See the forest AND the trees: Field of Vision

Reviewer: Kristine Gotham

Venue: Saginaw Art Museum

Outside, Mother Nature, is resplendent in her finest of fall colors, beautiful reds, oranges and golds.  Inside, She is celebrated in beautiful black and white and color photographs on display in the newest exhibit at the Saginaw Art Museum, Field of Vision.  Sixteen white matted photos in black frames, organized by the Flint Institute of Arts, reflect the beauty of nature in its natural state and also demonstrate man’s interaction with nature.

There are photos of nature at its raw, natural state, like Graciela Iturbide’s “Centinela”. A singular cactus rises into the sky in a stark, Mexican landscape.  Monte Nagler’s “Red Pines” celebrate the majesty of a forest of towering pines found in Empire, Michigan. 

Nature and man can co-exist, as seen in Barr Andersen’s “Connemara Mountains, Peat and Sky” and Laton Alton Huffman’s “Hot Sheep in Powder River Badlands near Broadus”.  These photos exhibit how man can utilize elements from nature to promote life in a sometimes harsh environment.

Other photos, while reflecting only nature, are the result of man’s influence.  Barry Anderson’s “Grindavik 2, Iceland” shows a beautiful blue lagoon found on the southern peninsula of Iceland.  The lagoon is located near a natural lava field but is man-made and the beautiful blue water is a by-product of a nearby geothermal power plant.  

There are times when man has completely overtaken the natural surroundings, as evidenced by Alain Meynet’s photo, “Overlook- San Francisco”.  What was once a rolling landscape of hills and trees, has been replaced by tract houses and skyscrapers.  

Although man tries to conquer Mother Nature, in the end, nature always comes back.  In Robert von Sternberg’s “Huntington Beach, California”, nature is seen growing strong and surviving despite man’s attempt to cover it in concrete and metal signs.  Richard Buswell’s “Bed Frame in Snowstorm”, perfectly lays out nature’s return when man has abandoned a place once inhabited.  

Nature calls to the most intimate depths of our soul.  This exhibit invites the patron to slow down, to reflect on the beauty of nature and to revel in the relationship that man and nature have together.  The Field of Vision exhibit will be on display at the Saginaw Art Museum until February 24, 2023.  

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