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Michael Berman The Gila at 100 May 17 events


Obscura Gallery, Michael Berman, WildEarth Guardians, and the New Mexico Museum of Art present a celebration event and a photographic exhibition on May 17 that will honor all that's exceptional about our beloved Gila Wilderness on its 100th birthday. On May 17 at 3pm at the New Mexico History Museum, the celebration event will bring together unique voices and perspectives on the Gila Wilderness' long history of inspiring advocacy through storytelling and art. Following the talk at the Museum, the photographic reception will be held at Obscura Gallery from 5 - 7pm at 225 Delgado Street, Santa Fe.

A hundred years ago, Aldo Leopold cooked up a fine idea in the Gila and we tagged these end-of-the-line places with the moniker “Wilderness” – so a celebration is in order. And an opportunity to come closer to that ideal.

-Michael P Berman

The 3 pm May 17 celebration talk at the New Mexico History Museum will feature celebrated photographer Michael P. Berman, as well as other contributors from the anthology First & Wildest: The Gila Wilderness at 100, published in 2022 by Torrey House Press. A Guggenheim Fellow, Berman uses his art as a catalyst to renew and heighten our perception of the land by bringing awareness to the complexity of the biological world through political and social dialogue of the West. His photographs appear throughout First & Wildest, and his 2012 monograph Gila: The Enduring Silence, published by Museum of New Mexico Press, reflects his explorations of its wildest corners.

The event will also include Elizabeth Hightower Allen, the anthology’s editor and a contributing editor at Outside magazine, and Albuquerque-based journalist Laura Paskus, senior producer of the NMPBS series, "Our Land: New Mexico's Environmental Past Present, and Future" and author of the 2020 book "At the Precipice: New Mexico's Changing Climate," and editor of the forthcoming anthology, "Water Bodies: Love Letters to the Most Abundant Substance on Earth," from Torrey House Press.

Joining via video will be U.S. Representative Gabe Vasquez, from New Mexico’s Second Congressional District, who is leading the effort to designate the Gila River as Wild and Scenic in Congress. An avid hunter, angler, and friend of the Gila, Vasquez is founder of the Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project and co-founder of the pioneering New Mexico Outdoor Equity Fund.

With stories of place-based connection, we'll celebrate the wonders of this country's first wilderness, and we'll think boldly about what's needed to protect this special place for the next 100 years.

Following the talk at the Museum, the photographic reception will be held at Obscura Gallery from 5 - 7pm at 225 Delgado Street, Santa Fe.

A portion of the Obscura Gallery proceeds from the sales of Michael Berman’s exhibition artworks will be donated to WildEarth Guardians to continue their important work in the Gila Wilderness.



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