Natural Geographic photographer Jim Richardson comes to Vail to discuss works on display
National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson will discuss his work twice in Vail this week. His talk, “The People & History of Farming,” will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards and at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Vail Public Library
Richardson has been traveling the world for National Geographic magazine since 1984. His first exposure — pun intended — to photography was as a youngster on his parents’ wheat and dairy farm in north-central Kansas. Jim experimented with his father’s second-hand box camera, photographing the world of the farmstead for display at the Republic County Fair.
Richardson’s current connection to Vail comes from work he’s showing at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. The gardens’ exhibit “Exposed: The Secret Life of Roots” features Richardson’s work. His photos document the interaction of people with roots, soil and agriculture, and the destructive way humans have been feeding themselves for over 10,000 years. At the exhibit, actual perennial roots hang from ceiling to floor. The roots compare and contrast the natural system of soil creation with annual crops that erode soil 20 times faster than it can be created.
Richardson also created a photographic series documenting farming across the globe. The “Women Farmers” exhibit contains stunning photographs of women the world over who produce over 50% of our food on farms of less than 5 acres. The exhibit is on display at the Vail Public Library through Oct. 31, and a second set of photos has been traveling throughout the Vail Valley and is presently at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards until the end of September. The exhibit will then finish its local tour at the Eagle Library for the month of October.