Big Cover

Big Cover

In 2007, I had the pleasure and honor of serving as the Artist-in-Residence for Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve. Located in the central Brooks Range, Gates of the Arctic is the second-largest national park in the country, and the only national park that has no roads, no public facilities, and is almost entirely protected wilderness area under the 1964 Wilderness Act. I was the first photographer to serve in that capacity.

It was my first time above the Arctic Circle.  Even though I had lived in Alaska for eight years at that point, I had never been north of Healy, which is just about 20 minutes to the north of the entrance to Denali National Park & Preserve.  I had, as a result, also never been to Fairbanks. For my artist residency, I drove not only as far north as Fairbanks, but all the way to Coldfoot, located at mile 175 of the Dalton Highway (aka, “The Haul Road”). At the conclusion of my two week trip into the Gates backcountry as part of my residency, the pilot who picked me and my guide (NPS Ranger Tracy Pendergrast) flew us past the Arrigetch Peaks so I could do some aerial photography of the region.  That trip would instill in me a passion for the Arctic, particularly the Brooks Range, that would lead to another four trips to the park and spark a project that will lead to the first photo book dedicated to the park.

Six years later, one of those shots of the Arrigetch Peaks would find its way to the cover of a book written about the exploration of the central Brooks Range, “Arctic Citadel: A History of Exploration in the Brooks Range Region of Northern Alaska” by National Park Service historian, Chris Allen. As you explore through the early pages of the book, you will find several more images of mine from various trips into the Gates. The timing of the release of the book could not be better: this winter I will complete my Bristol Bay book fieldwork and can resume work on my Gates of the Arctic book. Read more about the book in this article by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

And while this is not my first photo on a book cover, the fact that it is a book about one of my favorite places on the planet makes it a special cover for me.

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