Colorado and photography bringing a family together

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Jill Harms' "Lizards" hangs in Mari Michener Art Gallery alongside three generations of her family's work. Photo by Mary Harbert.

An ongoing exhibit displays a family of photographers in love with landscapes at Michener Library.

The Harms family is made up of husband and wife, Ron and Sally, daughters Katrina and Jill, daughter-in-law Kindra, and their grandson Tracy and his wife Sarah.

Together, the family puts on an exhibit of photography that shows their love of Colorado and nature in general.

Many of the photos are taken in Greeley and surrounding areas, which displays the arid landscape and expansive skies which the family members clearly love.

The images are also relatable to any viewer familiar with northern Colorado. Not only are the geography and physical locations of the photos recognizable to the viewer, but also the emotions they elicit.

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One photo by Ron and Sally is titled, “The Awesome Prairie Sky,” displays the neverending plains sky and clouds. When looking at the photo, one can sense the passion the photographers have for this unique landscape.

A photo that sticks out by Jill Harms was one that blends an ancient cave drawing of a lizard onto a rock next to a modern lizard. With them side by side, it is almost as if the lizard had popped out of the rock itself.

Most of the photos are based in Colorado, but only a few feature mountains. Because of this, the family displays the less-photographed but equally beautiful part of the state. They showcase the parts of Colorado with desert climate and open skies.

Beyond nature and the sky as a repeating element in photos, farming life is also displayed through photos of barns and irrigators on fields.

While this exhibit focuses on Colorado, the natural beauty of a few other states is also on display. Tracy has many photos out of state, especially in Washington, Oregon and even New Mexico.

Tracy’s use of camera effects are impressive. He uses long exposure in many difficult shooting situations, such as in shots of the night sky and of waterfalls.

In many of his photos, Tracy leans towards a spookier effect in his pictures, isolating and darkening subjects in the photo to create an effect that is both haunting and beautiful.

The majority of the exhibit is devoted to two-dimensional art, specifically photography. However, there are two striking sculptures made by Ron and Sally.

The sculpture resembles a baby’s mobile made of wood. Slices of sticks show tiny stars inside. This is based on a legend that says when sticks are snapped and reveal a five-pointed star, the star that was trapped inside has been released back into the sky.

The exhibit is available until Sept. 21 and a complete schedule for the Michener gallery can be found at https://www.unco.edu/library/.

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