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Craig Varjabedian: Into the Great White Sands

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Fine art photographer Craig Varjabedian (BFA 1979) recently published his twelfth book, Into the Great White Sands (University of New Mexico Press), an intimate portrait of White Sands National Monument. 

White Sands National Monument preserves part of the largest gypsum dunefield in the world, where plants and animals seem like apparitions in this dream-like landscape of intense prismatic light. I spent have spent decades capturing the many facets of White Sands’ stark and profound beauty. The depth of this beauty both compelled and required an enormous commitment of time to the project. From my journal,

I’m constantly astonished by the profound mystical beauty of White Sands, from its undulating dune fields and dramatic skies to the way the dunes can shimmer beneath a brilliant sun or luminescent moon. … At times the confluence of light, shadow and atmosphere creates some magnificent moments out there. … I watch things happen in a startling way and I think that kind of magic can be overlooked. The science there is still very much alive and a lot of it remains unknown. New species continue to be discovered and animals are still adapting. … We and future generations must nurture and protect this ever-changing part of the earth, not only for what it is, but for how it speaks to our humanity.”

At a time of controversies and uncertainties surrounding the status of our National Parks and Monuments, Into the Great White Sands gives exquisite testimony to the importance of environmental preservation now and for future generations.

Craig Varjabedian: Into the Great White Sands