Center showcases juried 'Images
of the Southwest' through Nov. 7
by Rick LeGrand, of Durango, took first place in the
digital category in the Center of Southwest Studies’
“Images of the Southwest” juried photo
exhibit, which is on display through Nov. 7.
A large color photograph of a blood-red
sunset at Monument Valley greets visitors to the “Images
of the Southwest” photo exhibit at the Fort Lewis
College Center of Southwest Studies. The image, by Howard
Rachlin, of Durango, is just the first of around 70 photographs
hanging in the gallery that celebrates the landscapes,
people, animals and other “images” of the
Southwest. The exhibit opened Friday, Oct. 3, and runs
through Nov. 7.
juried show was the first for the Center of Southwest
Studies, but because of the overwhelming response, it
will not be the last, said Jeanne Brako, curator of the
“There are really some beautiful photos here and
technical skills of very high quality,” she said.
“That’s a main feature of this show.”
Brako said she estimated the center would receive around
50 submissions for the show, which was open to all comers
– professional and amateur. However, the center
received double that number, as well as a huge influx
of first-time visitors to the center who came solely to
see the show. Brako said more than 700 people visited
the show during its opening weekend.
“Of course, we wooed them with refreshments,”
Visitors were treated to a profusion of images of the
Southwest, from dust devils to snow-covered aspens.
The center awarded $1,200 in prize money to the winners.
“Best in Show” honors, and $300 in prize money,
went to Eileen Baumgardt, of Durango, a particularly noteworthy
winner because it was the first photography contest she’d
“I’m really excited,” Baumgardt said.
“I’m flying on air.”
|A black and white print
by Brett West entitled “La Plata River”
captures water in motion.
Baumgardt used a Nikon N60 35mm to take her winning color
photo from a bench in front of the Spruce Tree House at
Mesa Verde. While waiting for her husband, the sun bounced
off the bottom of the canyon and up through the back of
a window in the house, giving the illusion that it was
lit from within.
“For me it was a spiritual kind of experience because
with all the people milling about, no one else noticed,”
Baumgardt said. “That’s why I named it ‘Light
from the Past’ – because it seemed like the
ancient people were speaking to me.”
Charlie Black, owner of Pennington Camera, had a color
photo of an American Indian in regalia dancing in the
foreground of Chimney Rock selected for the show. Black
said he learned of the show via flyers that were left
in his store and decided to pull his photo off his wall
and enter it. Once accepted for the show, he told the
center he would donate the proceeds from the sale of the
photo to the center if it sells.
|A 35mm digital print
taken by Eileen Baumgardt entitled “Close Encounter”
competed in the color category. Another of Baumgardt’s
from the Past,” won Best in Show honors.
“I think the idea (for the show) is really great,”
Black said. “I’m glad to see more photo exhibits
Black said that tourists often enter Pennington Camera
complaining that because the scenery is so beautiful,
they run out of film more quickly than expected.
“Tourists come and say, ‘I started with 10
rolls of film and I’m already done!’”
But he doesn’t blame them.
“It’s a photographer’s paradise here
in the Four Corners,” Black said. “We have
mountains, rivers, desert, red rocks, the train, Mesa
Verde 85 there are so many things to photograph.”