May 18, 2017

PhotoPlace Gallery: Honoring Trees

Dead Joshua Tree, Las Vegas Nevada

Photograph selected for Honoring Trees, a juried exhibition at PhotoPlace Gallery. Laura Valenti, juror.

When: June 7 To July 21, 2017
Where: PhotoPlace Gallery, 3 Park Street, Middleburry VT 05753  802.388.4500

Juror's Statement:  In his book The Practice of the Wild, poet and essayist Gary Snyder points out that “wild” is most often defined by what it is not. So, it is undomesticated, untamed, uninhabited, uncultivated, uncivilized. What if, he writes, we instead define it by what it is? Through this lens, “wild” becomes: self-propagating, flourishing, pristine, exuberant, original, self-reliant, ecstatic, free. Seen in this more positive light, nature has agency and power – a sense of dynamism that reminds us to take note, to honor the wild places we’re still lucky enough to have.

The images selected for this exhibition are poetic, evocative, and deeply interpretive. They masterfully capture some of the spirit of their subjects, rather than simply telling us what things look like. This attention to mood and emotion brings the scenes alive and inspires us to care. I hope the exhibit serves as an invitation to celebrate the wild beauty of trees and to contemplate what we stand to lose in the relentless drive for environmental dominion. As Edward Abbey so poignantly reminds us, “Love of wilderness is…an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.”  -Laura Valenti

May 4, 2017

Michael James

Michael James
Photographed on April 22, 2017 in Las Vegas Nevada.
Tiko Lieou, assistant.

For awhile, my modus operandi has pretty much been to get far away from humans and make pictures out in the landscape. The more remote, the better. The fewer references to humans in the pictures, the better. Lately that's turned around a bit and I've had the craving to get back into portraiture. Thanks to Michael James for being amazing, a gracious model and for fueling my inspiration to the point that I had to act on it. And thanks always to my trusty assistant and general partner in crime, Tiko.