Featured CPAC Member: Michael Quinn


Member Since: 2020

Each quarter, we share a portfolio by one of CPAC’s many talented members. This time it’s Michael Quinn, whose image Antarctica Obscura iii won Best in Show at CPAC’s 2020 Annual Members’ Show. His project For the Love of Ice is explored in more depth below.


For the Love of Ice

Why I fell in love with the Arctic and Antarctic

By Michael J. Quinn

In the Fall of 2010 I was standing next to John Paul Caponigro on an Icelandic glacial moraine. JP turned to me and said, “I want to be bad?” – meaning that he wanted to go walking on the glacier that lay before us. I took about three micro seconds to say “let’s go”.

We bumbled down the rocky scree slope till we reached the edge of the water. There before us was a smooth piece of ice that almost touched land. We took one giant leap and thud, we were on the ice.

It looked smooth from a distance, but up close it was so complex. Little stalagmites of ice with water and black ash filling the in-between spaces. The sound of walking on it, to touch it, to imagine the great age of the ice… it was simply mind altering.

Up until this point I had never seen a glacier. This singular moment changed me and began my love affair with The Ice.

I thought of ice as this permanent stationary form of water. After this, I started to begin thinking about ice in a different manner. The Ice was alive: living, breathing, moving, changing.

You look at a glacier, how it breaks apart as the living ice sheet tumbles over the edge of a cliff. Only to recombine into a singular sheet again when the slope decreases. Or you listen to an iceberg up close and personal when it is all fizzing and crackling as ancient air is escaping to the surface. Or you happen to be present when a giant block of ice breaks off the glacial terminus and does a giant cannon ball into the fjord. Hurtling ice chunks the size of an automobile into the air.

My love affair with the ice has taken me to many remote places on the planet. Some of the most remote – Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard and Antarctica. That sense of exploration and expedition has always ignited my senses, my emotions.

Traveling to these places that are vast and void of human life. Stepping foot in places that few humans have ever traveled. In these moments I can contemplate what is really important and what is just noise in my life. I prefer the important and try to dismiss the noise.


Website: michael-j-quinn.com
Instagram: _michaeljquinn_

Michael J. Quinn is an artist that uses photography and digital media to create emotional works of art. His art has been exhibited in numerous galleries, purchased by private collectors and sought after for online stories of the polar regions by the likes of the BBC and National Geographic.

Michael uses his love for adventure in the natural world and combines that with digital photography to create art that expresses his mood and emotion of a place. The mood and emotion of himself. He uses this as a method of self discovery. A method of finding his true meaning and then expressing that through his art.

He has been sought after for lectures of his adventures and his techniques for visual story telling. He is always willing to nurture those seeking their own story and to inspire others to achieve their own visual voice.

Michael’s work inspired the jurors of the Luminous Endowment and Antarctica XXI to bestow an expedition grant to Antarctica. The result, a fine art print book titled – “Every Shade of Blue”.