"These enormous, beautiful prints hanging from the trees everywhere you look signal that this physical space of downtown Charlottesville is now a canvas, where the creative, social, and aesthetic [features of the Festival] come together.” -- Andrew Owen, LOOK3 Managing Director
By: Karen Sosnoski
Pedestrians walking the mall in downtown Charlottesville, VA from May 17 to July 7 are in for a visual delight. Brilliant, over-sized prints of wildlife photographer Tim Laman’s The Birds of Paradise will be suspended from banners high in the trees - featured by the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph TREES exhibit this year.
Says Andrew Owen, LOOK3’s managing director, “The vivid colors, this significant body of work…it’s going to be fantastic.” This year, The Nature Conservancy, which featured Laman’s Mangroves photo essay and images in its magazine (Summer 2010), will collaborate with LOOK3 on the TREES exhibit. The mission of the exhibit dovetails with the goals of the Conservancy - to help promote environmental awareness and conservation.
The LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, VA (June 13-15) is an annual three-day celebration of the visual image with “a positive, friendly vibe,” Owen says. The Festival brings together attendees of different generations and experience levels, offering interviews, exhibits, and projections from established photographers as well as a democratic gallery where all can share their photographs. Festival passes for 3 days offer multiple points of access, ranging in price from $65 (students) to $475 (VIP). Single tickets for Tim Laman’s TREES talk are $10/youth and $15/adult.
“And the free TREES exhibit,” Owen suggests, “is our most visible and popular. The Festival would be totally different without it. These enormous, beautiful prints hanging from the trees everywhere you look signal that this physical space of downtown Charlottesville is now a canvas, where the creative, social, and aesthetic [features of the Festival] come together.”
Michael “Nick” Nichols, award-winning wildlife photographer and co-executive director of LOOK3, founded the Festival in 2007. According to Owen, Nichols decided that each year the TREES exhibit would be dedicated to the work of a natural history photographer and would be ecologically centered. Guest curators Melissa Harris and Yolanda Cuomo view Tim Laman’s birds as an exciting choice for the TREES.
Working with collaborator Edwin Scholes, Tim Laman is the first to comprehensively photograph the exotic and quixotic Birds of Paradise in the remote rainforests of New Guinea, completing 18 expeditions there over the past 8 years.
The popularity of the TREES exhibit and the compelling beauty and interest of The Birds of Paradise are perfect openings for the conservation work of the Nature Conservancy. Says the Conservancy’s state director Michael Lipford, "Increasingly, conservation success relies on reaching and engaging people in urban areas such as downtown Charlottesville, Virginia -- and inspiring them to connect with nature. Collaborating with LOOK3 on this year's TREES exhibit is a great opportunity to do so.”
When the TREES call, how will you answer? Ways to get started:
EXHIBIT : Birds of Paradise
Date: May 17 – July 7, 2013
Location: TREES along the Charlottesville Downtown Mall
FREE - Listen to exclusive audio tours
TREES TALK with Wildlife Photographer, Tim Laman
Location: The Paramount Theater, Charlottesville
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 | 7:30pm
View the talk via LiveStream
For more information about LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph visit www.look3.org.
Explore more stories about the festival and TNC's work in Virginia.
June 22, 2013
Karen Sosnoski is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to nature.org.