Seizing Spring

By: Catie Anderson, curator of education on May 2nd, 2018

The long-awaited arrival of spring in north central Wisconsin signals exciting changes in our activities, environment, and my energy level. The warm sun, budding plants, and return of migrating birds are undeniable pick-me-ups, drawing me outdoors. I know I’m not alone when I say springtime brings fresh perspective and motivation.

The improved weather affords more opportunities to travel and explore our surroundings, too. Tackling garden projects, planning road trips, or simply walking around the neighborhood all seem more achievable and promising in warm sunshine. Here’s a suggested way to embrace the spirit of spring: visit the Woodson Art Museum during photographer Ian Plant’s residency next weekend, May 12 & 13.

Desert Solitaire, 2014, giant sand dunes, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia, © Ian Plant

Minnesota-based photographer Ian Plant’s self-portrait taken in the ice caves of northern Wisconsin is featured in the Museum’s current exhibition Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary. Ian’s extensive world travels and passion for photography fuel his ongoing “Dreamscapes” series, featuring dramatic landscapes composed and captured in ways that challenge viewers’ recognition of subject matters. Describing the project, Ian says “The concept of ‘Dreamscapes’ sums up my whole philosophy of photography. I strive to create images that move beyond the literal, transforming subjects into something unexpected for the viewer by rendering the familiar in an unfamiliar way. I’m always looking for the right combination of composition, mood, and light to produce stunning photographs.”  

Ian has spent over twenty years photographing the natural world and widely shares his expertise through photography magazine contributions, his blog, books, instructional eBooks, video tutorials, and photography workshops and tours. I’m excited for Ian’s arrival next week and having the opportunity to consider images from his perspective and hear stories about his global adventures in the field. Please join me for Ian’s informative and inspired programs, which include a gallery walk through the National Geographic exhibition, Rarely Seen, on Saturday, May 12, 1-2 pm and his presentation “Stories Behind the Shots,” 1-2 pm on Sunday, May 13.

Eternal Mirror, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, 2013, © Ian Plant

Openings remain for Ian’s photography class on Saturday, May 12,  3-6 pm. During “Lessons from the Field,” designed for intermediate photographers. Ian will share some of his most valuable insights on the technical tools and artistic approaches photographers can use to achieve successful compositions and memorable images. For more information and to register, call the Museum at 715-845-7010.


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