Adventurous Inspirations

By: Andrew McGivern, curator of exhibitions on April 4th, 2018

The Woodson Art Museum’s current exhibition, Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary offers large photographs of unusual and exotic scenes from around the world. I enjoy walking through the galleries, seeing visitors leaning in to study the details within the photographs or intently reading labels to learn more about the location or subject. I wonder how many of our visitors are adventurers, seeking out rare and exotic locations during their travels. Are they studying the photographs hoping to find inspiration for their next trip?

Imagine what it must be like to be assigned by an editor of the National Geographic magazine to travel to some remote corner of the world to capture photographs of a special event or a geographic phenomenon.

As an amateur photographer, I enjoy studying the images in detail and often wonder how the artist captured a unique viewpoint or overcame the challenges of nature to get such spectacular photographs.


Photographers don’t always have to travel great distances to capture outstanding images. I was drawn to Glenn Nagel’s photo of St. Joseph North Pier Lighthouse, St. Joseph, Michigan. It was taken in the winter of 2013 at night and shows an ice-covered pier and lighthouse – an ominous and other worldly view.



Nearby in the gallery is Ian Plant’s Ice Cave, taken at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin. It’s a shot taken remotely looking out from the cave with an icicle-framed view of the artist with backpack walking by outside. Minneapolis based photographer Ian Plant will lead Museum programs on May 12 and 13, sharing insights about his techniques and travels.

In a world of snapshots and instant media sharing, this exhibition celebrates the efforts and artistry of many accomplished photographers.


If you’re looking for inspiration to kick-start your adventurous side, visit soon to focus closely on Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary, on view through Sunday, May 27.

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