Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum is the inaugural site for a new photography exhibit of arctic wildlife. The complete exhibit will be on display from Sept. 6-Nov. 30.
The exhibit, titled "Endangered Treasures: Our Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," consists of 50 enlarged photographs by eight nationally and internationally known wildlife photographers. The photographs celebrate the exquisite beauty of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
"These photographs are amazing," said Greg Liggett, assistant director of the Sternberg Museum. "I never realized how beautiful that part of Alaska could be, but the pictures really show stunning colors."
The exhibit depicts landscapes, various animal and plant life and the natural diversity of Alaska's coastal plains.
Wildlife photographers who contributed to the exhibition include Kennan Ward, Art Wolfe, Thomas Mangelsen, Tom Walker, Subhankar Banerjee, Ken Whitten, Amy Gulick and Gary Braasch.
The pictures were taken at the Alaskan refuge, which is often called "America's Serengeti" because of its similarity to Africa's wildlife-rich plain. The refuge is home to 45 species of mammals and is visited by at least 160 species of birds during migrations during the summer.
Among the spectacular features of the refuge are grizzly bears, foxes and the fact that it is the last habitat for the few remaining musk oxen. The refuge is also the chief den site for polar bears in the U.S. and is a calving ground for 50,000 baby caribou each year.
Lauri Giblin and a grassroots movement of concerned citizens organized the exhibition to focus attention on Alaska's remote, untouched, virgin wilderness. The refuge has been the subject of intense lobbying in Congress on the issue of oil exploration.
The exhibition is toured by International Arts and Artists and began its national tour with only half of the photographs displayed in Washington, D.C., in April. The artwork will travel the country through 2004.
The museum hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-7 p.m. on Sunday. For more information on the exhibit or to purchase tickets contact the museum toll free at 1-877-332-1165 or visit the Web site at www.fhsu.edu/sternberg.