Adirondack Experience to Open Exhibition of New Photographs By Acclaimed Artist and Environmental Activist J. Henry Fair
Scarred Landscape Illuminates Human Impact on the Adirondack Park
On View July 1 – October 10, 2022
New York, NY—June 15, 2022—On July 1, the Adirondack Experience (ADKX) will open the special exhibition Scarred Landscape: The Adirondack Photographs of J. Henry Fair. The presentation, which was developed especially for ADKX, will feature 12 large-scale aerial photographs that capture sites of environmental damage in the Adirondack landscape. Over the course of his illustrious multi-decade career, Fair has leveraged the power of photography to tell the stories of people and nature, focusing in particular on the impact of human activity on the environment. The forthcoming exhibition will engage viewers with the beauty of Fair’s work, while also drawing critical attention to urgent environmental concerns. Scarred Landscape also dovetails with ADKX’s ongoing virtual program series, Adirondacks for All, which explores the ways in which experiences of inequity in the Adirondacks relate to issues of preservation, pollution, and access to land, water, and nature. The exhibition will remain on view through October 10, 2022.
“Scarred Landscape is an opportunity to continue our active engagement with both the history and future of the Adirondack Park, which includes examining the impact of leisure, commercial, and industrial activities on the landscape and wildlife. This exhibition also captures the importance of art to fostering new thinking, understanding, and dialogues about issues significant to us,” said David Kahn, Executive Director of ADKX. “We are pleased that we could present this exhibition in tandem with the Adirondacks for All program series, allowing our audiences to connect with this subject in different and dynamic ways.”
Although the six million acres that comprise the Adirondack Park are protected lands, the area has not been spared environmental damage. Scarred Landscape looks in particular at the impacts of industrial activity like mining and paper manufacturing, tourism and major events such as the 1980 Olympics, and global climate change. These effects are often masked by the majestic beauty of the Adirondacks as experienced from the ground, but the realities of the damage are undeniable in Fair’s monumentally-scaled aerial images, which range in size from 30 x 42 inches to 50 x 72 inches. Among the selection of photographs in Scarred Landscape are images of waste waters at Newton Falls, detritus at the Tahawus mine, the McKeever Mills ruin, and the Whiteface Mountain observatory, trail, and highway.
“The power of J. Henry Fair’s photographs is in their incredible beauty. At first glance some look like abstract canvases. But as you look more closely, you of course realize that they present much deeper, more complicated, and urgent scenes,” said Laura Rice, Chief Curator at ADKX. “Although these photographs capture sites of damage, the exhibition is equally about hope and the possibility of change. By bringing the issues to the fore through art, we can engage and intervene in these processes, assuring the protection of the Adirondacks into the future.”
About J. Henry Fair
J. Henry Fair is an American photographer and environmental activist. Known for his “chillingly beautiful” (Audubon Magazine) environmental aerial photos, Fair has called attention to the environmental challenges in different regions of the world for many years, often connecting those concerns with other social and political issues. His work has won him numerous recognitions. In 2020, he was featured as one of the 12 most influential nature and conservation photographers of our time in the newly released book Human Nature, which received wide critical acclaim. In 2019, he won the distinction of “Environmental Photography of the Year”, and in 2012, he received the “Earth Through A Lens” Award. Fair has also published three photography books, including the critically acclaimed Industrial Scars, which was reviewed by the New York Times. He holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Fordham University. He is currently based between New York City and Berlin.
About Adirondacks for All
Adirondacks for All: Identity & Environmental Justice in the North Country is an eight-part virtual program series that explores experiences of inequity and oppression in the Adirondacks and the ways in which those realities connect with issues of preservation, pollution, and access to land, water, and nature more broadly. It is being developed by ADKX in partnership with the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, The Wild Center, and the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and is supported in part by a $50,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. To oversee the development of the program, ADKX has hired Erik Reardon, a professor and scholar whose work has focused in particular on environmental history and Native American histories. The events are free to the public, but require online pre-registration.
Additional information about upcoming programs is available on the events page of the ADKX website at www.theadkx.org.
About the Adirondack Experience
Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX), accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, shares the history and culture of the Adirondack region through interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and culturally rich collections in more than 20 historic and contemporary buildings on a 121- acre campus in the heart of the Adirondacks. The museum is supported in part with donations from the general public, with some general operating support made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. For additional information, call 518-352-7311 or visit www.theADKX.org.
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