Some Dallas residents don't even know it exists. The Great Trinity Forest, a lush 6,000+ acre woodland, is a hideout worthy of Robin Hood's Merry Men that sits just beyond East Dallas. And it's one of the subjects of the photography exhibition that opens at Sun to Moon Gallery this week.
Exploring both the landscapes of the city and the broad spectrum of art photography - from digital images to hand-crafted bromoil prints - The Changing Nature of Dallas focuses on the Great Trinity Forest, the Trinity River & the evolving urban landscape of Dallas. And according to Scot Miller, one of the four photographers featured, it's Dallas like you've never seen it before.
"In some of the photos, you'll see endless wildflowers and then downtown Dallas buildings poking up in the distance," Miller says. "These are not secret places we're photographing, although you have to be a little adventurous to get to some of them."
Miller and his wife Marilyn - the gallery's director - have been focusing exhibitions on the landscapes of Dallas since 2007. For decades, Scot has earned a national reputation as a wilderness photographer photographing Yosemite, as well as pockets of the Northeast - including a current exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. And as he's explored and documented the changing landscapes of Dallas, he's found his photography becoming both art and advocacy for the preservation and interest in the areas.
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"Exploring the Trinity Wetlands is about as peaceful an experience as you can get in the city," he says, describing a picnic he took with his wife, and R.P. Washburne, another photographer in the exhibition. "We sat out, drank wine and watched the most incredible sunset you'll see just about anywhere in the world."
And, of course, Washburne photographed it to include in the exhibition that opens Saturday. The Changing Nature of Dallas, not only captures stunning examples of flora and fauna, but it also explores the character of Dallas with shots of the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge that Scot Miller took to chronicle the new face of the city - one that is slowly opening gateways to natural treasures.
"My wife and I took a walk along the levee this morning," he says, by phone Wednesday. "We saw people riding their bikes along the trails that border the river. For many years, it was an area that was neglected and viewed as an area you'd never want to go,"
The opening reception for The Changing Nature of Dallas takes place from 5- 8 p.m. Saturday, July 19 and the work will remain on display through August 16. Partial proceeds from print sales will benefit Groundwork Dallas, a local nonprofit dedicated to promoting environmental, economic and social wellbeing in the Great Trinity Forest, the Trinity River watershed and the surrounding neighborhoods. For more information on Groundwork, check out this short film made by Miller.