Local photographer Jamie Young advocates appreciating the beauty of nature through art

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For the past 25 years, local Syracuse photographer Jamie Young has traveled the world, focusing his work on establishing a spiritual connection to the natural world. Mindful of the current climate crisis, Young hopes that his landscape photography can evoke a sense of change in people.

“The ephemeral quality of light, the power of water and wind, offer a sense of redemption and spiritual renewal even in these turbulent times,” Young said.

Young understands that for many, the process of maintaining the world’s natural beauty can seem challenging and daunting. However, he believes that his work is compelling and important to those same people. Young will be able to further express these views at the Everson Museum of Art when his panoramic photo exhibition, “Jamie Young: Decivilization,” opens on January 28 as part of the CNY 2023 Artists Initiative.

Panoramic photography is a photography technique that uses specialized equipment to capture images with horizontal fields of view. The use of this style is a key element of Young’s work that Garth Johnson, Everson’s Curator of Ceramics, wants to highlight in the exhibit.

One of Young’s favorite pieces that demonstrates this style features a waterfall in Iceland called Skogafoss. Young explained that the panorama of the waterfall at dusk is very abstract and mysterious, which is what Young had a strong reaction to when it was first developed.

The CNY Artist Initiative series of exhibitions is a regional program that builds on the museum’s ongoing support of local artists in the central New York area, according to the Everson Museum website. The program is intended to showcase the talented and vibrant arts community in this area, as well as the artists’ contributions to the overall cultural well-being of downtown New York.

Johnson said the museum believed Young’s work was perfect for the exhibition because his photography reflects the natural world and helps viewers better understand the beauty of nature.

“[Young’s] the landscape shots of Iceland and downtown New York immediately stood out,” Johnson said.

Throughout his travels, Young has witnessed firsthand the destruction of the natural world. He said that simultaneously, people are losing their true sense of the beauty of the Earth. He said that one way to help people appreciate the world more is to create art that showcases the best elements of nature.

Courtesy of Jamie Young

Young’s desire to present the best parts of the world to an audience is what led him to fall in love with landscape photography. He feels that there is a peace that comes from looking at a still image of the world.

“Landscapes trigger a visceral response in viewers, a sensory experience of calm in a tense world,” Young said.

Steffi Chappell, Everson’s Assistant Curator, welcomes the opportunity to showcase the work of a talented photographer with such close ties to the community.

“It’s a different experience to see a landscape we know and love through the eyes of an expert photographer, and I’m excited for Everson visitors to have this opportunity,” Chappell said.

Johnson said Young’s ability to transport viewers with his work was one of the key factors in
Everson’s decision to exhibit his photographs as part of the CNY Artists Initiative. Johnson explained that whether it’s an image of fjords in Iceland or one of the local landscapes of downtown New York, Young’s work can always take its viewer to a new location.

Johnson mentioned that his original name for the exhibit was “Landscapes” because of Young’s landscape photography and the way viewers can escape by looking at his photos.

Young expressed how excited he is to introduce his work to his hometown community and hopes his message is felt by many in the Syracuse area. He has spent a significant amount of time photographing the natural world, in the hope that the public can learn to better appreciate the beauty of the place they call home, Young said.

“I hope viewers are temporarily transported out of the gray winter weather of CNY to something a little more uplifting,” Johnson said.


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