I’m grateful to have been included in “Earth Day 2020” hosted by Gallery Sitka. As mentioned in my previous post, this exhibition was to have opened this week, but things have changed, as we all know. Art continues however. This is a mixed media exhibition. I am a huge fan of photography been shown with other forms of visual art. Melissa Richards, the curator, has done a great job of curation. I particularly drawn to her use of color. You can find the online gallery here.
Earth Day rolls around again on April 22 and it is going to be a difficult one. Like nearly everyone in the world, we’re hunkered down and trying to stay healthy. It is so heart breaking to hear that so many are unable to achieve what was once such a given. And of course, it’s always the most vulnerable and the most disadvantaged who seem to be paying the price, along with those from health care to the grocery supply chain. I am reminded of lessons I’ve learned from a colleague, an environmental scientist, the put this into some kind of larger perspective. The point of environmentalism isn’t to save the planet. The planet will survive, albeit perhaps it will evolve. Nature is stronger than the human race. We need to save ourselves.
In earlier times, what seems like a thousand years, but was really just a month or two ago, I submitted some work for consideration for an Earth Day Exhibition, at Gallery Sitka. The juror is Melissa Richard, a mixed media artist and educator. I’m grateful to have been chosen to show in the exhibition, but now of course, the exhibition will be going online. I’ll pass the url along when I can. Thanks to Melissa and the folks at Gallery Sitka. I’ve mentioned this before, but the power of water is awesome (as in inducing a sense of awe, not as in being really really cool). Perhaps we should pay it more attention.
I am honored to share an upcoming exhibition in which I’ll be participating along with two outstanding photographers, Tess Davis and Scarlett Hoey. The exhibition, Captured Moments, will take open with a reception on Friday, January 17 beginning at 5:30 PM at the Aldrich Heritage Gallery, at Alternatives Whitin Mill, 50 Douglas Road, Whitinsville, MA. You’ll see an interesting collection of work which I think really speaks to the exhibitions title, Captured Moments, special times or perhaps times with meaning. You can read more about the Heritage Gallery, the exhibition, and get directions etc. by going here.
I’ll say more about my work below but first I have to give a thanks and shoutout to Alternatives/Open Sky, one of the largest providers of services to the disabled in the region. They have been working for many years to get beyond the basic challenges of providing services in an effort to develop a truly inclusive community. Their offshoot, Valleycast, provides cultural and arts programming that brings together those with and without disabilities.
I’ve been been involved with Valleycast for the past year or so and have been witness to what real inclusivity can mean, and how much we can all grow in the process. Alternatives is also one of the owners of the Whitin Mill, former home of the Whitin Machine Works, once the largest manufacturer of textile manufacturing equipment in the U.S. They along with other owners and tenants have been working to revitalize this massive beautiful mill that sits along the Mumford River, and they’ve made serious progress.
My own work includes a series of reflections on the power of water. As you know if you read this blog, I’m a committed environmentalist. I’ve had the good fortune recently to meet and work with others who share that commitment and have been impressed by their take on the problem. We’re not trying to “save the planet.” The planet doesn’t need saving. It will be just fine, different perhaps, but it is going to be there regardless of how much we screw things up. We’re really trying to save ourselves. All you have to do to get a glimpse of the power of nature is look at what nature does with water.
I’m honored to have had two images chosen by the Blackstone Heritage Corridor and National Park Service for inclusion in their 2018 Calendar. Both are from the River Bend Farm National Heritage Corridor in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. I’ve mentioned this location before. This portion of the National Heritage Corridor explores the Blackstone Canal, which was constructed in 1827-28 running from Worcester, Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island. The Canal was open for only two decades and was considered a business failure. Inspired by the success of the Erie Canal in New York, the Blackstone Canal was to provide relatively inexpensive and fairly rapid transportation along this developing corridor. It’s history turned out to be torturous as it was initially thought to be a boon for the growing cotton mill industry along the Blackstone River. Soon however, the Mill owners were suing the Canal owners over the use of water from the River. This on the heels of the conflicts between the areas farmers and industrialists over water use.
This section of the Canal has been restored. The tow path runs along the Canal and was used by Ox and Mules to power the boats that navigated the canal. For July:
Both of these images show an unusually wide portion of the Canal which was for the most part extremely narrow. For November:
The work of the National Park Service as well as the states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts here in the Blackstone Corridor helps us to try and grapple with the very complex intersections between the natural environment, entrepreneurship, social policy and social justice that took place and still are in play in the Corridor. As I’ve pointed out, the Blackstone River was one of the Rivers that actually provoked the Clean Water Act, signed by that noted environmentalist, Richard Nixon…(hey, he signed it, so good for him). The lessons from the Corridor are lessons that evolve over hundreds of years. It is not easy for us to understand those lessons for that very reason, but by holding the discussion, we can perhaps make progress.
Yesterday, we had the pleasure of attending the second annual Biodiversity Festival hosted by the Corridor, in Lincoln, Rhode Island. It was inspiring to see so many people, including our wonderful daughter Molly, who are engaged in trying to protect our environment. Molly works at the Northern Rhode Island Conservation District. These folks engage in a wide variety of environmental and educational activities with the goal of protecting the drinking water for a large number of Rhode Island citizens. Drinking water….kind of important I think. One lesson is clear: protect that which is essential to our lives.
I wanted to let folks know that I was fortunate enough to have one of my images selected by the Northern Valley Art League in Redding, California for their upcoming International Juried Photography Show. The juror was Jack Fulton of the San Francisco Art Institute. Northern Valley Art League is a significant supporter of the arts in northern California. I’m very grateful for their support. The image chosen was of the Spillway at the Quabbin Reservoir.