New Column: ‘Nature of the Meadowlands’ Show

1-4-Nature of Meadowlands cover smJim Wright, who keep this blog for the Meadowlands Commission, also writes a twice-monthly column for the South Bergenite, His latest column is on the new Flyway Gallery show that features images from the NJMC’s coffee-table book, “The Nature of the Meadowlands”:

An American Avocet grabbing a bite at DeKorte Park. A Secaucus pig farmer with his swine on his farm’s last day. A common buckeye butterfly, 25 times larger than life.

Starting today, the Flyway Gallery in DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst is hosting an exhibition of nature photography, illustrations and archival photographs that all have one thing in common — they were all showcased in “The Nature of the Meadowlands,” the coffee-table book I wrote for the N.J. Meadowlands Commission in 2012.

All the photography and artwork in the book is so striking that we decided to assemble a gallery show around some of the best of the bunch. Roughly a fourth of the book’s 175 images will be on display, and all will be presented in a larger format than they appeared in the book.

The goal of the exhibition is the same as the goal of the book itself — to celebrate and document the incredible environmental comeback that this region has experienced in recent years. Seeing is believing — especially when you see these images.

Nature photographers Ron Shields, Marco Van Brabant and I were the principal photographers for the project, and each of us will have a selection of roughly a dozen of our best photographs on view. Marco is the master of marshscapes (he also did the cover photography), while Ron and I tended to focus on the amazing birds that have returned to the Meadowlands — from common gallinules to glossy ibises.

Other nature photographers featured in the exhibit are Regina Geoghan, Dennis Cheeseman, Jeff Nicol and Sandy Sorkin. Illustrator Thomas F. Yezerski offered the beautiful oversized map he drew of the region, which graced a two-page spread in the NJMC book.

“The Nature of the Meadowlands” featured several archival images to show what the region was like in the old days, and so does the exhibition. We’ll also have at least five archival images from Secaucus.  Town historian Dan McDonough has provided four exceptional views of Laurel Hill when it was the site of many county institutions, and folksinger Joe McKay provided a photo from the last day of his father’s pig farm.

Also on view will be an actual Associated Press photo of a deadly 1973 multiple-vehicle collision near Exit 16W on the Turnpike — the result of pea-soup smog caused in part by a smoldering landfill fire from the bad old days.

The NJMC is hosting a free reception for the show on Sunday, June 1, at noon. The reception will be preceded by a two-hour nature walk beginning at 10 a.m. in DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, the home of the NJMC and the Flyway Gallery.

The Flyway Gallery is in the Meadowlands Environment Center in DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst and is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.  The Tideland Treasures gift shop, also in the Environment Center, has signed copies of “The Nature of the Meadowlands” for sale.

For more information, call 201-460-2002.







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