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Etherton Gallery Celebrates the 50'th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

Posted By Administration, Saturday, June 7, 2014
Wild America

Debra Bloomfield and Ansel Adams

Exhibition Dates:  June 10 - August 30, 2014

Artist's Reception:
Saturday, June 21
7:00 - 10:00 pm

In celebration of the 50'th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act Etherton Gallery is mounting an exhibition that pairs the work of naturalist master, Ansel Adams, with the work of contemporary artist and Bay Area photographer Debra Bloomfield.  The exhibition collapses time and the artists works harmonize together becoming both monumental tributes to and poetic indulgence of the longing for wild places.  In a world where such frightening topics as global warming, climate change, pollution, species endangerment and extinction are commonplace this exhibition does well to reflect on what has been saved but also sparks an urge for greater action.  

In a letter that introduced the Wilderness Act to Congress in 1960 writer Wallace Stegner used words that seem to speak as much to our current state as our past:  
Something will have gone out of all of us as people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clean air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhaust, the sinks of human and automotive waste. . .

These works speak with chilling resonance today, as some of these realities are upon us.  The work of Adams stands as firm and strong as it does elegant.  The pairing with Bloomfield's work is poignant at this stage of history, for it evokes desire for a primitive and natural state that perhaps has already been so far eroded it is forever gone.  Bloomfield uses not only imagery, but sound in her process; she was struck while on a trip to the Pacific Northwest and southeastern Alaska by the cry of the raven.  She made recordings that accompany the images and heighten a sense of urgency to find primal places and even to save them.  

Debra Bloomfield will be at the gallery's opening reception and available to sign her newly released book, Wilderness, which includes a CD of the sounds she encountered while photographing in Alaska.  Additionally, representatives from a variety of wilderness conservation organizations will attend the opening to distribute information on their activities.

For more information on this exhibition, please visit Etherton Gallery

Image information:
Debra Bloomfield, 38996-8, 2009 from Wilderness
Courtesy of Etherton Gallery

Tags:  Ansel Adams  Debra Bloomfield  Etherton Gallery 

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