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Release Date: 04/11/12
Contacts: Michael Williams, (970) 882-5600    

Mythological Landscapes: Artist-in-Residence Kirk Gittings Shares his Vision (04-10-12)

DOLORES, Colo.—  Kirk Gittings, first Artist-in-Residence at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, will discuss the ideas behind his life work in a theater presentation at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Anasazi Heritage Center at 1 p.m. on Saturday,  April 21.

The Albuquerque photographer is one of four professional artists chosen for one-week residencies during the spring and summer at Canyons of the Ancients. Gittings’ primary tool is a large-format 4x5 inch view camera, which demands a slow and deliberate approach, according to Gittings.

The Artist-in-Residence program promotes awareness through art of the exceptional places protected within the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System and provides an opportunity for learning and dialogue about the value of preserving public lands.

Gittings sees the expanse of canyons and mesas as a mythological landscape with aesthetic and historic qualities to inspire both residents and visitors. He will spend a week immersed in the Monument landscapes, learning their inner story and making photographs. His contribution will form part of a show in Washington D.C. commemorating the founding of the General Land Office in 1812.

“My first mythological landscape was my childhood home west of Albuquerque,” said Gittings. “Surrounded by the volcanos, Sandia Peak, Ladron Peak, and Mount Taylor, my brother and I invented personal mythologies. I learned later that prominent landforms featured in Native American origin myths, and that tourist stops along Route 66 were mythologized versions of cowboy culture and the Old West.”

Gittings’ acclaimed book Chaco Body (with poet V.B. Price) became the first part of a long-term project to reimagine the Southwest in mythic terms. Gittings has presented his work previously to the American Institute of Architects and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as at Chaco Canyon and the University of New Mexico.

The Anasazi Heritage Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the museum’s web site at

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

  27501 Highway 184      Dolores, CO 81323  

Last updated: 04-11-2012