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Mark Kurtz’s Massawepie photos displayed in July

Deer Pond, late fall (Provided photo — Mark Kurtz)

SARANAC LAKE — The Adirondack Artists Guild will be featuring Mark Kurtz’s photography, “A Massawepie Journal” for the month of July.

The exhibit opens Friday, July 2. Kurtz will be at the Guild’s gallery at 52 Main St. in downtown Saranac Lake that afternoon until 7 p.m. The show will run through Aug. 1.

Starting in early spring 2020, Kurtz started hiking the trails at Massawepie, a Boy Scout camp about 12 miles west of Tupper Lake. He was a camper and on staff at the camp in his younger years, and has been a volunteer there ever since. In the early stages of the coronavirus lockdown, he started hiking the trails every week as a sort of escape from the overwhelming aspects of the pandemic, and everything else that was going on in 2020. He photographed the landscape on his hikes, noticing, through his camera, the seasonal transitions from spring to summer to fall and winter and back to spring in 2021.

Although he was very familiar with the property and landscape at Massawepie, he found himself looking at things more closely than he had in the past and saw the seasonally changing landscape as a metaphor for the transitions that so many individuals, as well as society as a whole, were experiencing through this past, very challenging year.

“Hiking at Massawepie had me looking at the details of the natural landscape — there are no big, dramatic views like in the High Peaks,” Kurtz said. “It is a much more intimate relationship to the landscape that a hiker experiences when walking the Massawepie trails. I tried to get that with my photography.”

Boottree Pond, early spring (Provided photo — Mark Kurtz)

The Adirondack Artists Guild is a cooperative retail art gallery representing a diverse group of artists residing and working in the Tri-Lakes region of the Adirondack Park. The gallery is located at 52 Main St., Saranac Lake, 518-891-2615. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

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