top of page

MODERN WILDERNESS

A Multimedia Exhibit   |   The Artists' Shop, Missoula   |   February/March 2024
Artist Talk - March 1st @ 6:30PM

On July 3rd, 2023 I suffered a panic attack deep in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness while backpacking with my wife Linds. These episodes had slowly been invading every domain of my life for several years. First social gatherings, then travel, next teaching and now, my greatest joy, the backcountry. Laying nearly comatose in the tent, Linds calmed me and helped form a plan of action: we’d pack up and walk the 12 miles out. A few miles shy of the trailhead, panic gave way to peace and then to a deep sense of sadness. Are my days of wandering the mountains with my camera over? 

 

Back in the frontcountry, I doubled down on therapy and recalibrating meds. I couldn’t give up. I wanted to, some days I did, but the overall trend was in the direction of improvement. Linds, my friends and family provided the critical foundation from which to rebuild. 

 

At the end of August, I began ketamine treatments in conjunction with a SSRI and acute panic medication. By Labor Day, I felt ready to attempt a familiar backpacking route again with Linds and some friends. Miraculously, I thrived. The next test came a couple of weeks later with a 3-day solo photography trip into the Great Burn. Another success. Some anxiety, but no panic. 

 

What followed was one of the most fruitful seasons of backcountry travel I’ve ever had. Over the course of the next six weeks - through early November - I completed five 3-day photography trips to the Wilderness Areas surrounding Missoula. 


The seven pieces in this show represent critical moments of this story. Each image in this show holds a special moment of light and form that took me out of my head and fully into the moment. We live in confusing times, but there is always hope. There is always a person, tree, elk, mountain, lake or sunset to guide us, one breath to the next, through this modern wilderness.

Each piece is digitally hand signed with a limited edition 'mw' moniker. Additionally, small fine art prints are available of each piece:

11.3"x17" on 13"x19" paper | $75

13"x20" on 17"x22" paper | $95

 

Click on the size/price description below each piece to place an order request.

Brawl in the Sky, Missoula
 

Twice a day artificial and natural light find balance regardless of our presence.

It’s there. For you, for me. All we have to do is show up. On this day, 26,544 people did. We were all there for the same reason: To feel a part of something bigger than ourselves. 

Brawl in the Sky, Missoula
Mountain Ghost, Bob Marshall Wilderness

Mountain Ghost, Bob Marshall Wilderness
 

Walking in the sky one is bound to meet ghosts. Superstitions are built on inexplicable phenomena. When the spell breaks, the truth captivates.

Three Roses, Mission Mountains
 

Some days you battle the elements.

Some days you battle your  demons.

Many days you battle both.

 

Some days it is 70 degrees without a hint of wind, your demons are on vacation, the light is transcendent and the roses are in full bloom.

Second Home, Rattlesnake Wilderness

Second Home, Rattlesnake Wilderness
 

I used to dream of permanently retreating to a cabin in the woods. Now I dream of an apartment in the University District and a tent in the Rattlesnake Wilderness. I need

people as much as I need endless ridges.

Inflection Point, Bitterroot Mountains
 

Broken, haggard and tentbound. Two days later the light broke, revealing a fresh dusting of snow and ice encrusted larch. The beauty hurts. Nope, that’s the wind.

Inflection Point, Bitterroot Mountains
Autumn Flow, Great Burn

Autumn Flow, Great Burn
 

We should celebrate conservationists with the same fervor as our clergy. Public land champions have preserved spaces that

heal the soul in ways no cathedral can.

 

Thank you, Dale Harris.

Onwards and upwards.
 

Your thoughts? (1)