“Happiness is the exercise of vital powers, along lines of excellence, in a life that affords them scope.” ~Aristotle
How many of us exercise life in a state of happiness Aristotle envisions? In our competitive, crowded, resource-stretched and shrinking world, exercising vital powers excellently, with scope, is a rareity. But oh, when attained, that life is sublime, and a person’s contributions spread to all souls open to receive it.
I imagine photographer/filmmaker James Balog’s life is like this. His exhibition of old growth forest photographs was one of the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s most mesmerizing shows. Now Balog returns to Jackson and will personally attend a public screening of his award-winning documentary “Chasing Ice.” This special event takes place Thursday, March 21st, 2013, at the museum. Doors open at 6:30 pm; the film begins at 7:00 pm. A Q&A with Balog follows, and a book signing. Only 150 seats are available—I predict a sell-out, so get going, Balog fans!
“Nature is changing, right before our eyes,” says Balog. “Through my work, I am committed to bearing witness to these changes.”
Balog watchers and conservation documentary fans undoubtedly know that “Chasing Ice,” aside from its Academy Award Nomination for “Best Song,” follows Balog’s hair-raising mission to “strategically plant time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic and capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.” Balog’s cutting edge Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) merges art and science~~~which have never been inseparable~~~ and gives “visual voice” to the planet’s changing ecosystem. Screening proceeds benefit Balog’s Earth Vision Trust’s development of curriculum for grades k-12; its mission “educates and encourages the public through groundbreaking visual exploration of our changing environment.”
I’ve said this many times, in many ways, but will say it again: the diversity of artistic mediums and approaches exploring the natural world here in Jackson Hole is remarkable. If you make a living solely by selling your artwork, you’re living a life affording you scope. Our magic creative circle is tight; we benefit from emulating larger arts communities and cultures, but when we can’t do that we bring in people like Balog. Our arts non-profits offer up phenomenal opportunities to get intimately close to the best.
Tickets are (a very reasonable) $20, $15 for museum members, and may be purchased at the museum’s front desk, Valley Books, or by calling the museum at 307.732.5400. Check out the “Chasing Ice” trailer at http://www.chasingice.com/see-the-film/trailer/. www.wildlifeart.org