SHERIDAN, Wyo. (August 27, 2018) – Chuck Hemard’s photographic exhibit, entitled The Pines – Southern Forests, has been on view at the Whitney Center for the Arts Edward A. Whitney gallery throughout the summer. Thursday, August 30, Hemard will visit Sheridan College for an artist talk in the concert hall at 4 p.m. and an opening reception in the Edward A. Whitney Gallery from 5 – 7 p.m.
Hemard’s large-scale photographs explore old-growth longleaf pinelands across the coastal plain of the Southeast United States and fire’s role in the pine forests of the Deep South. The landscape has deep ties to the cultural, economic and environmental histories of this region and beyond. Hemard’s images depict the extraordinary biodiverse understory, evolving as a fire-dependent savannah or grassland.
Longleaf was the dominate element in the landscape mosaic that covered the coastal plain from Virginia to east Texas, some 90 million acres at the time of European settlement and were all but wiped away by human logging on an industrial scale towards the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. When properly maintained by humans with frequent, non-fatal fire, the longleaf ecosystem rivals the tropical rainforests in terms of biodiversity, yet today the decline of this ecosystem has been listed as the third most endangered in the United States.
“Hemard’s images are striking, and his point of view brings to light the importance of the longleaf ecosystem in the U.S. and the Deep South in particular,” said Dr. Erin Hanke, Whitney Center director. “This is a beautiful exhibit, and Hemard’s artist talk will be fascinating for anyone interested in agriculture and the value of land management in Wyoming and across the U.S.”
About Chuck Hemard
Chuck Hemard is a lifelong resident of the American south. His recent photographs, made mostly with large format film cameras, explore the complexities of contemporary landscape. Hemard recently published a monograph with Daylight Books that explores remnants of old-growth longleaf pinelands across the Deep South. His work has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, Hyperallergic, and Garden and Gun Magazine. In 2014, Hemard was awarded an Artist Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. His work is included in public collections across the southeast United States, including the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, GA and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. Hemard is an Associate Professor at Auburn University in the Department of Art and Art History.
About Whitney Center for the Arts
Whitney Center for the Arts is home to live performances, art exhibitions and Sheridan College Schools of Music and Art. As one of the most advanced arts education centers in the west, it features programs in music, painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking and digital media. The Whitney Center opened in 2016, providing students and arts patrons across the Northern Rockies with a state-of-the-art space for fine and performing arts programs, and shows and performances by artists from around the world. The 54,000 square-foot facility features a 422-seat concert hall, the largest in the region, including a changeable proscenium stage, motorized fly system and hydraulically convertible orchestra pit. Two gallery spaces showcase work by students, faculty and traveling shows throughout the year.
Whitney Center for the Arts 2018-19 is now offering season tickets for its Spotlight Series of events. Season tickets went on sale August 1 and are $235 each; 20 percent less than the cost of tickets purchased individually. Individual ticket sales begin September 1. All Whitney Center tickets are available online at whitneyarts.org/tix, or at the Sheridan College cashier desk Monday thru Friday between 8 – 5 p.m.