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The Antelope

The Antelope

Photos of beautiful creatures inspire powerful emotions

Sydney Norris Antelope Staff
Sydney Norris
Antelope Staff

We all have those dreams that drive us from day to day.  Some of them are small, like finishing three class loads of homework in one evening or maybe making it through a long day.  However, other dreams are driven by passions that were planted in our hearts long before we knew they existed.  Little did I know that a passion like photography could have such a huge impact on the world.

I walked into the art gallery in the back of MONA on Saturday, March 18 to see Joel Sartore speak about his adventures with National Geographic and the endangered wildlife he has attempted to save. Knowing Sartore was a photographer, I was not only excited to hear of his visit to the Cornhusker state, but I was feeling every emotion other than sad.  

Sartore not only captured the attention of the crowd, but his photographs were the main topic of discussion.  With walls and walls of beautiful portraits of animals from far-off lands or close to home, the piece that resonated with me was a photograph of an elephant. The detail was so sharp and showed the true character in the individual animal.  It was as though each wrinkle of skin had a story to tell, and the reflection of its eyes had life full of pain, love and confusion.

My favorite aspect of Sartore‚Äôs work was the equality presented in each piece.  As you walk through the gallery, you notice that each background of the animals is either white or black and that each animal is similar in size on canvas. This was a well thought-out detail, as Sartore wanted to represent the equal importance and the impact that each animal, big or small, has on our fragile environment.  

I was driving in Iowa this past week and I was reminded of the presentation given by Sartore. I happened to drive past a sanitary landfill.  While you could not see it from the highway, you could tell it was nearby from the amount of trash that was blowing around and hanging from fences and vegetation.  It reminded me that we are on borrowed time and using borrowed resources. It reminded me of the 6,000 endangered species Sartore has photographed on, only half of his project plan.  It also reminded me that while we may be just one person, one small pebble can make a huge ripple effect. I believe that Sartore is that small pebble and his effect is one of many that will continue to make a huge effect on the world and the beautiful creatures that we share this space with.  

See Sartore MONA and Animal Ark story and photos in March 15 issue of The Antelope online.

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