SFUAD Hosts Book Tour Launch for Photographer Michael Berman, Recipient of a New Mexico Centennial Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts

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Berman will present his new book, Gila, during an Oct. 20 launch and signing

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Photo courtesy of Michael Berman

The Marion Center for Photographic Arts at Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD), in collaboration with Scheinbaum & Russek Ltd and the Museum of New Mexico Press, announced today that it will host the launch of photographer Michael P. Berman’s new book, Gila. Berman, who is recognized this year as a recipient of a New Mexico Centennial Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, will give a public book talk and signing Oct. 20 from 3 to 5 p.m. in Tipton Hall.

Gila contributors Sharman Apt Russell and Patrick Toomay will also participate in the SFUAD lecture through a reading and conversation, respectively. The book launch follows an opening reception for the accompanying exhibition, Gila, at Scheinbaum & Russek Gallery on Oct. 19 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Berman, a photographer and painter, is a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow whose works have been exhibited throughout the country and are collected in numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the New Mexico History Museum and the New Mexico Museum of Art. He lives in the Mimbres Valley of New Mexico, bordering the Gila Wilderness.

The photographs captured in Berman’s book focus on the Gila, designated the world’s first wilderness area in 1924 and named the first wilderness within the U.S. National Wilderness Preservation System by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Often referenced but seldom visited, the Gila is one of the most important and least photographed landscapes in the American West. Noted environmentalist Aldo Leopold conceived the modern concept of “wilderness” there.

“Michael’s new two-volume book on the Gila presents, in images and words, why it is increasingly critical to save the wild places on the planet,” said Mary Anne Redding, chair of SFUAD’s Photography Department. Redding edited Gila and wrote the Foreword. “In today’s climate of global warming and extreme carbon emissions, it seems there are no longer sacred places. Berman shows us a glimmer of hope when care is taken to honor the earth.”

Rather than examining only the edges of what might be considered a pristine wilderness, Berman hikes miles with his camera into places not easily accessible. Often walking on animal trials, he searches for untrammeled, scraggly and complex ecosystems on which to turn his lens. Berman took part in the New Mexico BLM Wilderness Photography Survey in 1996 and became a founding board member of the Gila Resource Information Project (GRIP) in 1997.

Michael P. Berman Book Talk and Signing

What: Gila by Michael P. Berman. Edited and with a Foreword by Mary Anne Redding.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 20, 3–5 p.m.
Location: Tipton Hall, Marion Center for Photographic Arts
Santa Fe University of Art and Design, 1600 St. Michael’s Dr., Santa Fe, N.M.
Cost: Gila books will be available for purchase for $50
For more information: Call 1-505-473-6341

The Gila exhibition at Scheinbaum & Russek runs through Nov. 17. Call 505-988-5116 for appointments and directions.

About the Anne and John Marion Center for Photographic Arts:

The Anne and John Marion Center for Photographic Arts is home to exemplary traditional and alternative process darkrooms and a state-of-the-art digital facility. It also houses the Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Library, an outstanding resource on the history, aesthetics and technology of photography. These resources provide an opportunity for students interested in photography and photo-based works to study an exceptional curriculum under leading artists and teachers while earning a BA or a BFA degree in photography. The Marion Center is housed in a building designed by internationally renowned architect Ricardo Legorreta.

About SFUAD’s Photography Department:

The Photography Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design offers a comprehensive education in the theory, techniques, history and ethics of photography. This base, integrated with a strong foundation in other visual and liberal arts, provides students with the knowledge and perspective they need to pursue photography as a creative professional. The program, housed in the Anne and John Marion Center for Photographic Arts, encompasses both analog and digital technologies, giving students the chance to work in exemplary traditional and alternative process darkrooms and a state-of-the-art digital facility. Students also have access to the Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Library, an outstanding resource on the history, aesthetics and technology of photography.

About Santa Fe University of Art and Design:

Santa Fe University of Art and Design is an accredited institution located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of the world’s leading centers for art and design. The university offers degrees in arts management, contemporary music, creative writing, digital arts, graphic design, moving image arts (filmmaking and video production), performing arts, photography and studio art. Faculty members are practicing artists who teach students in small groups, following a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that combines hands-on experience with core theory and prepares graduates to become well-rounded, creative, problem-solving professionals. As a Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Art, Architecture and Design, the university boasts an international student body and opportunities to study abroad, encouraging students to develop a global perspective on the arts. Santa Fe University of Art and Design is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, http://www.ncahlc.org.
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