on WAOW television!  Thanks to Brittany Earl for putting together a great piece. Although the video clip is no longer avaiable, HERE is a news release from the segment.  Special thanks to Jean Greenwood, Judi Witkopf, Diana Budde, and Patti Thwaits for making the exhibit possible. 

In other news, be sure to check out the In a New Light WEBSITE.  You can view nearly 100 photos from the project, artist biographies, and support the project.

Please take a look at video on the front page of the National Park Foundation website.   This exposure is such an honor. 

And, stay tuned.  We've been working with A&I Books out of Hollywood, CA, to publish an In a New Light coffee table book.  The book is currently on the presses, and will be out very soon.  Keep an eye on the website and this blog for an announcement of the book's availiblility. 

In the midst of the exhibit's grand journey, a new league of young photographers at Northwest Passage has been quitely in training along the snowy banks of the Namekagon and St. Croix Rivers.  It struck me how relatively little winter work most nature photographers do.  But the photographic opportunities remain endless this time of year.  Despite the challenges of deep snow and frozen waters, the boys have been creating stunning photographs that capture a new kind of beauty not previously seen in the project.  The starkness and relative simplicity of the winter landcape lends itself to high photographic drama.  Enjoy a sample below.

"Fountain of Serenity"
by Will, 16

Photography helps me escape from reality by looking at life through a lense. Seeing what I can do through pictures helps me think about what I can accomplish If I put my mind to it.

"Curious Bluejay"
by Raequon, 16

I fell in love with photography because I felt that it’s one of the only things that’s good for me, and I want to keep pursuing my dreams of becoming a professional photographer.

"Winter Berries"
by Ronnie, 16

This picture is easily summed up. It is just a way to show how amazing the world can be if you just take the time to look for the beauty.

"Screaming Sky"
by Kolten, 14

"Photography has helped me channel my anger into something healthy."

"Easy to Break"
by Nate, 15

"I sometime feel that I am easy to break.  I flip over little things that later I regret doing. That’s why I took this picture. It relates to me a lot. I think taking pictures really helps me wit my anger and some of my other problems."

"Sunrise at Schaefer Cabin"
by Alex, 14
As the sun comes up, this scene becomes more beautiful.  When I took this picture, I thought its one of a kind.  It makes me think about how my time at NWP is almost over, and I am still the same person from when I started, but I'm also different now.