Baker University’s Holt-Russell Gallery is hosting the Wetlands 2017 juried art exhibit, which includes works that highlight the biodiversity and fragility of wetlands ecosystems.

Artists represented in the exhibit were selected from a nationwide call for submissions by exhibition juror Michael Schonhoff, director of the KCAI Crossroads Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice Works. Selections include work by artists from Connecticut, New York, and California in an array of formats, including paintings, digital photography, linocut printmaking, and drawing. Each of the top three artists received cash prizes.

Carsten Meier of Logan, Utah, was named the winner of the 2017 Wetlands competition and will have his work displayed in a solo show in the Holt-Russell Gallery in spring 2018. A German-born photographer known for his large-format renderings of urban and natural landscapes, Meier actively collaborates with the Quinney College of Natural Resources and is part of a team that was awarded a 2014 National Geographic grant. His current project, Dams, was released for international publication in fall 2015.

Second place was awarded to Eric Rennie, whose works features the landscape located about a mile south of his home in Cromwell, Connecticut. Rennie’s work explores an area known as Dead Man’s Swamp, a 500-acre wildlife preserve and the largest forested flood plain along the Connecticut River, which serves as an important stopover for migratory waterfowl and other birds.

Betsy Litton of Chesterfield, Missouri, received third place honors. Litton holds a Master of Fine Arts from UCLA. Her photography employs long, single exposures, which allow for unique outcomes caused by subtle movements of the camera.

Local artist Julie Campbell of Eudora, Kansas, is also featured in the exhibit. Campbell’s photographs are of the Baker Wetlands, one of the most diverse habitats in Kansas that spans 927 acres of natural wildlife. In addition to drawing interest from artists and hikers, the Baker Wetlands also serves as a space for Baker students to have one-of-a-kind, hands-on opportunities for increased exploration or and education about biological and ecological processes. Baker students and faculty, have identified 278 species of birds, 98 other vertebrate species, and 487 plant species at the Wetlands.

“It is my hope that we can arrange a program in conjunction with Carsten Meier’s solo show next spring in partnership with the Baker Wetlands and the Department of Biology and Chemistry,” said Russell Horton, gallery manager and assistant professor of art.

The Wetlands 2017 art exhibit will close on Friday, April 28. All featured art is available for purchase. The Holt-Russell Gallery is located on the second floor of Parmenter Hall at 706 Dearborn St. Viewing hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and noon – 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The gallery is closed on Sundays and major holidays.

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