Park City presents a day of picture takers
While Park City will play host to a variety of artist receptions today, this is a weekend for the photographers.
Saturday March 4, Thomas Mangelsen and John and Debora Scanlan will both visit their respective galleries, Images of Nature and Scanlan Windows to the World.
That evening, both galleries will hold artist receptions, with Mangelsen in Images of Nature from 5-9 p.m. and the Scanlans at their gallery from 4-8 p.m.
If the photographers can meet up, as they said they hoped to, the weekend will provide a reunion of sorts. John Scanlan noted the connection.
"I started working with Tom back in the 1980s," Scanlan said.
He served in numerous capacities, he noted, doing everything from reproducing images to hanging pictures and helping Mangelsen set up his first stores.
"You name it, I did it," Scanlan said. "I learned that business backwards to forwards and everywhere between."
"John and I go way back," Mangelsen said, "and he has some great work."
"He inspired me to move our photography into an entirely different realm," Scanlan said. "He took it to the level of opening up his own gallery and selling his own work."
Mangelsen was one of the first photographers to follow such a path, opening Images of Nature at first in a couple of ski towns including Park City and then gradually spreading to other locations. He now owns 17 galleries across the West and Midwest. The Scanlans, meanwhile, are working on a similar model.
"We have Park City, which is the first gallery we ever opened up, and then our Carmel, Calif. gallery," Scanlan said.
He and his wife are also looking into possible locations in Minneapolis and Las Vegas, he noted.
Like Mangelsen’s galleries, the Scanlans’ establishments bring their works to the world. The pair is known primarily for their European photography, featuring buildings, cityscapes and landscapes with unique lightings and often bright colors.
"What we try to do is go into a country and photograph it like we’ve never been there," Scanlan said.
Recently, he also said he had spent some time taking some pictures in the Park City area.
"This last fall I got to spend 2 ½ weeks out there in the fall color," he said. "and it was fall color unlike any I’d seen before."
At the reception in Park City, John said he and Debora would talk about their past trips, showcasing their latest travels while they answer questions about their works.
"It’s a miniature travel log and a major art event all in one," John noted.
Mangelsen’s visit will follow a similar format.
"It’s pretty much exhibiting the 18 or 20 images we’ve released [in] the last two months," he said.
He noted some of his trips from the past year, including jaunts to photograph black bears in British Columbia, three trips to Alaska, a journey to Antarctica and South Georgia Island, a remote British island in the far south of the Atlantic Ocean, and a trip to Minnesota to photograph an owl migration.
Known for his startlingly candid animal photography and saturated colors, Mangelsen said the trips to the Southern Hemisphere and Minnesota were some of the best.
"I just got back from Antarctica," he said. "It was absolutely spectacular."
While there, he said he took pictures of the emperor penguins, and the austere the landscape. He also mentioned the penguins and the thousands of albatrosses roosting on South Georgia Island. But while that trip was both exotic and spectacular, he said his trip to the much more pedestrian Minnesota was even better.
There, he had the chance to see more than a 1,000 of grey and boreal owls migrating from the West after a crash in the rodent population there. The rare event brought scores of owls together as they searched for new homes.
"It was kind of a once in a lifetime chance," he said. "It’s something that no one in the U.S. has recorded before."
The pictures reveal the outlines of the speckled grey owls emerging from the dappled backdrops of Midwestern winter forests. And while many of Mangelsen’s animal photographs reveal their subjects with startlingly open visages, many of the owls appear more taciturn and thoughtful.
Lately, Mangelsen said he has been doing more work digitally, as the image qualities embrace the resolutions needed for his large-format photographs.
"When you have good light, I think film still has a slight edge on digital," he noted.
But, he added, that gap is rapidly closing. He said he prefers digital cameras for low-light and fast exposures. He said he usually carries both digital and film cameras in the field, but he noted one advantage he has over most photographers he normally travels with an assistant.
For his appearance in Park City, though, he will be talking to his audience one on one. Mangelsen said he makes it down to Park City for a reception about once a year.
"I’m looking forward to being there," he said, noting that if possible, he’d try to make it down the street to the Scanlans’ show.
John, meanwhile, expressed a similar sentiment.
"Hopefully we’ll get to see him," he said.
He also expressed his love for the town.
"We love being a part of Park City," he said. "It’s just one of the best places we could have a gallery."
For more information about the Scanlans’ visit to their gallery, call 658-3696. For information about Mangelsen’s visit, call 649-7598.
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