Ohio Wesleyan Alumnus Photographs Man’s Impact on Environment

‘Consuming the American Landscape’ by John Ganis to be Exhibited on Campus Nov. 2-Dec. 16

The images of the Badlands in South Dakota (top) and the Hoh Rainforest in Washington state capture man’s impact on his environment. John Ganis, a 1972 Ohio Wesleyan graduate, has spent nearly 20 years documenting this impact. His photography will be on display in two campus venues from Nov. 2 through Dec. 16. (Photos by John Ganis ’72)

DELAWARE, OH – John Ganis has spent nearly two decades photographing barren strip mines, clear-cut forests, contaminated coastal areas, and other examples of man’s impact on his environment. The Dallas Morning News has described images created by the 1972 Ohio Wesleyan University graduate as “eye-opening, humanity-scarred vistas.”

An exhibit of his work, “Consuming the American Landscape,” will be on display in Ohio Wesleyan’s Gallery 2001 and in its Alumni Gallery from Nov. 2 through Dec. 16. Ganis also will be on campus for an artist’s talk at 4:10 p.m. Nov. 8 in Room 121 of Edgar Hall, 35 S. Sandusky St.

Gallery 2001, located inside OWU’s Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave., is open during regular library hours: Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to midnight, Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to midnight. The Alumni Gallery, located on two floors in OWU’s Mowry Alumni Center, 16 Rowland Ave., is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission to both galleries is free.

In his artist statement, Ganis, M.F.A., writes: “The American landscape is fertile ground for my photographic investigation of land use issues facing our society today. … It is my hope that the ironic beauty that I find in the altered or threatened sites that I photograph will create an opening for my audience to discover multiple layers of meaning in the landscape while maintaining a critical awareness of the environmental issues addressed in my photographic work.”

Much of his recent photography focuses on U.S. coastal areas, including coverage of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon (BP) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Oil spills caused by ruptured pipelines seem to be occurring with alarming frequency,” Ganis states. “These spills and other unforeseen effects of human activity serve as harsh reminders of the real cost of nonrenewable resources and the incalculable consequences of environmental negligence.”

His two-venue OWU exhibition will feature photographs of oil spills in the Mowry Alumni Center and images from his 2003 book, “Consuming the American Landscape,” in Beeghly Library.

Since graduating from Ohio Wesleyan, Ganis has earned a master of fine arts degree in photography from the University of Arizona. He currently is a photography professor at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, where he has taught since 1980. His photographs are in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Photography, the Detroit Institute of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Learn more about Ganis and his photography at www.johnganisphotography.com. Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s art exhibits by joining the Ross Art Museum group on Facebook.

Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 47 states and 57 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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