Rising and Falling

Image Detail: “Tangier Combined School” ©H. Jennings Sheffield

RISING AND FALLING

ALEXANDER HEILNER, KALEN GOODLUCK,

MARTHA KETTERER, AND H. JENNINGS SHEFFIELD

As sea levels rise and rivers fall, four photographers help us visualize

the impacts of climate change on landscapes and communities across the U.S.

October 13 – November 18, 2023

COLORADO PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS CENTER

1200 LINCOLN ST, DENVER, CO 80203

Art exhibit viewing times: Tues. – Fri. (11 am – 5 pm); Sat. (noon – 4 pm)

RECEPTION AND SPECIAL PROGRAMMING:
OCTOBER 14 & NOVEMBER 2

Opening Reception:
Saturday, October 14 between 5 – 8 PM at CPAC. This event is free and open to the public.

Virtual Panel Talk with Artists:
On Thursday, November 2nd from 6 – 7:30 PM (MST) a panel talk with the artists of Rising and Falling took place on Zoom. The discussion was moderated by CPAC Executive Director & Curator Samantha Johnston. Please see recording below.

ARTIST PANEL TALK

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

From the alarming depletion of the Colorado River Basin to the inevitable submersion of Tangier Island off the coast of Virginia, Rising and Falling presents four distinct stories about the impacts of climate change on oceans, rivers, and the people that depend on them.

Draining the Colorado – Alexander Heilner

Alexander Heilner has spent 30 years photographing the intersections between human activity and the natural environment. Draining the Colorado documents the depletion of water throughout the Colorado River Basin, which provides water to 40 million people in seven U.S. states and Mexico. Heilner’s aerial perspective captures the immense scale of the basin and its complex system of tributaries, dammed reservoirs, and human infrastructure that diverts water everywhere but its natural path.

Pueblo Water Rights – Kalen Goodluck

In New Mexico, photojournalist Kalen Goodluck investigates how indigenous communities that depend on the Rio Grande River are affected by a growing demand for water caused by drought and climate change. Despite century-old colonial legal precedent endowing senior water rights to pueblo nations, tribes often wait decades to have their rights quantified. Generations of women from several pueblos have led the fight for their tribes’ sovereign right to water. Using a panoramic camera and color film, Kalen’s ultra-wide images feature vibrant colors, imperfect focus, and a tactile feel that embraces photographic tradition.

UnderWater – Martha Ketterer

By the end of the century, the oceans are expected to rise 6 to 9 feet. In UnderWater, Martha Ketterer envisions the future of coastal landscapes in the San Francisco Bay area as sea levels rise. Dipping her digital prints into seawater pigmented with natural mineral oxides, Ketterer artfully expresses her sense of loss as these landscapes are submerged.

Going Away From Here – H. Jennings Sheffield

Jennings Sheffield sheds light on the concern of ongoing land loss on the small community of Tangier Island, located off the coast of Virginia in the Chesapeake Bay. The island is progressively being claimed by the waters surrounding it at an average of nine acres every year. Utilizing black and white and color photography, video, audio recordings from local residents, and a limited-edition book, Going Away from Here documents this disappearing landscape and raises questions about who and what is worth saving.

EXHIBITION PREVIEW

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Alexander Heilner is a multi-disciplinary artist and photographer whose work inhabits both fine art and documentary initiatives as he investigates the relationship between artificial and natural elements within the environment, and within our culture. His work has been exhibited, screened, published, and performed nationally and internationally, and he has been awarded numerous grants and commissions in support of his ongoing environmental projects.

Kalen Goodluck is a Diné, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Tsimshian journalist and photographer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, documenting Indigenous issues, near and far. His reporting has been in The New York Times, High Country News, Pulitzer Center, National Geographic, among many others.

Martha Ketterer is a fine art photographer located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and most of her stories reflect the nature of growing up and living along the coastal edges of California. The element of water is a central character whether it be still and clear, like a mirror or multi textured like the wind on the sea. The many natures of water are woven through our lives and hence the stories of the way we live and thrive.

H. Jennings Sheffield is a contemporary artist working in lens-based media, video, and sound. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Baylor University. Her work has been widely exhibited internationally and nationally and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Art Houston, Capital One, the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, as well as in the special collections at William and Mary, University of Virginia, Baylor University, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC) honors and acknowledges that we are on the traditional territories and ancestral homelands of the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Peoples. We also recognize the 48 contemporary tribal nations that are historically tied to the lands that make up the state of Colorado. 

We honor Elders past, present, and future, and to all those who have stewarded the land and water for generations.

May this acknowledgment express the Colorado Photographic Arts Center’s commitment to working to dismantle ongoing legacies of oppression and inequities and recognize the current and future contributions of Indigenous communities in Denver.