Winter 2019: Visit the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire for Terrestrial Portals 

Featuring Artists: Cassandra Klos, Justin Levesque, Michael J. Murray

On View: January 11 – April 25, 2019

Reception: 5-7pm on Friday February 1, 2019. Visit the Dover Art Walk between 4-8pm.

About:  The most wild frontiers can be those in which life tries the hardest. Forget about animal predators: the most awe-inspiring and powerful force is the environment itself. Three artists: Cassandra Klos, Justin Levesque, and Michael James Murray, are fascinated by the challenge and allure of such landscapes. Through photographs of vast horizons; sometimes altered, and sometimes seemingly untouched, their work chronicles the intrepid results of human exploration. Klos, Levesque, and Murray raise notions of existence, connection, and adaptation.

In this exhibition, brown and red toned Utah soil meets pure white and blue Arctic ice. 360 degree “spherescapes” of the Earth are just peculiar enough to reference other worlds. Through missions on the Mars Desert Research Station (Klos), to Iceland and the North Pole (Levesque), to our coastal Maine backyards and beyond (Murray), Terrestrial Portals takes us on a journey to both new and familiar places. Through insightful panoramas, each artist puts our imaginations to work.

These land portraits ask us to picture ourselves behind photographer’s camera. What outfit do you think you would wear on Mars? How would you keep warm and dry in negative degree temperatures? How might you respond to completely foreign surroundings? You would you learn how to use specialized technology, skills, and tools. You would acclimate. Soon, your eyes would adjust to the bright reflective sun, and you would develop the language necessary to communicate with mission control. Your livelihood would require a new normal.

The concept of solitude might come to mind as you look at these photographs. Consider how explorers leave their hometowns, family, and friends, and head for the unknown. Choice, and the possibility for return, let us call this experience “adventure”. Virtual contact helps travelers feel connected, and sharing networks allow them to shape their own narrative. Alone-ness, and consequently, space itself, have evolved literal and figurative meanings in the digital age.

The sharp detail depicted in these images shows us that on our very own Planet Earth, there are endless, beautiful vistas waiting to be found. Open your eyes wide, for Terrestrial Portals.