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Visions for the Next Millennium: Wilderness Photography - Focus on Preservation
A striking exhibit of large black-and white-photos opening Sunday, May 23, 2004 at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman, Okla. introduces visitors to the painfully beautiful and haunting wilderness of photographer Clyde Butcher. "Visions for the Next Millennium: Wilderness Photography - Focus on Preservation" is a collection of 37 large prints, ranging in size from 36 inches by 46 inches to 7 feet by 8 feet. The exhibit will remain on view through Aug. 15, 2004.
The photographs chronicle some of America's most beautiful and complex ecosystems and explore the photographer's personal relationship with the environment. For more than 35 years, he has been preserving on film the untouched areas of the landscape using a large-format view camera. The black-and-white prints -- sometimes enormous in size -- allow Butcher to express elaborate detail and textures.
"Wilderness, to me, is a spiritual necessity," Butcher said. "When my son was killed by a drunk driver, it was to the wilderness that I fled in hopes of regaining my serenity and equilibrium. The mysterious spiritual experience of being close to nature helped restore my soul. It was during that time I discovered the intimate beauty of nature. My experience reinforced my sense of dedication to use my art form of photography as an inspiration for others to work together to save nature's places of spiritual sanctuary for future generations."
Butcher has been active in educating the public about the need for wilderness preservation. He was honored with Florida's Artist Hall of Fame Award for his photographic excellence and has received the Heartland Community Service Award for his work in educating the people of Florida abut the beauty of their state. He was chosen as Person of the Week on the ABC Peter Jennings evening news program and has been honored with the Conservation Colleague Award by the Nature Conservancy. The Sierra Club has honored Butcher with its prestigious Ansel Adams Award, recognizing his use of photography to further the cause of conservation and his contribution to the public awareness of the environment.
Butcher said, "I believe the coming century will be one of the most active ecological centuries human history has ever see, and that this new Ecological Age will begin the momentum that will carry on into the millennium to create a healthy future for all mankind."
The exhibit was organized by Clyde Butcher. Tour development by Smith Kramer fine art Services, Kansas City, Mo.
The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at The University of Oklahoma inspires minds to understand the natural and cultural world through collection-based discovery, interpretation, and education.
The Museum is located on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus at 2401 Chautauqua Avenue, Norman, Oklahoma 73072. For hours and admission fees pleaase see the museum's Web site.
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