New photography exhibit explores ancient ruins of the American Southwest

EUGENE, Ore. — (March 1, 2013) — "Silent Spaces," an exhibition of photographs by Eugene artist Jon Meyers that capture scenes of the Four Corners area of the United States, opens Wednesday, March 6, at the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

Hovenweep Castle in Four CornersThe exhibition features 30 large-format photographs of Hovenweep National Monument and Chaco Canyon National Park in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest. Four Corners is where the borders of southwestern Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, northeastern Arizona and southeastern Utah come together.

"Silent Spaces" will be on display until July 21.

The museum, 1680 E. 15th Ave., will host an artist's reception for "Silent Spaces" from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 8. This event is free and open to the public.

Meyers's photographs document his recent journeys to the Four Corners area, where he encountered the sagebrush-covered ruins at Hovenweep and Chaco Canyon. "The Four Corners reminds me so much of our own high desert here in Oregon," says Meyers, "except that it was once populated by a culture that left a profound imprint on the landscape."

Pueblo Alto at Chaco CanyonMeyers's work explores the culture through the structures that remain in the area today. "I've tried to show the workmanship, the craft and the skill that went into building them," he says. "There was no scaffolding, no forklift; this was purely human drive at work."

In addition to the ruins, the photographs embrace the area's stark landscape and the contemplative solitude that he experienced while producing this body of work. "I found lonely ruins in the middle of nowhere, far from anyone," he says. "I knew I was someplace special — a sacred place — and I knew I wanted to make photographs there."

The exhibition's interpretive features describe the artist's photographic methods, provide background on the Four Corners region and discuss efforts to preserve the historic sites depicted in Meyers's work.

About the Museum of Natural and Cultural History
The UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and youths ages 17 and under, and $8 for families (two adults and up to four youths). Museum members are admitted free. Admission is free to the public on Wednesdays. Guided tours are offered each Friday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Media Contact:
Kristin Strommer, communications & marketing specialist, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, kstromme@uoregon.edu, 541-346-5083.

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Gallery

Pueblo Alto at Chaco Canyon
Hovenweep Castle in Four Corners