Gary Wagner's exhibit, Sierra Mountain Wilderness is in the Step Up Gallery during February. “Wilderness, nature, and the world around me is the studio I use for my photographic work,” says Wagner. “I find freedom and inspiration to create my interpretations of the natural elements and scenic vistas that come to my view at these locations.”
“The wilderness landscape is an exciting and challenging environment to work in, for it is constantly changing with the light of the day and the changing seasons. On many occasions I have revisited my favorite locations repeatedly throughout the year and found them to be completely different ... the leaves on the trees, the depth of water in the streams, or the light striking the rocks. This environment and the many faces it reveals bring me endless excitement for creating my art.”
Gary works exclusively in black-and-white, believing it “best relates the shapes, lines, and tones of the landscape and more fully captures what I am viewing when I look at a scene,” he explains. “Color imagery for me is too close to reality, and more of a visual record than an artistic interpretation. I understand that the world is in color and we see in color, but I find the magic of light on the land to best be conveyed in black-and-white.”
”With my work, I have tried not only to pay respect to the natural order and beauty of the earth but also to show reason for its preservation.”
Gary Wagner’s love of photography began at sixteen when he became the photographer for his high school newspaper in Kokomo, Indiana. He continued his education at Indiana University, and later move to Santa Barbara to attend Brooks Institute of Photography, earning a master’s degree with the publication of his work on historical carbon printing.
Wagner’s professional career spans more than three decades and includes fine art, portrait, and commercial photography. His knowledge, expertise, and enthusiasm for the photographic image enabled him to successfully teach theory and technique at the college level and seminars in Europe on the English country landscape. Fluent with all film formats from 35mm to 8x10, Wagner has embraced the digital image and the ever changing environment of photography. “Exploring photography using digital imagery offers a myriad of possibilities,” he states. Refining technique with the interplay of artistic expression fascinates Gary and challenges him to continue exploring the photographic image and the beauty of the land and its natural elements.
For the past 25 years Wagner has made his home in Paradise in the Sierra foothills east of Chico. You can see more of his work on his website, garywagner.com.