Monday, June 20, 2011

Thinking Big

The 2011 season of In a New Light is officially upon us. This year, we’re extremely fortunate to be armed with a renewed America’s Best Idea Grant from the National Park Foundation, made possible through the generous support of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, The Anschutz Foundation, and Ahmanson Foundation. With these funds, and the momentum from the previous year’s success, we’re now thinking big. From our home base and artistic training grounds on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, we will be embarking on four photographic expeditions to distant national parks this summer and fall: Isle Royale, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, and Badlands. A separate group of young artists will photograph each park, and their photos will tour the nation in an exhibit this fall.

The first group of five artists retuned from Isle Royale just two weeks ago. Daily storms and difficult terrain provided plenty of challenges for the boys to rise to, both physically and artistically. And rise they did, as the photos below demonstrate. The boys all talked about this island having a “spirit,” a magical quality to it that is hard to articulate in words. However, their photos say it all.

A huge thanks to the National Park Service staff at Isle Royale, especially Ranger Rob Bell, whose several hours with the boys left a very deep impression. When recounting their experiences on Isle Royale, “Ranger Rob” was always centerpiece of the conversation.

Stay tuned for more updates in the near future. There is so much more exciting news to share.

-Ben Thwaits, Project Leader

"Spirit in the Shoreline"
by Alex, 17

I really like the shoreline picture because I feel it captures the spirit of Isle Royale. Something about the way all of the colors blend together in this scene is magical. It was also very foggy when it was taken, so being on the island not being able to see anything gave a sense of complete isolation, like nothing from the outside world mattered that day.

"Standing Strong"
by Mike, 16

This light house reminds me of my mother.
Not only does she like light houses but she is
Strong and helpful like this light house.
In times of need she is there to give advice
And stands strong for what is right.

"Snake Like Me"
by Bobby, 14

I’m like a snake.  People are afraid of me because they don’t understand me.  They think I’m evil, that I’m a thief.  But, I’m actually nice and gentle.  There a few people that care for me like my parents and family and a few others that overcome the fear.  They talk to me and love me and understand me.  So please don’t be scared. 

"Sparkles on the Water"
by David, 17

This picture reminds me of my grandmother. The sparkels remind me of her eyes when she's happy. The blue in the picture remindes me of her because it is her favorite color, and the brightness reminds me of her because whenever you're down or hurt she always has something to say to brighten up your day.

"Keep on Growing" by Kyle 17

I keep on growing,
Even when I feel I can't keep going,
Sometimes emotions make me wonder,
Why I keep myself from going back under,
Then I start to realize,
That my life is reality,
And I need to try even harder,
To grow up and be a good father.