By Srianthi Perera, GSN Contributor
Arizona Highways magazine and Art Intersection in Gilbert have collaborated to display the work of eight Arizona photographers at the gallery.
The magazine is known for its great, sweeping landscape photography. The exhibition, titled Hanging Together and running through Jan. 12, goes a step further to include the state’s wildlife, Native American portraits, flora closeups and nostalgia-evoking Route 66.
“A lot of our history has to do with photography and that’s how people, certainly over the years, have come to know us,” said Jeff Kida, Arizona Highways photography editor, who curated the show. “I was really looking for a mix. It’s something that we do all the time; it’s just that some of the work just isn’t expected.”
The 66 works are by Paul Gill, Joel Grimes, Joel Hazelton, Kerrick James, Gary Ladd, Suzanne Mathia, Erini Pajak and Bruce Taubert. It includes photography featured in the magazine, as well as photographs never on display to the public.
“Visitors have commented that the imagery is uplifting and gives them a positive feeling when they enter the exhibition,” said Alan Fitzgerald, owner of Art Intersection. “This is a very popular exhibition. The community response has been exceptional with a very busy opening and many daily visitors.”
As expected from the veteran magazine, the quality of the images is outstanding.
Quality, however, is rarely achieved with ease. Often, the photos have been taken after surmounting challenges.
“I can speak to the amount of effort that goes into making many of these photos,” Kida said. “These people work tirelessly. It’s the interesting thing about this kind of work. Sometimes a photographer will see the potential in a place and location and he has to go back many times just to get it.”
Bruce Taubert’s photo of a snowy egret was made at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert early in the morning, when the sun was illuminating the cottonwood trees but not the lake. Its golden hue reflects fall leaves in the water.
Taubert’s specialty is wildlife in its variety. “From the smallest fly and its compound eye consisting of hundreds of tiny lenses to fighting Sonoran Desert javelina, this exhibit is intended to arouse the viewers’ interest in Arizona’s great wildlife species and offer them a small bit of insight into its animal diversity,” he stated.
Joel Hazelton made a vertical photo in the wilderness area of Petrified Forest National Park, called “Devil’s Playground.” The last rays of sunlight paint the tops of sandstone hoodoos that make up the geology of the area.
“My images are the product of an obsession with Arizona’s remote backcountry,” wrote Hazelton in his artist statement. “They are not bold displays of quintessential southwest landmarks; rather, they are humble interpretations of Arizona’s most secluded natural secrets.
“While I do occasionally visit an icon, the locations I photograph are usually subtle: nestled within the hollows of a canyon, or inside of an untouched wilderness area miles from any trails. But, at that moment, those places are mine, inciting a feeling of exclusivity that inspires me to look deeper into a scene and pull out the intricate nuances that make each location unique.”
“So much of this has to do with patience and vision and for a lot of us, not just photographers, society moves so quickly and good photography is an exercise in patience,” Kida said. “Sometimes, you can get lucky. But, for the people who really practice their art and craft, it takes a lot of patience that requires a lot of time.”
Arizona Highways began in the early 1920s when automobiles emerged as the preferred mode of transportation in the U.S., and a handful of states throughout the country developed magazines to entice motorists to travel newly developed roads.
Sponsored by the states’ departments of transportation, these magazines provide a unique resource for examining how the automobile changed the history of travel and helped to shape identities of places in America.
Art Intersection at 207 N. Gilbert Road, suite 201, Gilbert presents Hanging Together through Saturday, Jan. 12. A closing reception will be held Jan. 12.
Details: 480-361-1118 or artintersection.com/event/arizona-highways-hanging-together