Banff forest fire art show explores positives of blazes |

Banff forest fire art show explores positives of blazes

Allen Best

BANFF, Alberta – What a quick trip it has been from Smokey the Bear to this new, quasi-acceptance of fire. Consider a multi-artist exhibition now being presented at Banff’s White Museum of the Canadian Rockies that interprets the fires that raged there last summer.

With the exception of one oil painting, most of the pieces stray from the fear, devastation, loss, anger, and rage that many experience when confronted by fire, says the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

“Instead, the exhibitions explore, anticipate and embrace the evolution of forest when touched by fire. Even through the remains of blackened stumps, skeletonized trees and violent bursts of orange, the pieces are overwhelmingly positive and hopeful for regeneration and life.”

A Banff-area photographer was in – of all places – Antarctica, when he was inspired to help put on the show. There, he became aware of a U.S. program that facilitates first-hand experiences for artists to interpret the environment and operations in Antarctica. He and others brainstormed how to do the same in Banff.

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Pollution continues to impair park visibility

THE WEST – Air quality is getting better at some national parks in the West, but for the most part pollution continues to impair visibility.

A study completed a decade ago by the National Academy of Sciences found that the average visibility in the Western United States was 60 to 100 miles, or a half to two-thirds of what it would be without air pollution. USA Today reports that the Environmental Protection Agency is hoping to clear the air with new “regional haze” rules that target power plants and industrial boilers.

Theater owners object to subsidy

CRESTED BUTTE – Crested Butte is in a one-movie theater valley, and the owners of that move theater, called the Majestic, would like to keep it that way.

But the owners are annoyed beyond words because the new Gunnison Valley Economic Development Corporation, to which their Crested Butte Town Council gave $4,000 this year, has announced plans to recruit a theater for Gunnison, the larger town located 27 miles away.

Owners of the Crested Butte theater say even art films shown one night per month in Gunnison cut into their financial solvency. They have vowed to close shop unless the subsidy for a theater in Gunnison is yanked.

Crested Butte Mayor Jim Schmidt told the Crested Butte News that he was dismayed. “It’s ridiculous that you give money to the (economic development commission), and the first thing that happens is that one of our businesses goes out of business.”

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