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Indepth Arts News:

"Joel Sartore Photographs: On the Land"
2008-01-15 until 2008-03-09
Museum of Nebraska Art
Kearney, NE, USA United States of America

As a National Geographic contributing photographer, Joel Sartore has traveled the world. His experiences with the internationally-renowned magazine have ranged from traversing the Alaskan wilderness to traipsing into the Amazon rainforest to walking the very plains of Nebraska where he grew up. On the Land, comprised of photographs primarily taken from 2003 to 2005, documents some of these travels but yet has a deeper purpose. Committed to conservation, Sartore investigates and brings to light through the immediacy of photography along with commentary and quotes, human relationship with the earth and questions our responsibility to it.

On the Land consists of 39 color photographs covering four regions in North and South America: Alaska’s North Slope; the Western states of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico; the Patanal region of Brazil; and the Rocky Mountain Front and Great Plains. Sartore’s photographs of each region focus on potential or already set-in-order economic progression and the effect they can or are already taking on their ecosystem – for good or bad. In Alaska’s North Slope, oil drilling threatens America’s largest wilderness. Poorly regulated gas drilling in Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico has decimated the landscape as well as threatened ground water for fish and well fields. In the Patanal region of southwest Brazil, great strides have been taken to preserve the land while yet being economically viable through ecotourism. Currently intact, the Rocky Mountain Front faces a threat since it harbors natural gas reserves. Conversely, in the Great Plains, much of the tallgrass prairie is lost to farmland but is now on an upswing.

A native Nebraskan, Joel Sartore has over 20 years of experience as a professional photographer. Primarily known for his 17-year relationship with National Geographic, Sartore has also worked with Time, Life, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated as well as completed numerous book projects. In addition, his work has been the subject of national broadcasts including National Geographic’s Explorer series, the NBC Nightly News, NPR’s Weekend Edition, CBS Sunday Morning, and an hour-long PBS documentary. Awards include selection as a Distinguished Alumni at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications; First Place, Natural History Single at the 60th Annual Picture of the Year Competition; and Featured Photography for VISA Pour L’Image photography show, Perpignan, France. Sartore began his career in photography at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where, in 1985, he completed a degree in journalism. In 1990, he went on to become a photographer for The Wichita Eagle before beginning with National Geographic in 1990. Sartore resides in Lincoln with his family.

A bowhead whale is butchered on the beach in Kaktovik, Alaska. The village is allowed by law to take three whales each fall for the meat and baleen. Offshore oil drilling threatens to disrupt the whales' migratory routes and the Native' traditional hunt.

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