Friday, May 27 • 3:30 to 6 p.m. • Multiple locations around the town of Telluride
The official party gets underway with a round of receptions at 12 different galleries around town. The art is outstanding, and the drinks and hors d’oeuvres are free. If you get waylaid by old friends, or mesmerized by the art, and can’t make the whole circuit, don’t despair—the exhibitions of paintings, drawings and photography will all be up throughout the weekend.
(The Gallery Walk is free and open to the public.)
While Mountainfilm is hosting a wide range of artists this year, each of the selected artists is committed to making a difference, a goal that mirrors the festival’s theme of Awareness into Action. At each gallery the exhibiting artist will have a call to action, and in many cases proceeds from art sales will go to support the cause behind the exhibit.
Members of the Beehive Design Collective collaborate on larger-than-life, hand-drawn posters. Those posters become the signature banner for a campaign in support of (or against) a compelling issue of our times. Emma Bee, a member of the collective, is bringing The True Cost of Coal, a massive poster with storylines and details that rival a Hieronymus Bosch painting. Those details narrate what happens when this energy source is ripped from the ground. The poster, a stark reminder of what it takes to turn on our lights, will be exhibited around town during the festival. Don’t hesitate to ask Emma Bee about the details.
As part of her effort to chronicle mountain top removal in West Virginia, photographer Antrim Caskey embedded with protesters who were opposing this take-no-prisoners approach to mining coal. For her master’s thesis, Caskey assembled the photos into a zine titled Dragline (which is for sale at the Reading Frenzy). Her heart-wrenching images of the wholesale destruction of mountains posed alongside candid photos of the people determined to right this wrong stir the soul.
Ah Haa West
Paul Colangelo, a documentary photographer who was awarded one of the first Mountainfilm Commitment grants, continues to work on his award-winning project Sacred Headwaters, Sacred Journey. That project, a photographic documentary of the headwaters of British Columbia’s three greatest salmon-bearing rivers, seeks to raise awareness, through words and images, about the threat to this primal and largely untouched area from extraction industries. In this effort Colangelo is collaborating with many different people, including longtime festival guest Wade Davis.
The Butcher and the Baker
When in March 2008 Tim DeChristopher bid on and won the right to drill more than 12,000 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, he had no intention of paying nearly $1.8 million for the leases. The firestorm he set of in the environmental community has galvanized many to action, including local filmmakers George and Beth Gage. The Gages are telling DeChristopher’s story in a film, Bidder 70. George has added to that effort still photographs, on exhibit here. Gage is joined in the exhibit by his daughter Jenny Gage, a fashion photographer based in Brooklyn.
Shannon Galpin founded Mountain2Mountain, a non-profit that works to improve women’s rights in Afghanistan. Here in Streets of Afghanistan Galpin exhibits large-format photos of life in that war-torn country.
Schilling Studio Gallery
Jason Houston was last at Mountainfilm in 2009 with lovely photos of organic farmers. This time he brings a very different exhibit titled People of the Forest, a photo presentation that looks at a long-term conservation project in Borneo; his photos raise the question of how complex conservation work can be in the developing world.
Silver Bell Building
Photographer Aaron Huey returns to Mountainfilm with perhaps his most powerful body of work yet. Moved by more than a century of injustice suffered by the Lakota, a Native American tribe forcibly moved off their land and confined to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Huey has lived with the Lakota for the past six years and photographed with brutal honesty their impoverished lives. As moving as the photos are, Huey says his work is not finished; in various ways he continues to give voice to this social injustice, including speaking at the Moving Mountains Symposium.
Telluride Gallery of Fine Arts
Painter Charlotta Janssen was at Mountainfilm last year with her commanding series, Freedom Riders, a series of portraits of civil rights activists. Recently Janssen has turned her attention to environmental activists; she returns this year with a striking triptych of climate activist Tim DeChristopher, whom she painted after he was convicted in federal court this spring of interfering with an oil and gas lease auction held by the BLM.
A kayaker, Chris Korbulic was part of the expedition to the Lukuga River in the Congo that ended with the tragic death of lead paddler, Hendri Coetzee; Coetzee was attacked by a 15-foot crocodile. Korbulic’s photos of this journey mostly capture the time before the attack.
Former Telluride area resident and longtime Mountainfilm guest, photographer Ace Kvale returns to Mountainfilm with portraits of people whose eyes have been operated on by featured guest Geoff Tabin. These portraits are simple but striking close-ups of people whose lives are about to change dramatically.
Ah Haa East
For twelve years the Langs have been walking the same stretch of California beach picking up plastic and turning what was detritus into art. Their work has been exhibited in San Francisco MOMA and is the subject of the short film, One Plastic Beach. The Langs have also designed this year’s Mountainfilm Awards.
Telluride Gallery of Fine Art
Last August photographer Drew Ludwig went to Louisiana to lend a hand. Instead he found a thousand hands reached out to help him. What started as an act of activism became a 120-mile walk from New Orleans’ Ninth Ward to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way he collected solitary gloves, gloves that came to symbolize for him the story of Louisiana and its people. During his12-hour days of walking he made countless friends who offered him hospitality and respite. This exhibition, Ludwig’s photos of these kind folk combined with the found gloves, is a thoroughly original and entirely beautiful series of photo collages.
Vevie Dimmitt and Charlotte Jorgenson are sisters who were so moved by the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that they documented what they saw¬¬–and felt on canvas. The two talented painters have told a story of the explosion, and also chronicled life after the spill.
La Cocina de Luz
Pete McBride collaborated with writer Jonathan Waterman to film the length of the Colorado River, from headwaters to mouth, in an effort to help us better understand this crucial water source. McBride’s still photos of that effort paint a picture of a mighty waterway that is stressed to the breaking point and in real peril of falling down on the job of delivering water to millions.
George Steinmetz makes photographs while flying a motorized paraglider. For more than a decade, Steinmetz, a National Geographic Explorer, has flown all over the world, reaching many remote areas that are otherwise be inaccessible. These special photographs provide a perspective that has never been seen before.