1718 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
Gallery Hours: Thur & Fri, 12:00-6:00 pm; Sat, 12:00-4:00 pm
Yosemite: A Landscape of Life – Jay Mather
Show Dates: September 25 – November 7, 2015
Events: Opening Reception: September 25, 6:00-9:00 pm
Exhibition held in conjunction with the Louisville Photo Biennial: Louisville’s Premier Photographic Festival
Arms stretched, a man stands on a cliff’s edge, gazing out at the vast landscape below. The scale of the figure in contrast with the mountainous scene emphasizes just how small we really are. This body of work by Jay Mather not only celebrates the geographic beauty of the American west, but also humans’ relationship with the terrain. As Mather puts it, “everyone who comes to the park is a visitor, if only for a day or a decade. Yosemite is a landscape of life.”
Jay Mather has been a working photojournalist for over forty years. His interest in photography began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia, 1969-70. In 1979 while working for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Jay and a fellow journalist traveled to the Thailand-Cambodia border to document the massive exodus of Cambodian refugees fleeing the wrath of the Khmer Rouge regime. Their stories and photographs, a five-day series published in the Louisville Courier-Journal, were awarded the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. Throughout his career, Mather has covered a wide range of subjects and people. He has spent time with Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II and President Clinton. On the other end of the spectrum he has worked on projects about hunger, homelessness, AIDS, and other devastating issues.
His current body of work examines the natural beauty of central Oregon, the Cascade Range and high desert. He divides his efforts between the Deschutes Land Trust and the Sisters Folk Festival, documenting the activities in those non-profit organizations. Kaviar Forge & Gallery invites you to join us for our opening reception of “Yosemite: A Landscape of Life”, solo show for Jay Mather. This exhibition is held in conjunction with the Louisville Photo Biennial: Louisville’s Premier Photographic Festival. This festival celebrating the art of photography takes place throughout the city during the month of October. Embracing local, national and international artists and more than 30 exhibitions city-wide, the Photo Biennial celebrates artistic excellence in the realm of photography. “Yosemite: A Landscape of Life” opens September 25th and will run through November 7th. The opening reception will be held Friday, September 25th from 6:00 – 9:00pm during the Frankfort Avenue Trolley Hop.
Jay Mather has a deep love and respect for the environment. He has hiked and climbed while photographing throughout the western United States for projects on Yosemite National Park, the Desert Protection Act in California, the declining health of the Sierra mountain range, and the ongoing drought in the Colorado River Basin. His book, “Yosemite, A Landscape of Life,” was published by the Yosemite Association in 1990 for the centennial celebration of the park. Yosemite National Park celebrates its 125th anniversary this year as a unique geographical place in the world. Towering granite walls, cascading waterfalls, grassy alpine meadows, flora and fauna dominate the landscape. There is also another element that has always been present, the human landscape. It is the beauty of the human experience that Mather believes is equally special.
As Jay Mather states, “My photographic work in the park began in 1988 after I moved to California from Kentucky. Many of these images were made during a project to show the intimate human experience in the park in advance of the 100th anniversary in 1990. My interest in the personal experiences of the park’s visitors continues. One of my favorite moments during the project was the day I photographed the German Baptist visitors standing in the meadow at the base of El Capitan. As I began to photograph the men pointing to the tiny specks of the climbers I heard one of the women nearby say, “Well, I guess we’re more of an attraction than the climbers.” I went over to her and explained my reason for photographing the men and the scope of my project as well as a brief summary of my photojournalistic career. Our conversation about the park and their reasons for being there brought us all together in a serendipitous moment.”
Kaviar Gallery currently represents over one hundred artists. Located on Frankfort Ave in Clifton, the gallery is filled with many fine arts, crafts, jewelry, fiber works and furniture. Owner Craig Kaviar, who is a renowned sculptor and blacksmith, is an advocate of Louisville arts and an avid believer in the importance of celebrating local arts and crafts.