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Aurora! A Journey Through The Midnight Sky is the title of a stunning new temporary exhibit on display now through May 11, 2015, at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota.
The public is invited to attend a free grand opening program from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., May 24, at the Center. This unique collection of art and science features the works of local photographer Heidi Pinkerton and will include a presentation on the northern lights phenomenon by meteorologist Dan Miller. Attendees will have a chance to chat with Pinkerton about her specialized approach to capturing one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
The exhibit is an attempt by the Center to draw tourism to Ely and attention to the wonders of the world around us that can only been seen in a wildlands setting. “Ely is an ideal place to see and photograph the aurora borealis due to its high latitude and distance from man-made sources of light pollution,” explains the Center’s Executive Director Rob Schultz. “But Ely is also a gateway to the greatest natural resource around us-our wildlands – a foundation precious and essential for both wolves and humans,” says Schultz.
The Aurora! exhibit showcases nearly two dozen dramatic images of the auroras along with interpretive display boards detailing the science, history and culture behind the northern lights.
As a specialist in photographing the northern lights, Pinkerton has developed her own unique approach. She reviews daily aurora substorm updates from the forecasting Web site provided by the Geophysical Institute and is constantly scouting out locations to frame her shots.
“Night photography has a special appeal to me. My senses seem more in tune with my surroundings. Once the lights begin to dance, it is not uncommon to hear the loons begin to call, soon to be followed by the howling of wolves. There is nothing like it on Earth,” says Pinkerton.
There is another, more personal connection between the northern lights and the International Wolf Center that has to do with the death of one of the Center’s ambassador wolves. The northern lights were exceptionally brilliant and expansive on the night ambassador wolf Maya passed away in 2011. Awed by the sight, Pinkerton decided to try to capture the fire in the sky for the very first time. As she was setting up her camera, the echo of a lone wolf howling mournfully in the distance washed over her. What Pinkerton captured that evening turned out to be much more than just a series of incredible images. That singular experience captured her heart and ignited her passion for northern lights photography.
Experience this unique collection of art and science exploring the aurora borealis at the International Wolf Center, on exhibit now through May 11, 2015.
Support for Aurora has been provided by a grant from IRRRB.
The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves,
their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future.