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“Wyoming Grasslands” Opens at Ucross Foundation Art Gallery on May 1

WYOMING GRASSLANDS: Photographs by Michael P. Berman and William S. Sutton

Opening at Ucross Foundation Art Gallery on May 1

Photographers Capture the Subtle Beauty of this Wyoming Landscape

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“There’s nothing out here!” That’s what some visitors hurrying along I-80 say about our state’s wide-open spaces. But photographers Michael P. Berman and William S. Sutton know better. They are sharing their love of this beautiful and vast Wyoming landscape in Wyoming Grasslands, a photographic collaboration between the artists, the Wyoming Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Draper Natural History Museum. Ucross Foundation is participating as the first venue that will present this traveling exhibition, which will tour to 14 libraries in the state, as well as the Wyoming State Museum, during 2015-2016. The traveling exhibition, which features forty-one photographs, is a smaller version of a major exhibition that will open at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in June.

An opening reception, co-hosted by Ucross and the Wyoming Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, will be held at the Ucross Foundation Art Gallery on Friday, May 1, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Photographer William Sutton, who has recently been awarded a 2015 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship related to his work on Wyoming grasslands, will be on hand to give a short talk about his art. Rick Pallister of The Nature Conservancy will speak about grasslands conservation. The exhibition will be on view at Ucross through June 15. A public symposium on grasslands will also take place at Ucross, on Saturday, May 30.

Berman and Sutton spent three years traversing Wyoming, logging many miles in an old pickup truck and on foot. Their travels took them to public and private lands, including several properties with conservation easements held by The Nature Conservancy. In 2013, the artists spent time in residence at Ucross Foundation, which has had a conservation easement held by The Nature Conservancy on more than half of its 20,000-acre ranch since 1999.

These grasslands of Wyoming are places whose biological wealth is as subtle as the views are vast. The images offer a raw and dramatic glimpse of a landscape – from prairie grasslands and meadows to sagebrush-steppe and foothill grasslands – that is disappearing faster than the Amazon rainforests. “We either learn to see these landscapes, or we lose them,” says Michael Berman. Frank Goodyear, a writer, curator and Conservancy trustee who helped spearhead the photography project, comments, “The reality of this viewing experience can be transformative; their photographs activate our senses and leave no emotions, or sensations, untouched.”

Among the many locations featured in the exhibition are the Thunder Basin National Grasslands, Tom Thorne/Beth Williams Wildlife Habitat Management Area, and the Shirley Basin. In addition to the photography exhibition, a companion book of the major exhibition will be published by Oklahoma University Press, featuring the work of Sutton and Berman, along with essays by conservation biologist Dr. Charles Preston, Willis McDonald, IV, Senior Curator of Natural Sciences at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Draper Natural History Museum, and Frank Goodyear, Jr.

Ucross Foundation’s presentation of Wyoming Grasslands is supported in part by the Laura Jane Musser Fund and the BNSF Railway Foundation.

MICHAEL P.BERMAN resides in southwest New Mexico’s Mimbres Valley. In 1974, he attended Colorado College where he studied biology and worked with the Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project from 1978 until 1984. He received a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship to photograph the grasslands of the Chihuahuan Desert. His work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum and the Museum of New Mexico, among others. He has received painting fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Wurlitzer Foundation. His installations, photographs and paintings have been exhibited throughout America. In 2012, the Museum of New Mexico Press published The Gila, Berman’s fourth book devoted to the borderlands of the U.S. and Mexico.

WILLIAM S. SUTTON was born in 1956 in Toledo, Ohio, and was raised in New York State, Arizona and the western suburbs of Chicago. He received his B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Colorado in Boulder. In 1981, he received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and in 2015 he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. His photographs have been exhibited widely and are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University, Princeton University Art Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, Arizona State University, the University of Colorado, the Colorado Historical Society and the University of Chicago, among others. His first monograph, At Home in the West: Photographs of Public Land published in the fall of 2012. Sutton is an associate professor at Regis College in Denver. He lives in the mountains west of Denver.

The Ucross Foundation Art Gallery is located at 30 Big Red Lane in Ucross, Wyoming, ½ mile east of the intersection of Highways 14 and 16. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For further information, contact Ucross at (307) 737-2291 or info@ucross.org

Further information about other stops on the Wyoming Grasslands exhibition tour may be found at nature.org/wyoming.

Contact:
Bebe Crouse, bcrouse@tnc.org, 406-586-5491 or
Viv Banks, vbanks@ucross.org, 307-737-2291