Archive for Monday, August 20, 2007

Natural wonders

Kansas photographer explores relationship between park, people

On a typical summer day, strong thunderstorms pass through the park in the afternoon. This visitor finds a moment of solitude beneath a turbulent sky, standing atop a rock formation near the Alpine Visitor Center. Lightning strikes are a major safety concern for visitors and staff in these areas above the tree line.

On a typical summer day, strong thunderstorms pass through the park in the afternoon. This visitor finds a moment of solitude beneath a turbulent sky, standing atop a rock formation near the Alpine Visitor Center. Lightning strikes are a major safety concern for visitors and staff in these areas above the tree line.

August 20, 2007

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Rocky Mountain National Park opens its rugged arms to more than 3.5 million visitors each year.

But not without consequence, as Topeka artist Daniel Coburn discovered during a two-week residency there in mid-July - the park's busiest season.

"This size of crowd has a major impact on the park's landscape and resources," he says. "The west side of the park has also been impacted heavily by the mountain pine beetle, which is destroying a good part of the forests in the Rockies."

Coburn explored the park through his camera lens during his visit, and he returned with a photographic essay composed of more than 50 images - landscapes, portraits and documentations of people interacting with nature.

"It was my goal to understand why so many people return to our national parks every year," he says. "Do they respect these places while they are visiting? Can we continue to preserve these natural wonders?"

A panel of professional artists selected Coburn as one of six artists from 74 applicants for the artist-in-residence program at the park. He is president of the Lawrence Photo Alliance and will be part of a group exhibition called "Thresholds" opening Sept. 7 at 6 Gallery, 716 1/2 Mass.

Comments

purplesage 7 years, 8 months ago

14K feet or so will do that. I share your affinity for the Park. And the high country is the best part - along with rushing water and wind in the pines. Can you smell it?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 8 months ago

The RMNP is one of my favorite places on earth. I've been to the Alpine Visitor's Center. Literally took my breath "away".

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