April 28, 2003

Get back to nature in law library

By Eric Rangus

Bryce Canyon, Utah; Glacier National Park, Mont. and Mesa Verde, Colo., all can be visited by purchasing a plane ticket and a National Park Pass.

But through May 13, there is another way, one that is much easier on the wallet and daybook—simply visit the MacMillan Law Library in Gambrell Hall.

That’s where a pair of photography exhibits are on display for the next two-and-a-half weeks. “‘Wish You Were There’: Portraits of the Earth and Other Beautiful Things,” a 36-photograph exhibit by Carolyn Wright, and “A Natural Perspective,” a 26-photo display by David Ray, are available for viewing on floors 2–4 of the library.

“The thought is to provide something visual for library users,” said Veronica Carlson, director of circulation services for the law school library. “I think the art exhibits add a lot to what could be a very sterile environment.”

The MacMillan Law Library has a permanent art collection and a gallery that rotates four times a year. The nature photography exhibit featuring Wright and Ray began its run on March 12.

The genesis of the current exhibit is a bit special; Carlson knew Wright, ’92L, from the latter’s days as a law student at Emory—she worked at the circulation desk.

Later on, Carlson became acquainted with Wright’s photographs and about two years ago invited her to put together a display (gallery showings in the law library are booked far in advance).

After that, at a nature photography workshop at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Montana, Wright met Ray, who at the time was teaching in Emory’s legal writing, research and advocacy program. She invited him to contribute to the

Both collections on display feature intimate nature scenes and dramatic landscapes from the western United States, mixed with a handful from Georgia and other parts of the Southeast. Wildlife is abundant; Wright’s collection includes vibrant photos of a lynx and a mountain goat and one of Ray’s photos is a dramatic snapshot of a cormorant grasping a newly caught fish in its beak.

While similar in makeup, each collection has distinctions as well. Closeups of flowers are a prominent piece of Ray’s collection. Wright includes a couple of portraits.

For Wright, the exhibit is particularly special since she now is on the law school staff. Wright serves as assistant dean for academic affairs. She previously worked in the litigation group at King & Spalding and before that for the firm of Neely & Player.

“It’s been great. People have gotten to know me because of the photos,” said Wright, who started her Emory job in January. “A lot of faculty members have commented that they’ve enjoyed the exhibit. It’s a good ice breaker. It’s been good for students, too. If I wasn’t here, they might just say, ‘nice photos’ and walk on by, but instead they see them and ask more about them.”

Ray now is working as lands program director for the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in Asheville, N.C.

All photographs are for sale, and each print’s price is displayed next to it. They range between $75 and $250. Wright said she has not sold any photos yet, but has gotten several inquiries about them as well as her other work.

The exhibit is free and open to the public.