The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Perimeter: Photographs by Kevin J. Miyazaki

The intersection of long-distance hiking and fine art photography doesn't happen too often, but when it does...WOW.

Meeting up with the artist, Kevin J. Miyazaki, at the opening

When Kevin J. Miyazaki contacted me last summer about being part of his photography project commissioned by the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee, I was intrigued. 

I met Kevin in the lakeshore town of Saugatuck, Michigan, where he told me more about the project. He was attempting to create a contemporary portrait of Lake Michigan through images of people connected to the lake: residents, beachgoers, scientists, dock and iron workers, environmentalists, artists, fishermen, ferry captains, boat builders, and more.

And when he searched for people with connections to the lake, my name came up. He asked me to bring all of my hiking gear along for the portrait:

Portrait by Kevin J. Miyazaki

 Kevin sifted through the hundreds of portraits he took on his drive around the perimeter of Lake Michigan. He also took hundreds of images of the lake and sky.

In the exhibit space at the Haggerty Museum of Art, he covered one wall with portraits, and the other with the images of Lake Michigan. 

The effect is stunning. The diverse people with their various connections to the lake look at you from one wall, and the lake gives movement and depth to the opposite wall. 

These images speak to each other, and there is always something new to discover as you stand in the midst of Miyazaki's work.

My mom (right) and my sister, Leslie (center), travelled with me to Milwaukee for the opening of the exhibit

How cool is that?

My mom (Left) and sister (Right)

The catalogue from the exhibit includes quotes from people photographed

  My quote:

I am magnetically drawn to that place where water meets the sand. 
There's something about that edge. 
I feel as if I've "clicked in" when I walk it. 
It is along the shores of Lake Michigan that I return to center myself, to contemplate life, to think the long, unbroken thoughts that modern life interrupts.

Me and my lake!

The photographer with his work

The exhibit will be at the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, through May 19 of this year. After that, there are plans for the exhibit to travel, so I'll post that information when it is available on my Facebook Author Page (please "Like" it to get updates).

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Slate and Oil...

Shale on the shores of Lake Huron

The Great Lakes Basin has a bowl of shale underneath it, nested between other layers (sandstone, limestone, etc.).  

Sometimes the edge of this layer is exposed along the shoreline like near Alpena on Lake Huron and north of Traverse City on Lake Michigan. 

This stone naturally traps oil and natural gas within it, and there are places along the shoreline where oil is seeping out of these rock layers and into the lakes. 

This is a natural process that has been going on around the Great Lakes for thousands of years.

Oil seeps out from the shale layer

The patters are beautiful and colorful...

There are companies that want to frack this layer of shale in Michigan to extract the resources trapped there. 

The companies say that fracking is safe, but they will not disclose everything added to the fracking fluid. the oil/water mixture merges with the lake.

And the used fracking fluid is so toxic it is disposed of by pumping it deep underground, far underneath the water table.  

In this way, millions of gallons of fresh water are poisoned and removed from use forever.