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Craig Varjabedian Wins New Mexico-Arizona Book Award

Craig photographing at White Sands

The winners of the 12th Annual New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards were announced at an awards banquet on Friday, November 16th. Into the Great White Sands: Photographs by Craig Varjabedian, published by the University of New Mexico Press, was selected as the winner in the Arts Book category. 

Varjabedian (BFA 1979), winner of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage’s Outstanding Photography Book in 2010, is a fine art photographer and instructor. He is also the author of the award winning Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby, Landscape Dreams, A New Mexico Portrait and En Divina Luz: The Penitente Moradas of New Mexico.

In this moment I find myself humbled and without words yet a line from Twelfth Night appears in my mind, I can no other answer make but thanks, And thanks, and ever thanks…” I send my gratitude out to the good jurors of the book award and to everyone who purchased a copy of the book,” said Craig Varjabedian after receiving the news.

The traveling exhibition of the same name debuted at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland Texas last week to an enthusiastic audience attending the opening and artist talk. The exhibition will be on display there through January 27, 2018. The exhibition is sponsored in part by Canon USA.

Craig Varjabedian has spent decades photographing the many moods of the magnificent and ever-changing landscape of New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument. His photographs reveal snow-white dunes of gypsum, striking landforms, storms and stillness, panoramic vistas and breathtaking sunsets, intricate windblown patterns in the sand, ancient animal tracks, exquisite desert plants, and also the people who come to experience this place that is at once spectacular yet subtle. Varjabedian’s evocative color images provide the reader with an almost palpable sense of this extraordinary place. 

These photographs are enriched by essays written by Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, noted poet and author; Dennis Ditmanson, retired White Sands National Monument superintendent; Jim Eckles, retired White Sands Missile Range public affairs officer; and Craig Varjabedian, the photographer who shares his insights and experiences of photographing this inspiring landscape and offers tips on making better pictures of White Sands. The book is available at fine book stores, Ama​zon​.com, and autographed copies can be purchased from the photographer’s studio at http://​www​.craig​var​jabe​dian​.com.