Tom Horton’s photographs showcases ‘A Mountain’ Autumn’
Exhibit is open at the library
Park City-based fine art photographer Tom Horton sees his exhibit “A Mountain Autumn,” now showing at the Park City Library, as a nice step into the upcoming season.
“When I was a kid, autumn was the worst season of all possible worlds, because it was time to start school and vacations were over,” Horton said with a laugh during a Park Record interview at the library. “Here, in a mountain town, autumn is different. It’s a season of anticipation. You get a different kind of energy.
“If you look down the hills, you can see the trees are starting to turn colors, and if you’re a resident, you know this is the time you polish things up and get ready for visitors who will come for the winter.”
The exhibit features 40 photographs, with most taken in Park City and around Summit County.
“A lot of the photos are from me just wandering in and around town,” Horton said.
One work, titled “Fall Lines,” was taken at Treasure Mountain.
“I was attracted to how the trees made all of these diagonal lines,” he said. “That is similar to another photo called ‘Sun Spots,’ which also features some diagonal lines, that was taken under the King Con Lift.”
Horton took “Sun Spots” from Iron Mountain, which was two canyons away from the lift.
“It’s a long distance shot, and it caught these little patches of sunlight,” he said. “I loved that effect.”
Other photographs that highlight Park City include “Autumns Window,” which was taken on the Lost Prospector Trail, and “Under the Aspens” that Horton shot on Empire Pass.
“The think I love about fall is the white trunks of the aspens,” he said. “Being in an aspen grove is a transcendent experience, and I have a hard time capturing that. So, I do pump up the trunks to emphasize the whiteness.”
While the exhibit was originally conceived as a Park City-centric show, Horton felt the photos lacked variety.
“It all started to look a little too one dimensional,” he said. “Since I have a bunch of autumn photos from other locations, I decided to bring those in.”
The additional photographs were shot in Zion National Park, Teton National Park, Yellowstone National and the Virgin River. Horton also included some of his international works that include scenes from Slovenia — including Lake Bled, Mojstrana, Triglav National Park and Tolmin Gorge in Soca Valley.
“I spent some time in Slovenia a few years ago and it’s such a magical place,” he said. “It resembles Park City in some ways because it’s full of mountain towns, and you get a nice juxtaposition between light and shadow.”
Horton also brought in a couple of photographs he took in Mongolia’s Gorkhi-Terelj National Park.
“The interesting thing about Mongolia is the mountains are part of the Siberian ecosystem,” he said. “The trees in the photos are larch trees, which is the only conifers that drop their needles in the fall. It’s an unusual sight to see the needles turn yellow and drop.”
Horton said came up with a simple idea while selecting the photos for “A Mountain Autumn.”
“They are essentially landscape photos, and it’s easy to get entranced by the colors,” he said. “But you have to put the colors into a context or structure. I didn’t want to show color for color sake.”
Horton conceived of the exhibit six months ago, about the same time he came up with another exhibit called “Forest Planet” that recently opened at Red Butte Garden and Arboretum in Salt Lake City.
“Putting two large exhibits up at once was crazy,” he said with a chuckle. “I missed the whole summer because I’ve been printing and framing all of these photos.”
Horton submitted an application for “A Mountain Autumn” to the Park City Library, and it became the first exhibit he has shown in Park City.
“I originally thought of the exhibit because autumn in a mountain town is different than other places,” he said. “I wanted to show why.”
Photographer Tom Horton’s “A Mountain Autumn” will show through Monday, Nov. 27, at the Park City Library, 1255 Park Ave. Admission is free.
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