Glen Canyon Lecture Series Presents
“The Anasazi Project” by Don Kirby and Joan Gentry
Tuesday December 3, 2013, 7:00 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time) at Carl Hayden Visitor Center at Glen Canyon Dam.
Perhaps you will be lulled into the Pueblo perception of a world where everything is alive and connected and filled with spirit, including you… Sitting with Joan and Don’s photographs spread on my old library table, I marvel at the way they capture this perception. Much as an x-ray goes beyond the skin to capture bone structure, their visual language reveals a world beneath the surface world, a ground truth of energy gathered temporarily into form. In shades of silver and ebony, lightening flashes on cresting sandstone, flames leap, the deluge descends. The play of light and shadow, the tracings of water and wind offer metaphors for spirit, metamorphosis, migration. The photographs imply all this and more. — From the Introduction to the book The Anasazi Project by Ann Weiler Walka
Emerging from college with advanced math and science degrees, Don Kirby worked in aerospace on the West Coast while escaping frequently from the city to maintain sanity. He became a backpacker, mountain climber, and river runner, always carrying a slide camera to document his and his friend’s activities. A decade and a half later, for reasons still not clear, B/W film replaced slides, subject matter changed, a darkroom was built, and serious study of expressive photography began, utilizing workshops by Bruce Barnbaum, John Sexton, Ansel Adams, and ultimately teaching with Bruce, Jay Dusard, Stu Levy, and Huntington Witherill. Aerospace was abandoned a few years later. Don’s photography in the ensuing 37 years has been landscape oriented, concentrating on the lands west of the 100th meridian. Major projects include over 20 years (1989 to the present and continuing) of periodic work on the Ancestral Pueblos of the Colorado Plateau, 15 years (1991-2006) in the Wheatcountry of the Northwestern US, and lately 5 years (and continuing) in the National Grasslands and other grasslands in the US. Most recently he has begun a series of projects focused in Santa Fe. Don’s photographs have been exhibited in more than fifty individual and group exhibits. Additionally, his photographs are included in the collections of the George Eastman House, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Joy of Giving Something, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Portland Art Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, New Mexico History Museum, and private collections. Don met his wife Joan Gentry in 1992 and eleven years later Joan, a New Mexico gal, led them home to Santa Fe. They run a photography workshop program and travel the country in a pop-top camper in pursuit of their photographic interests.