Crown of the Continent: The Wildest Rockies, a new photography exhibition, opens at the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls on October 10, 2015. The exhibit will be on display through January 18, 2016.
The exhibit features 40 photographs of the Rocky Mountains taken by photographer Steven Gabriel Gnam who focuses on the wild lands, wildlife, and peoples of the North American West. He runs, hikes, swims, climbs, and skis with camera in hand to cover stories and share the essence of wilderness. Gnam’s first book, Crown of the Continent: The Wildest Rockies (published by Braided River, 2014) has been nominated for several awards and his work has been featured by clients including Patagonia, National Geographic Books, Outside magazine, Oprah, The Nature Conservancy, and the Trust for Public Land.
The Rocky Mountains run for 250 miles between western Montana and Alberta, Canada, in a special place called the Crown of the Continent. This 18 million acres of unparalleled wild beauty is known to Native Americans as “The Backbone of the World,” and is one of the last fully intact ecosystems on Earth. The Crown is home to more than 65 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, and more than 1,400 species of native plants, from tiny weasels to not-so-tiny grizzly bears, mountain lions and wolves, to the densest population of wolverines in the lower 48, the single most diverse collection of carnivores in North America is found in the Crown. Gnam’s unique and stunning images take us into the very heart and soul of the Rockies.
A lecture series will complement the exhibit. “Celebration of Big Wild Lives in Big Wild Country” with biologist and nationally acclaimed author, Douglas Chadwick gets the series underway, at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 10. Chadwick will talk about the land we live in and how humans co-exist with wild communities, including how we protect nature and connect to, it and the wild country that drive our economy. Chadwick earned a bachelor of science degree in zoology from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a master of science degree in wildlife biology from the
University of Montana. Research and reporting have taken Chadwick around the world, from the Congo headwaters in Africa to Russian Siberia and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. He consults on films, videos and exhibits about wildlife in museums. Chadwick is a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine as well as the author of 11 books, including “The Fate of the Elephant”, “The Wolverine Way” and “Growing Up Grizzly”, a book for children. He’s spent many volunteer hours on projects related to the Crown of the Continent, and also assists a team in Mongolia trying to save the last known Gobi bears.
The lecture series continues with “Wilderness Dialogue: Retracing the Footsteps of Bob Marshall” with Chris Peterson, 7 p.m. Thursday, October 29; “Inspiration: The Arts and Nature”, a collaborative music and writing presentation by Jennifer Smith and Scott Friskics, with visual art presentation by Kim Kapalka, 7 p.m. November 11; and “An Evening With the Most Famous Grizzly Bear Mama In The World: The Live and Death Dramas of Bruin #399”, featuring Montana journalist Todd Wilkinson and renowned American wildlife photographer Thomas Mangelsen, 7 p.m. Nov. 19.
For more information, call the museum at 406-727-8787 or visit www.cmrussell.org.