Pasatiempo - - In Other Words -

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 cindy@craig­var­jabe­

— Paul Wei­de­man

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