Between Sept. 18 and Oct. 14, Washington Street Arts Center, 202 Washington Street, in Vermillion will host "Continental Divide: Borderlands, Wildlife, People and the Wall," an exhibit of 30 photographs taken by International League for Conservation Photographers during a three and a half week period, from Jan. 26 to Feb. 17, 2009.
Thirteen photographers traveled 2,000 miles documenting the land, wildlife and people of the borderlands and the impact the wall on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande is having on them. The border region is a shared conservation treasure of international importance that harbors some of the most bio-diverse landscapes on the continent. Many species found there are found nowhere else in the U.S. or Mexico. Some are found nowhere else on earth.
Along with the Borderlands exhibit, Washington Street Arts Center will also host an exhibit of "Bird Mosaics" by Nancy Losacker and "Missouri River Maps" by Nancy Carlsen. Together, these exhibits will demonstrate the fragile beauty of our ecosystem and also broaden our vision of art, making us more aware of the necessity of migration in the natural cycle of life as well as the destructive impact of impediments to that cycle.
The opening of this environmental exhibit at Vermillion Area Arts Council's Annual Meeting on Sept. 18, from 6 to 9 p.m., will feature a 20-minute film, "Wild versus Wall" related to the photo exhibit. The Arts Center Gallery will be open for viewing Tuesday, Sept. 21, Tuesday, Sept. 28 and Tuesday, Oct. 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. The exhibit can be viewed on Oct. 2 at the Arts Center's Chili Blues Cook-off. The closing reception for the exhibit is scheduled for Oct. 14, from 7 to 10 p.m. with a showing of the film, "800-Mile Fence."
The exhibit debuted in Washington, DC, where the photos were displayed in both the Rayburn House Office Building and the Russell Senate Office Building. Since then, the exhibit has traveled to Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Maryland and South Carolina.
In South Dakota ,the exhibit, which will also be on display in Sioux Falls during the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center's Annual Meeting, Sept. 22 and 23, will raise awareness of the beauty and bio-diversity of the borderlands and support efforts to revoke the Homeland Security's authority to waive all laws, including the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Air Act, to expedite the building of the wall across our border. We hope the exhibit will also encourage increased international cooperation on borderlands ecological issues and migration corridors.
Sierra Club's East River Group and Living River Group in South Dakota, the Vermillion Area Arts Council and the SD Peace and Justice Center are sponsoring the exhibit.