© Byron Jorjorian
Powell Valley, Cumberland Mountains, Tennessee
© Byron Jorjorian
Rock in Smoky Creek, Cumberland Mountains, Tennessee
The Parthenon will host an exhibit of large-scale color photography by nationally prominent nature photographer Byron Jorjorian in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy, March 26 – August 20. Titled Missing Nature, the exhibit in the Parthenon’s East Gallery will feature locations in Tennessee that have been protected by The Nature Conservancy.
The exhibit’s title is meant to be a play on words that describes both Jorjorian’s work in general and this particular collection of photographs, all taken in Tennessee. On one hand, Jorjorian frequently sees the minute details of nature that many of us miss in passing by. On the other hand, he is documenting the special places that all of us would miss if The Nature Conservancy had not protected them.
As Parthenon curator Susan Shockley puts it: “Jorjorian hikes to these habitats where he photographs both the wildlife and the land. But Jorjorian creates much more than a simple record of a rural hike. His eye notices the yellow leaf just fallen from the tree, the spider’s web drenched in dew, or the swirl that water creates around a rock. He isolates, selects, and captures a vision of the world. His photographs generate a new habitat for his subjects, and he enables his viewers to see moments we might otherwise miss.”
Now recognized as one of America’s premier nature photographers, Jorjorian has been a longtime supporter and friend of The Nature Conservancy, a leading conservation organization which has protected nearly 120 million acres around the world for people and nature. Since 1990, Jorjorian has been donating his time and photography to The Nature Conservancy’s cause, particularly in Tennessee where he resides. Many of his most arresting photographs, whether close-ups of delicate coneflowers or panoramic vistas of foggy mountaintops, were taken on lands acquired and protected by The Nature Conservancy.
“In my photographs, I am always trying to reveal details in nature that others might overlook,” says Jorjorian. “When people look at my work, what I hope they see first is a work of art (usually abstract) and then the actual subject matter of that art — the place or living thing I’ve photographed. Ideally, the viewer experiences a mental shift back and forth between the colorful patterns and textures of my art to the ‘a-ha’ revelation of the subject that I’ve captured.
“The images I create grow from what I like to call ‘emotional discovery,’” Jorjorian adds. “This is the discovery of previously unseen patterns and arrangements of colors and shapes in nature that create a strong emotional state within us when we notice them. Each image is made unique by the integration of lighting and conditions that come together at the moment of the photograph's conception. It is here in the space created by natural conditions and emotional discovery that my images take shape. My time spent in nature instills a great sense of childlike wonder, harmony and oneness in me, and through my photographs I hope to share that special feeling.”
The Parthenon, surrounded by the beautiful gardens and landscape of Centennial Park, is an ideal setting for this exhibit. Nashville’s parks bring nature into urban environments, giving the city’s residents increased access to nature and recreational activities out-of-doors.
Missing Nature will be on display at The Parthenon in Nashville from March 26 to August 20, 2011. The Parthenon is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults; $4 for seniors 62 and over, and $4 for children 4-17. Children under 4 are admitted free.
There will be an opening reception for Byron Jorjorian on March 25, 6 – 8 p.m., at The Parthenon. This reception is free and open to the public.
Byron Jorjorian will be on hand to answer questions from the public about the exhibition on Saturday, March 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission to this event is included in admission to the museum.
IMAGE INFORMATION: The photograph of mountains in orange-hued mist is of the Powell Valley in the Cumberland Mountains. The photograph of a rock reflected in water was taken at Smoky Creek in the Cumberland Mountains. Both images © Byron Jorjorian.
For more or higher-resolution images, please contact Brenna Cothran at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-862-8431.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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