Ansel Adams

We’re coming down to the final part of the semester, and I am already seeing some of the drain and the strain on students’ faces as they think about finals and papers and projects that will be due within the next 20 days or so.

When students get into the end-of-semester crunch, they tend to feel like they have to hunker down and work-work-work to get everything done.  I would argue that if they manage their time, and if they deliberately take some moments to unplug from work and phone and do something really enjoyable, it will recharge their batteries and make them more productive when they do go back to studying.

So I’m putting on my unofficial doctor’s hat and offering them a prescription:

a good long walk outdoors, followed by some great art

The path that leads from the lower parking lot behind Admissions and Winston halls is a serene, delightful stroll up to Reynolda Village and Reynolda Gardens.  Taking a 10 or 15 minute walk in nature is like its own shot of energy and happiness, at least for me.  So your Deacs will get the benefit of fresh air, sunshine, and some low-key exercise.

Follow that up with a trip to Reynolda House Museum of American Art.  It’s free for students (bring their ID) – and as an aside, WFU employees and a guest get free admission.

The reason your Deacs need to get to Reynolda House is because there is an Ansel Adams exhibition going on right now and they can see it for free with ID!  This exhibition will not be here all summer, so they want to see it before they have to pack up and move home after finals or graduation.

ansel adamsAgain, this is about destressing and decompressing, but also about taking advantage of the full range of opportunities Wake is offering them.  Once they leave here, they will likely have to pay admission to a museum if they want to see an Ansel Adams exhibition.  Do it while you can, Deacs!

Details about the Ansel Adams exhibition are below.  Tell your Deacs to take the cure and follow the ‘walk plus art’ doctor’s orders 🙂

PS – for those of you who will be coming down for graduation, or to help your students pack up and move out of the residence halls, this would be an excellent diversion for you, too! Walk the path from campus and and take in the art yourself!  (It won’t be free for parents, but the nominal ticket cost is well worth your while – both for Ansel Adams and the historic house. They have a fabulous gift shop too!)

— by Betsy Chapman

Ansel Adams (1902-84), perhaps the best-known photographer in American history, developed a system for creating luminous, vivid landscape photographs in sharp contrasts of black and white. He then printed his film negatives with meticulous attention to craft.  Adams’s manner of framing and capturing both magnificent, large-scale landscape formations, and small, exquisite natural objects created icons of the American wilderness.

These forty breathtaking photographs by the renowned artist-photographer have never been on view together, and Reynolda House is the exhibition’s only venue.

Adams subscribed to the romantic tradition of American landscape, an artistic lineage that included major American painters—including Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, and Albert Bierstadt —whose work anchors the collection of Reynolda House Museum of American Art.

Adams took his first photos with a Kodak Brownie camera at age 14 during a family vacation to Yosemite National Park, and he would return to Yosemite regularly throughout his life. An early and passionate environmentalist as well as an artist, Adams advocated powerfully for wilderness preservation, national park creation, and the Sierra Club, with which he was affiliated from the age of 17.  His goal was “to rekindle an appreciation of the marvelous.”

This exhibition’s debut in North Carolina coincides with the centennial of the National Park Service, which marks its 100th anniversary in August 2016. The National Parks Conservation Association has joined Reynolda House as the National Outreach Partner for the exhibition. During the exhibition season, Reynolda House will embark on a series of events and talks focused on themes of sustainability and preservation, highlighted by an Earth Day event co-presented by Wake Forest University.

Ansel Adams: Eloquent Light has been organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas.


Categories: arts


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