Christopher Curtis: Landscapes of Spirit

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HADLEY, MA-- The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum will present “Landscape of Spirit”, an exhibition of photographs by Christopher Curtis. The exhibition captures the ancient rock art and ruins of the Anasazi, Chumash, Shoshone, and Australian aboriginal peoples, and the sacred landscapes that they reside in. The exhibit will be on display in the Corn Barn from August 1st to October 15th. On Sunday August 6th, the Museum will host a reception for the artist, Christopher Curtis, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

The exhibition features photographs of aboriginal rock art that speaks of universal human themes: home, family, water, food, hunting, love. Also present in his photographs are supernatural themes referring to spirit animals, travel across time and space, and the powers of the tribe. Christopher Curtis is drawn to the Southwestern United States for its one-of-a-kind beauty and character. The sweet, sage-scented breezes and distant, whistling winds of Southeast Utah communicate a deep silence and timelessness. Curtis finds himself compelled by a “radiating sense of power, beauty, spirit, and mystery” when exploring and photographing ancient aboriginal sacred sites in the area. His photographs provide a mystifying glimpse of an ancient world, of cultures we cannot ever truly know. A similar atmosphere and environment to Utah can be found in the Australian Outback, which—interestingly enough—features very similar aboriginal rock art that explores the same themes we see in Utah. Compelled by this seemingly intrinsic bond between disparate human enclaves throughout the ancient world, Curtis has captured breathtaking images of the otherworldly landscapes.

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Curtis has been photographing for over 30 years, having studied the subject at the University of Colorado. His work has been exhibited in numerous one-person and group shows at such locations as Greenfield Community College, the Vermont Center for Photography, Franklin County Arts Council, Northampton Center for the Arts, University of Nebraska, Greentrees Gallery, University of Colorado, Alfredo’s Photographic Gallery, and, of course, the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum. In 2015, the museum hosted Curtis’s “Images from the Connecticut River Valley,” which focused on the local landscape as well as the plethora of rusted-out 1930s & ‘40s-era vehicles abandoned throughout the local farmland.