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Write Around PAM: Ansel Adams

Last Sunday, we invited you to spend some time writing with Laura McPhee’s Midsummer (Lupine and Fireweed), which offered a scene of blooming wildflowers at the foot of charred tree trunks. Today, let’s spend some time with this photograph by Ansel Adams, which McPhee cites as an inspiration for her work. Notice how a closer…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Laura McPhee

 “Photographing in the burned forest was one of the great, joyful experiences of my life,” Laura McPhee has said, “finding that catastrophe to be so beautiful,… so stunningly unexpected.” In McPhee’s Midsummer (Lupine and Fireweed), landscape provides a metaphor for loss and the regenerative power of natural cycles. This week, we invite you to contemplate…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Catherine Opie

How can we bring new understanding, new light to something we already know so well? Catherine Opie’s Untitled #1 (Yosemite Valley) offers us a place to start. Opie’s photography gives us new ways of seeing iconic landscapes. We invite you to spend some time today writing with this photograph and discovering what comes up for…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Ansel Adams

This work by Ansel Adams captures the seemingly solid, yet always fluid, energy of sand dunes. Shifting under foot, blowing in wind, never looking the same day to day, and yet steadily there. This “sand dune” energy feels like it mirrors our ever-shifting realities as we continue to grapple with changes at school, work, and…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Ansel Adams

How do you feel when you look at this photograph of the Grand Tetons and the Snake River? Today and over the coming months, our Write Around PAM prompts will take inspiration from the Ansel Adams in Our Time exhibition currently on view at the museum. Adams took breathtaking landscape photographs of the American West,…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Romare Bearden

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, we invite you to think of a person who has been a strong maternal presence in your life. It could be your mother, grandmother, auntie, close friend, teacher or other care provider, another parent, guardian, or person close to you. Someone who embodies the care and love and…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Shaun Peterson

Ravens hold special significance and symbolism in many cultures and traditions, and especially in the Coast Salish peoples of the Pacific Northwest, as seen here in Shaun Peterson’s Circling Ravens II. These birds are woven into art, into storytelling, into deep personal and cultural connections. Peterson, whose Native name is Qwalsius, uses the phrase “traditional…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Lynn Aldrich

Earth Day is this Thursday, April 22, and this piece by Lynn Aldrich feels like a fitting companion as we explore our relationship to this planet we call home. To create this sculpture, Aldrich bent, cut, and linked everyday cleaning tools, shaping them into representations of vibrant sea creatures. Biophilia is both fun and serious,…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Roman Saucepan

As county risk levels shift and vaccinations increase, we may start to venture out of our households more often. We likely have spent more time isolated this last year—and more time with the everyday objects around us–than we ever could have anticipated when the shutdown began. Writing allows us the opportunity to pause and reflect…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Helen Frankenthaler

As the days lengthen, we may find ourselves longing for a summer vacation. This piece by Helen Frankenthaler can offer just the mental break to tide you over. In this early work, we can see her interest in using blocks of solid colors to suggest the land and sea. Frankenthaler soon developed the influential Color…  Read more