I talk to the trees About 37 years ago, Ansel Adams invited a cold-looking teenager inside a Michigan gallery, where the veteran photographer was installing a show. For the boy, Craig Varjabedian, the impact of talking to Adams and of seeing his work up close that day was profound. He decided to be a photographer himself.
In 1985, Varjabedian moved to Santa Fe and soon found himself working as a darkroom assistant for another hero: Paul Caponigro. Varjabedian has spent much of the ensuing time photographing the landscapes, architecture, and people of Northern New Mexico — many of his best images were published in his books Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby and En Divina Luz: The Penitente Moradas of New Mexico.
His newest book is a limited-edition effort from Athenon Editions and Photo Book Press called The Eloquence of Trees. The volume contains 28 photographs, plus an essay by Santa Fe author Jaima Chevalier.
Sales of the 100 copies of the volume benefit Heifer International, an Arkansas-based organization devoted to ending world hunger. Gerald Peters Gallery, 1011 Paseo de Peralta, hosts a booksigning/sale from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18. An exhibit of the photos hangs through December.
Maria Franco Tapia, the New Mexico representative for Heifer International, speaks at the event. And with each sale of The Eloquence of Trees, an animal or tree ornament will be added to a holiday tree, which will then be donated to Santa Fe Youth Shelters.
For more information, or to order a copy of the book, call 983-2934 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Paul Weideman