Photographs from Kansas, New Mexico, Peru, Scotland, Tanzania, Wyoming, and the Galápagos Islands will be on exhibit April 4 through May 4 at the Lee Dam Center for Fine Art, Marysville. The exhibition, “Images From My World,” features the photography of Jim Griggs, McPherson, Kans.
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“Rather than choosing a single subject for the exhibit, I decided to showcase a multitude of images from the different places I’ve traveled,” Griggs said.
A reception to meet the artist will be Thursday, April 4, from 4 to 6 p.m. Appetizers and drinks will be served; the public is invited.
“The rainforests of Peru are about the wildest place I have ever been,” he said. “With trees towering overhead, not much sunlight reaches the floor. The forests are full of wildlife and some of the most difficult photographic situations I’ve ever been in.”
Griggs leads photography trips to Peru, Tanzania, and the Galápagos Islands. He made his first trip to Tanzania in 2001 and has been leading photo safaris there ever since.
“You really have not lived until your first lion encounter in the wild,” he said. “It’s just you in an open-top vehicle with windows, and a lion right outside staring into your eyes. You suddenly realize you are no longer the top of the food chain.”
Griggs recalls the first night he camped in the African savannah in his canvas tent with lions a few hundred yards away bellowing and hunting. He didn’t get much sleep that night.
“Now, with so many trips behind me, I call it ‘Lion Lullabies’ as I drift off to sleep,” he said.
Griggs got his first 35mm camera in 1965, and knew he found his passion. Nearly twenty years later, a turning point came in his career when he attended a workshop by world-renowned photographer Boyd Norton, known for his work in wilderness photography and for his environmental activism. Less than a month after the workshop Griggs was hired by Boyd to be an instructor for Wilderness Photography Workshops.
For over eleven years the two led workshops in Colorado and Wyoming.
After working with Norton, Griggs was approached by Jim Richardson, a photographer for National Geographic, to be his assistant to photograph the tallgrass prairies of Kansas.
In 1998 Griggs took the reigns of the Great Plains Nature Photographers and has led it since. He says leading this group has been a very rewarding experience; it is part of his commitment to teaching and training photographers.
“I think I enjoy teaching photography these days as much as I enjoy selling images to publications,” he said. “We teach not only the techniques of photography, but the art involved in transforming a moving three-dimensional world into a dynamic two-dimensional medium.”
Griggs’ work has been in many calendars, books, magazines, websites, billboards, dioramas, and displays. He has been published in National Geographic, Africa Geographic, Wyoming Wildlife, and publications for the Sierra Club.
The art center is open Thursdays from 4-6 p.m.; Saturdays from 10-4 p.m.; Sundays from 1-4 p.m.
The exhibition is sponsored by the Marshall County Arts Cooperative. For more information visit the arts cooperative’s website marshallcountyarts.org.