Grand Opening - Yellowstone to Yukon: Journey of Wildlife and Art
“An exhibit like I’ve never seen before.”
“The Gateway exhibit and the Y2Y exhibit are the perfect marriage of mountain culture.”
These are just some of the reactions of the 250 people - art lovers, conservationists, entrepreneurs, and outdoor enthusiasts - who attended the official opening of Yellowstone to Yukon: the Journey of Wildlife and Art this Saturday.
Harvey Locke, co-founder of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, co-creator of the exhibit and editor of the companion book that was also launched on Saturday, is thrilled the show speaks to such a broad audience.
“This art show is a vehicle for us to understand that we live in the middle of the Y2Y corridor, which we can keep intact indefinitely with foresight. And which exists in its present condition because of the foresight of people over 100 years ago,” Locke said.
Conservation Through Art
The lavish exhibit describes how art has played a central role in providing the inspiration to protect and conserve nature throughout the Yellowstone to Yukon region for the last 150 years.
While some swooned over the vibrant work of Thomas Moran, whose images of the Yellowstone and Grand Teton region helped convince the United States Congress to establish Yellowstone as the world's first National Park; others took the opportunity to chat with the shows modern day featured artist Dwayne Harty.
Commissioned by Y2Y to convey the present condition of the 3,200 kilometer landscape, Dwayne traveled to the most remote regions of the corridor capturing landscapes that few, if any, painters have sketched firsthand. Dwayne’s talents impressed visitors throughout the opening as he sketched a live Great Horned Owl before their eyes.
This story would not be complete without representation of one of the great conservation inventions of our time – the wildlife crossing structures that were inspired by Y2Y and first constructed in Banff National Park. Its unrivaled success has inspired similar projects around the world. The next generation of crossing architectural models from the ARC international wildlife crossing structure design competition were on display and amazed visitors with their innovation.
Bringing Art Back into the Wild and out to the People
Unlike most exhibits, this art experience extends beyond the walls of the museum and into the landscape of Banff National Park both figuratively and experientially.
Michale Lang, Executive Director of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, explains “The subject of this exhibit literally exists right outside the doors of the Museum. Our vision was to bring artists back into inspiring wild places while making their art available to the people it is meant to touch.”
This summer Dwayne Harty will take to the streets and wild places of Banff leading art demonstrations, classes and hands-on workshops (click here for event listing). It is a unique experience only available in the park and made possible by Banff National Park’s inaugural artist-in-residence program.
It’s a show not to be missed!
The entire exhibit is the result of a multi-year collaboration between the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States in Jackson, Wyoming, the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff, Canadian born artist Dwayne Harty, and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. It will run at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies until November 15, 2012.