ROCK SPRINGS — A new exhibit, The Mediated Landscape, opens at the Community Fine Arts Center on Thursday, November 17, featuring local photographic artist Daniel Cheek. The public is invited to the opening reception and gallery talk to be held that evening from 5 to 7 p.m.
“The Mediated Landscape” is a series of black and white images of Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain region and how people fit in this rugged landscape. Cheek’s work examines the ways people experience the world around us. Whether working in national parks or museums or his neighborhood, he is interested in looking for authentic experiences and the ways we directly interact with our surroundings.
Cheek explains in his artist statement: “Wyoming and the greater western American high desert area encompasses constant contradictions. It is a paradise of natural wonder and a land to be utilized for extraction and recreation.
“Wyoming’s extreme visual beauty and wild dangers perfectly summarize the dual definitions of the sublime. The influential 16th Century philosopher Edmund Burke stated ‘terror is in all cases whatsoever the ruling principle of the sublime.”
“In recent usage, we generally think of the sublime as something beautiful and soothing. I have often felt both terror and peace in the Wyoming wilderness. My photographs document that intersection of sublime wilderness and human interference. I photograph how people access the land and how that access is often a mediated experience.”
Along with exploring his creative vision, Cheek is currently an instructor at Western Wyoming Community College, teaching both darkroom photography as well as digital techniques. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the University of Arizona in 2013.
Having exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States, his work was part of a three-person, fifteen venue, touring exhibition funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Western Arts Federation.
During the opening reception, Cheek will be speaking about his artistic process, overarching themes he is exploring in his work, and how photographing in Wyoming and Utah has changed the way he thinks about the natural world and his relationship to it.
The public is invited to see this work as well as the permanent collection on display owned by Sweetwater County School District No. 1. Hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday noon to 5 p.m. The CFAC is a department of the Sweetwater County Library System.