Mark Burns, who is best known for his national park landscape imagery described his new gallery as a “fun spinoff.”
The renowned photographer was on hand Thursday as his new exhibit featuring the Grand Canyon was unveiled at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. The collection — titled Grand Canyon Photographs: 1919-Celebrating the Centennial-2019 — is curated from pieces created between 2011 and 2019 and is designed to celebrate the Grand Canyon on its 100th anniversary as a National Park.
The exhibit is being brought to the museum in a collaboration between the museum and SHSU’s Center for Law, Engagement and Politics.
“It was a fun project and a fun spinoff from the national parks project,” Burns told a crowd of art enthusiast Thursday. “A lot of these photos were pretty well planned out, especially one photo featuring the moon in Winter Soloists, which was nearly five months of planning.
“This project was a lot of fun, because I could do so many different things and not just be limited to one style.”
From 2011-2016, Burns worked on “The National Parks Photography Project,” for which he photographed all of the National Parks in the United States in black and white. Accordingly, the SHMM and the LEAP Center have worked to bring in three original photographs by Ansel Adams to showcase alongside Burns’ works for this latest exhibit. The Adams pieces will be on display for the rest of the week.
The gallery consists of approximately 35 pieces, and even though it centers on one subject, the Grand Canyon, the pieces illuminate the Park across different seasons, times of day, locations, and weather conditions. While it definitely boasts the stunning, traditional black-and-white landscapes for which Burns is well-known, other pieces include color landscapes, several conceptual works, and astrophotography. The exhibit even incorporates an auditory element, with the sounds of the Colorado River piped into the gallery.
The exhibit will remain on display through September 5, in the exhibit gallery of the Katy & E. Don Walker, Sr. Education Center.