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Photo Exhibit to Explore Watershed

Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014

A group of Utah State University photography students, sponsored by the Department of Art and Design, have issued a call for entries for the upcoming “Radiant or Ravaged” photo exhibit on the Bear River watershed.


The students have partnered with the Bear River Watershed Council (BRWC), a local nonprofit organization advocating the conservation of the Bear River Basin.


“We are asking photographers to search through their work and get out and take images that portray the radiant beauty or ravaged impacts of the watershed and submit them for an exhibit in April,” said Dan Miller, chairman of the BRWC board. “We hope to engage amateur and professional photographers, as well as scientists, to take a close look at our local watershed — a place that sustains life — with a different eye, not only to see the beauty, but also to look the other direction toward the impacts from human activities that may not be beneficial to the environment, the watershed or human health.”


Beth Hansen is among the USU photography students involved in the exhibit.


“We want to get the word out to the public and specifically scientists and photographers,” Hansen said. “We want to get everyone thinking about issues and how they can be portrayed in a meaningful and, hopefully, artful way. We have a Facebook group page that photographers can post images, have discussions and have their images critiqued.”  


The exhibit will be hung in Logan, Utah, at the Thatcher-Young Mansion downtown, from April 11 through Earth Day, April 22. The exhibit includes both opening and closing receptions. Prints will be accepted April 4 and will be juried by Utah State University assistant professor of photography Carsten Meier and professional fine art and nature photographer Howie Garber.


Meier says he is “extremely pleased with the exhibit’s concept of merging science and art.”


He believes when more local scientists and artists understand that the exhibit is trying to bridge their disciplines, participation will increase.


Garber said he would like to see photographers between now and the time of the exhibit, “get out and find those unique and all important situations that can unequivocally communicate the conditions of the watershed.”


As part of the exhibit, USU Water Quality Extension will create an online photo gallery of the images that will be linked to the Bear River Watershed Information System and also include an interactive map of the watershed that has the photos geo-referenced.


“The information from these photos could help us target areas that need more attention or protection,” said Brian Greene with Utah Water Watch.


Greene said he looks forward to the submissions and possible importance they can provide to science and his work.


The exhibit will also include ten historical images of the Bear River watershed provided by the USU’s University Libraries and its Special Collections and Archives division. Dan Davies, Special Collection’s photograph curator, said he is excited to present a historical aspect to the exhibit and that he understands the significance photographs can play in the future to help understand the past.


To augment the exhibit, the Stokes Nature Center will host several photographic spring programs, including one by Miller, who will show images from the BRWC’s “Motorized Use Data Project” (MUD) and explain how the images have made a difference in the local forest and watershed. Another program will feature Brian Greene, Utah Water Watch, who will show citizen science projects that use apps to document plants and animals. He will highlight several smartphone apps that use photos to collect scientific data. The class will conclude with a nature walk around SNC allowing participants to take photos and test out the apps.


For more information see BRWC’s website.


Contact: USU art student Beth Hansen, bhansen06@gmail.com

Contact: BRWC, Dan Miller, 435-258-4432, dmiller@brwcouncil.org

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