Acadia Pathmakers - Chris

 

Chris

 

“Poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” ~Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook

Chris brilliantly serves as a supervisor for the Acadia Trail Crew.  Our paths crisscrossed as I made my way between the various group trail projects, and each time we overlapped, he took time to check in to be sure I was ok, and most notably to ask what I’d seen or experienced in the park. On the worksite, he appeared all business, setting up the crews with high wire lines for moving rocks and lining out pathway end course with orange forestry flagging, taking into account visitor experience, ecological integrity, and overall work efficacy for the crew.

Near the end of my time in Acadia, Chris and I had lunch together sitting on flat rocks in a dry stream bed along the Deer Brook Trail.  We primarily talked about school, art, and the environment, which most genuinely lead to Chris sharing that he likes to write poetry as much as trail building.  I’m guessing that both connect to place, people, and nature, which seems perfect from many angles. Humble, genuine and real, this is Chris.  I learned this winter that he is serving as Acadia National Park’s first poet laureate throughout 2016, the centennial year for the park and the National Park Service.  Yes, perfect.  Congratulations, Chris!

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Acadia Pathmakers - Christa

 
 

Christa

 

"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

I first ran into Christa on the Deer Book Trail.  She was working with the Youth Conservation Corps filling in some tread with crushed rock and gravel just above a newly built wooden staircase.  It seemed, though, that wherever I turned in the park, I would run into her.  …and in each place we crossed paths, she’d smile, quickly say hello, and quietly continue with her project. 

I noted that Christa was an important teacher with the Youth Corps and ultimately with all of my questions.  She’d bring one to a given spot to show firsthand example to accompany her explanation and also encourage getting hands dirty and ultimate comprehension through trial.  Brilliant!  …and while my overall understanding remains basic, I have a better grasp of trail building and maintenance thanks to Chirsta (and all the crew at Acadia).

When talking about Christa with the Trails Crew Superintendent he said, “Christa is usually the “quiet type” but don’t be fooled by that.  She’s excellent asset to the team who shows independence, great work ethic and diligence.”  I know Christa would be a bit embarrassed by this praise, but representing the crew member archetype, I think it’s important to highlight.  The decency of hard work is evident through Christa.   …and when leveraged through similar group effort, special things happen.  Go, Christa, go!   

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/  

Acadia Pathmakers - Chris

 

Chris

 

"Don’t say things. What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Social Aims

I ran into Chris, leading his crew on the Hadlock Brook Trail.  Walking past me with extra-large strides, he’s a bundle of energy. He was happy that I stopped in to visit with the group and was really eager to talk about and show me the re-route they were building on the trail system. This section included some newly constructed granite stone steps, several interconnected staircases in actuality, cut into the hillside far above Hadlock Pond – dry stone masonry at its most elegant. Watching the work progress, it became clear that Chris is a person of action who leads and mentors by example. He has very high work standards for himself and pushes hard for success. Tenacity and perseverance; this is Chris. Working hard is something innate. Chis proved to be nonstop hands in the dirt, splitting and moving rock with the crew. …describing, aligning, and implementing the cable system set for hoisting boulders across the landscape. …but most importantly, encouraging everyone through act and action. It’s clear that his crew really enjoys working with him and am sure they learn lots about themselves and develop refined skill as part of business.  Thanks, Chris, for being one of those few out there who show possibility.

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Acadia Centennial Art Show

"Lobster Boat at Schoodic Point"  ~Phil Barter

www.bartergallery.com

Hey folks,
If you find yourself in Winter Harbor this month, please stop in at Hammond Hall to see some great art that celebrates Acadia National Park (including one of my own silver prints).  I hope to see you there!

schoodicartsforall.org

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park


www.schoodicinstitute.org
daniel-grenier.com

Pathmakers - Mike

 

Mike

 

“A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other's lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.”
Wendell Berry

 

I met Mike leading a group on the Cadillac Cliffs Path, a spur trail off of the main artery leading to the summit of Gorham Mountain. We made some small talk, and he introduced me to his crew. They were getting ready for break, which gave me opportunity to have all of Mike’s attention. We walked the areas where the crew were working, and he pointed out some specific technical concerns, which seemed primarily focused on getting park visitors safely through the complex mountainside terrain, while ensuring the path would remain stable for the long-term. As Mike talked about his work, his walking pace quickened, and he lit up with excitement. He first described the obvious fun associated with moving large boulders across the landscape using pulleys, wire rope, and other mechanical advantage, and then the physicality tied to dry stone masonry in extreme locations such as this.  I can say firsthand that it’s near sensory overload to experience the loud cracks, metal-to-rock sparks, and burning tinder smell left in the air as crew swing sledge onto rock, making smaller crushed material to incorporate into the trail (as means of structural stability and drainage and likely many other uses beyond my understanding). Pretty neat.

Mike then eloquently outlined how the trails at Acadia National Park serve a much larger role than just public enjoyment, having equally important historical and cultural significance. These trails have been here for some time with some paths even pre-dating Euro settlement. In function, all of the crew’s rehabilitation and maintenance efforts equally consider this with the ecological.  Mike stated that the crew looks for and studies historic character-defining features when working on a trail, going to great lengths to use similar construction materials and approach to ensure historic integrity as part of their work. …and what struck me was how Mike sees himself, his crew and other colleagues, and their effort and connection as the newest part of the story playing out on this Maine natural area. You know, this is inspirational given today’s collective short attention span.

Lastly, I walked away thinking that Mike is someone exceptional. There’s a confidence about him on the trail that comes across based on what I’m guessing is lots of trial and error, having his hands in the dirt, by building thick calluses with the sledge hammer and rock bar, and by having to frequently make quick and accurate decisions. He is clearly tied to and cares about his crew and the work they are accomplishing in the park. Mike seemed at ease in his surroundings and had grasp of and could articulate a much bigger picture occurring around him.  Smart. Yes, he sets a motivating example for sure.

Thanks, Mike, for taking time for me and for the education. You’ve made Acadia National Park someplace bigger for me for sure. Much respect…

 

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

 ~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

 http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

 http://daniel-grenier.com/

Pathmakers - Acadia Youth Conservation Corps

 

AYCC 2015 Corps Member

 

"It is not bigness that should be our goal.  We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to...the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility...and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives and their children's future."  -Robert F. Kennedy, in his 1966 speech "Rebuilding a Sense of Community"

 

Another photo from the Youth Conservation Corps...  And one more reminder that 2016 is the centennial of the United States National Park Service.  Get out to visit your favorite park and appreciate!

 

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

 

~Dan Grenier

2015 Artist in Residence

Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Pathmakers - Print Enlargement

"God, or the gods, are invisible, quite understandable.  But holiness is visible, entirely."  ~Mary Oliver, Felicity

I thought I might show a bit of my process for those who may have interest.  ...and to remind you to step away from your screen to make something with your hands!!!  

Kodak Professional Tri-X black and white negative film, Beseler 45 enlarger, Ilford contrast filters, and Oriental traditional silver fine art paper

~Dan Grenier

2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Pathmakers - Roger

 

Roger

 

"The land belongs to the future...We come and go but the land is always here.  And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it - for a little while."  ~Willa Cather, O Pioneers!

Another photograph of Roger that I think came our nicely...

Happy 100th birthday NPS!

http://www.nps.gov

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens+ Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Pathmakers - Boardwalk

 

Jordan Pond Trail - Acadia National Park

 

“I don't just look at the thing itself or at the reality itself; I look around the edges for those little askew moments-kind of like what makes up our lives-those slightly awkward, lovely moments.” - Keith Carter

Linhof Technika large format field camera + Schneider-Kreuznach 150mm f/5.6 lens
Kodak Professional Tri-X 320 black and white film

~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

daniel-grenier.com

Pathmakers - Roger

 

~Roger

"In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a Leitmotiv." ~ Henry Cartier Bresson


I ran into Roger on the Deer Brook Trail. There was a lot of commotion occurring with some crew running up hill to tie loose ends on a trail section near-complete, while others headed down hill to help align the next big unit of work.  But Roger was clearly anchoring the main site, and this left a subtle impression on me.  In the middle of all of the bustle occurring around him, he quietly pushed on, aligning boulders with rock bar to create a solid, level walking tread to keep people's feet dry and to help protect the soils along Deer Brook from erosion.  All of Roger’s effort came stamped with discreet purpose and his own dependability and placidity.  Even with just my short time around him, I could never imagine Roger with much of a complaint.  I observed several instances of crew members looking for extra hands to help with their individual tasks.  Each time they went to Roger.  He always stopped without objection, and with a kind smile, walked over to assist taking measures, to provide some extra muscle moving rock, or to safely guide the specific activity.  …and then back again to his own work.  The dominant reoccurring theme at Deer Brook was Roger going about business in his own quiet, understated way, which to my eyes was reflected back in the seamless utility and beauty of the crew's trail improvements.      


Happy 100th birthday NPS!
www.nps.gov


Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR camera + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film


~Dan Grenier
2015 Artist in Residence
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://www.schoodicinstitute.org/

http://daniel-grenier.com/

 

Pathmakers - Alex

 

~Alex

 

"No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.”  ~Ansel Adams

 

This is Alex.  She was one of the first National Park Service trail crew staff I met on the ground in Acadia National Park.  After hellos, our conversation quickly turned to photography.  She was aware of vintage camera gear and was excited about the opportunity to make a photograph with me.  This one turned out great, huh?  I really love it!

Spending time with Alex, one quickly realizes that she is smart, determined, and engaged in and driven by her work.  Her dedicated spirit is expansive, and she proved to be excited to share and educate me, and surely all others who cross her path, on the importance the foot trail system plays in the park.  Alex was also well-versed in the technical aspects of trail building.  She near always had a tool in hand, ready-on-the-go, and was deeply involved in crew conversations related to their work detail and approach.  I watched her push and pull rock bar using her all, swinging sledge and leveraging rock with pulley and wire rope.  No doubt, Alex is a bundle of purposeful intensity, but she also was easy with a smile and close with her colleagues.  Shared chuckles, and friendly ribbing, Alex and the crew’s connection was highlighted on down time as they huddled on tarps eating lunch.  It was a privilege to experience this wholesome group effort, which Alex was part of.

We traded emails after I finished the field portion of my residency.  Alex was anxious to see the imagery we created together, and wanted to use the photograph to help respond to questions others had concerning her motivation, ability and adeptness, and role on the trail crew.  She said, “I want people to know that there are women out there working hard, and often times, working harder than most.  I want this photograph to express the resilience and dedication of strong working women.”  To my mind, she’s more than succeeds on all fronts.  And the photo is fantastic too.  Thank you, Alex, for being inspirational, and for being that resolute force that is you.        

 

Once more, a reminder that 2016 marks the 100 year anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service.  Find your park, and get out and enjoy! 

http://www.nps.gov

 

Linhof Technika large format field camera + Schneider-Kreuznach 150mm f/5.6 lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 320 black and white film

 

~Dan Grenier

2015 Artist in Residence

Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

http://daniel-grenier.com/

Pathmakers - Acadia Youth Conservation Corps

 

Acadia YCC members

 

Over the much of 2016 I’d like to share with you a series of environmental portraits from my recent art residency with the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park.   This amazing experience provided me the opportunity to spend time and make photograph with an exceptional group – the park trails crew.  My intent is to document these individuals, their dedication to their work, and their connection to the natural surroundings of the park.  I also (fingers crossed) hope my photography celebrates these behind the scenes people, while highlighting the importance of stewardship and land management in ensuring the long term integrity of our shared natural heritage, and its role in connecting people to nature. 

This first photograph is of members of the Acadia Youth Conservation Corps, which is made up of high school students that work as part of the trails crew under park staff supervision.  A wonderful example of partnership, the non-profit group, Friends of Acadia, provides salaries and equipment supporting the Corps, while the National Park provides leadership and training.  Corps members are folded into the Acadia Trails Crew, making true improvements to Acadia’s trails, reconstructing stone drainages and retaining walls, clearing vistas, cutting wood at campgrounds, and assisting wherever else needed.  My impression is that the Youth Conservation Corps is life changing for many participants, giving the chance to better understand personal depths and to be part of a work team focused on a greater good.  These kids proved to be exceptional without question, and I am fortunate to have had a bit of their attention to put face to their efforts.  Some of the power of the program is seen by a number of park staff having been funneled back.  Pretty cool.  Thank you AYCC for all that you do!

Lastly, I want to remind you that 2016 is the centennial of the United States National Park Service.  Get out to visit your favorite park and appreciate!

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film

Honesty through perspective

Jordan Pond
Acadia National Park

Hasselblad 500C + Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 lens
Ilford PanF+ 50 black and white film

My project associated with my residency at Acadia National Park has nothing to do with landscape photography, but it would be impossible to spend time there without making a few.  Jordan Pond has to be one of the most visited “undeveloped” ponds in Maine- probably in the United States.  It’s super easy to get to; consequently, it’s been photographed from every angle using all of today's popular techniques you see online.  Still, after taking time looking at these other images made at the pond, I decided that I might be able to provide my own viewpoint.  My attempt here is to bring honesty through normal perspective, black and white film, and my all mechanical camera from 1970.   I didn’t want to idealize the waterbody, but instead share what it truly feels like on that shoreline.  Anyway, this is how I see it, and I don’t think I’m too far off.  Welcome to Maine and Acadia National Park!

 

Schoodic Point and me...

© 2015 Kyle Pinjuv

A quick note to say hello and to share a bit of news…  I’ve been selected this year as artist in residence at the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park.  I’ll share more specifics on my project upcoming, but briefly, I’m attempting to create a portfolio of portraits of those associated with the park, staff and volunteers, who help make it all happen – protect the natural resources associated  for the long-term, while simultaneously connecting visitors to nature and the outdoors.  As you might guess, it’s a film based project using mostly antique large format gear, but some medium and micro (i.e., 35mm) format too.   I want it to be a “Maine” story.  And you know, my greatest hope, as such, is for my photographic process to equate to an expression and communication of my own personal experience; a means to further hone my own way of seeing and describing the world around me.  …but I guess this is something we are all striving for with our photography, huh?  Anyway, I really wanted you all to know about what I’m up to, and again, will have lots more to share with you sometime soon.   Thanks for all the well wishes!

Yours in silver gelatin,

Dan

More of Kyle Pinjuv's fantastic photography:  https://kylepinjuv.smugmug.com/