Portrait of a Place -- Wyoming’s Red Desert, photographs by Martin Stupich (photo above © Martin Stupich 2007) will open August 25 and continue through December 22 at the University of Wyoming Art Museum. A symposium, "The Red Desert: Among Dead Volcanoes and Living Dunes, A Public Conversation on the Value of Place," will coincide with the exhibit and is scheduled for September 28-29 at the museum.
For the past five years, photographer Martin Stupich, writer Annie Proulx, archeologist Dudley Gardner, and geologist Charles Ferguson have been exploring, photographing, and researching the Red Desert. Their collected stories, images, observations, and learned scholarship will result in a publication from the University of Texas Press in 2008. It's "as much a study about its natural landscape, its archeology, and human history as it is a study on public lands and its use over the last century."
Curated by Susan Moldenhauer, UW Art Museum director and chief curator, – Portrait of a Place - Wyoming’s Red Desert, photographs by Martin Stupich offers a compelling depiction of the desert’s expansive landscape, diverse geology, evidence of the earliest human occupation, and cycles of economic boom and bust. Moldenhauer says, "What emerges from Stupich’s images is the revelation about our human history and our connection to the land. It is a complicated and fragmented portrait that challenges the commonly held belief that this region along the I-80 corridor of southern Wyoming is a barren place of little value."
A touring exhibition of Stupich’s photographs will circulate around Wyoming through the UW Art Museum’s Touring Exhibition Service through 2011.
The symposium has been organized to assemble a roster of presenters as diverse as the desert itself. In addition to Stupich, Proulx, Gardner, and Ferguson, more than 20 presenters representing the arts, humanities, sciences, industry, public policy, and conservation will comment on a particular region of the desert -- Boar’s Tusk and the Kilpecker Dunes -- and collectively offer a portrait of the Red Desert. "The Red Desert: Among Dead Volcanoes and Living Dunes, A Public Conversation about the Value of Place," will be free. For reservations, call 307-766-3477. FMI: Visit www.uwyo.edu/artmuseum or call 307-766-6620.
The Art Museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 22nd & Willett Drive in Laramie. The Museum and Museum Store are open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Mondays from September through November. Admission is free.