26 Sep

“We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness.”

This observation is made by Aldo Leopold in the “Thinking Like a Mountain” chapter of his 1949 publication, A Sand County Almanac. In this portion of his important eco-ethical work, Leopold meditates on the then-common practice of killing a wolf. With characteristic frankness, he walks the reader through a consideration of the act’s full ecological consequence and employs its metaphorical power to address our frequent haste and misguidance in environmental issues.

This notion is the inspiration for, and embodiment of, a collection of photographs currently on display in the Looking Glass Gallery. Here, sophomore Public Relations major Kyle Schermbeck exhibits a assembly of digital prints taken during a three month stay in Yellowstone National Park. With the words of Aldo Leopold in mind, and the immense panorama of the Rocky Mountains as his subject, Schermbeck’s work addresses the dichotomy of magnificence and tragedy that the mountains represent. Though use of texture, scale, and color, the photographs show the natural purity of Yellowstone along side its ecological decay, highlighting the surprisingly ephemeral quality of such a monument. As a Digital Photography minor, Schermbeck is interested in the social and political power of photography; with the work, he makes a subtle but powerful statement about our common responsibility of environmental sensitivity.

The exhibition will be on display in the Plemmons Student Union Looking Glass Gallery until October 12th. On October 11th, from 6pm to 7pm, a public closing reception will be held, marking a wonderful opportunity to meet the artist and experience the majesty and subtlety of his work.

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