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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Weekly Post, "My NEA Funded Artist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

My NEA Funded Artist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1988, I was awarded an Artist-in-Residency at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Wisconsin Arts Board. This was a small body of work created over three years, and eventually exhibited once at the university. Some images have been printed, but most have never been seen. I hope you enjoy these photographs. I think they are among some of the most beautiful I have ever taken.  ~Robert Glenn Ketchum






Thursday, November 15, 2018

University of Wisconsin: Artist In Residence, #3:
Wisconsin#3:  The farm/field station that Marlin Johnson cares for on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, is a cluster of buildings. Besides the house, there is a large barn, a grain silo, a sizable chicken coop, some mechanical sheds, a big kiln, and a large greenhouse. I will learn that there are always things going on at the property, and especially in the greenhouse. The students propagate seeds here; the harvested crops store here; many of the dried specimens are also displayed here. On this particular fall day, it is cold and windy outside, but the greenhouse quite cozy. I could not help but take this picture of harvested pumpkins sunning themselves. Soon they will have spooky faces, and we will all be eating pumpkin pie!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post, SUNDANCE: Artist-In-Residence by Robert Glenn Ketchum

SUNDANCE:  Artist In Residence
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



From 1987-1989, Robert Redford invited me to become the first visual Artist-In-Residence at his newly established Sundance Institute, part of the community he was building around his recently purchased ski resort in Utah. The residency provided me with subject matter that produced some of the most significant images of my career, but importantly, it also afforded me my first aerial work, a platform that would become increasingly important throughout my life. A limited amount of these images were ever published, and NONE of the aerials ever were. The best will now appear, please enjoy!  ~Robert Glenn Ketchum






Thursday, November 15, 2018

SUNDANCE: Artist In Residence, #18:
Sundance #18:  Higher above the Heber Valley floor the glow of fall color rages randomly up the hillsides, where it encounters more evergreen trees, adding yet another layer, a foil to the brilliance, into the fall mix. On a good day, I also experience fleeting holes of sunlight that pierce the cloud layers, and on occasion, flit across the landscape in such dramatically illuminating waves, it is hard to believe it isn’t choreographed. During some of my more weather-ladened shoots, I find myself on ridges, connected by narrow fire roads and a view like the one above. Standing here for quite some time, I could easily make dozens of images, as that spotlight on the far hillside is just one of many that swim over these mountains and valleys, lighting select trees, groves, and sometimes, just one entire mountain, but nothing else. I spend a lot of time trying to anticipate and record the “best” moment, whatever that means, when there are SO many!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Weekly Post: STONED IMMACULATE: A Trip in the Desert by Robert Glenn Ketchum

STONED IMMACULATE:  A Trip in the Desert
by Robert Glenn Ketchum


As a young photographer, two places I “discovered” by chance greatly influenced both my photographic vision and my personal relationship with the greater planet. A previous blog, LIMEKILN, is the story of the first location. THIS is the second location which I discovered because my car broke down. As Jim Morrison/The Doors wrote, “Out here we is Stoned Immaculate!"



Wednesday, November 14, 2018
“Topological Wormhole"

circa 1985-1995


Stoned Immaculate, #105:
Immaculate, #105:  from the portfolio, STONED IMMACULATE

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd


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Weekly Post, ARCTIC: At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1993, I began traveling to the Arctic. I have been across The Northwest Passage by yacht; to the North Pole twice; to little-visited Russian islands; and aboard research vessels in Greenland, Labrador, Newfoundland, and Baffin Island, taking the opportunity to visit Iqualuit, the capital of Nunavut, the recently created Inuit nation and territories.







Wednesday, November 14, 2018

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #118:
ARCTIC, #118:  The helicopter pilot and I have been flying above Lancaster Sound and Baffin Island for a good part of the morning, when waves of fog begin to form. At one point we see a broad beach, and I suggest we land to watch the light show and have a look at things from ground level (last post). The beach is strange and spare, but the fog/light show is over the top. There is a cold wind blowing causing rolling tubes of fog sweep over us, noticeably dropping the temperature even further, and coating our plastic gear with moisture. Unexpectedly, and rather abruptly, the wind dies down, the turbulence stops, and the fog diffuses. Immediately diffuse vapor particles alight the sky with a golden glow, and then the sky and horizon merge. We are floating! For several minutes, the pilot and I are speechless, and I just take pictures, but the condition is clearly evolving, and the fog is becoming more dense, surrounding us. Finally, the pilot snaps out of our reverie and says we should probably fly. If the fog is this thick everywhere, he is concerned we might not find “Itasca" until it clears.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Weekly Post: NO PEBBLE MINE: Pictures from Ground Zero by Robert Glenn Ketchum

NO PEBBLE MINE Pictures from Ground Zero
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



Since 1998, I have been working to protect the spectacular resources of southwest Alaska and the fishery of Bristol Bay. Two Aperture books, a national traveling exhibition, a massive coalition of concerned users, and a lot of personal lobbying, had it looking like we were almost there. Then Donald Trump took office claiming he would always put America, and American jobs first. SO WHY destroy a BILLION-dollar-a-year, RENEWABLE salmon fishery and over 100,000 jobs for a group of international mineral speculators that will leave us with a Superfund site to clean up, and NO fishery left edible? And yet, he did,..so please, keep saying NO TO THE PEBBLE MINE!
~Robert Glenn Ketchum






Tuesday, November 13, 2018 

NO PEBBLE MINE #322, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #322:  As we fly into the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, the terrain and habitat change in a noticeable way. For one, the refuge is more expansive than Wood-Tikchik State Park, where we have just been. It is easily two or three times larger, and that difference is visible immediately from the area. The valley we are following “down” from the mountains, broadens as it gets lower, finally spilling onto the basin floor that forms the refuge. Below our wings, several streams merge, and I can see others pouring in from elsewhere. Then, a number of lakes appear, into which these drainages are feeding. The pilot tells me that we are in the headwaters of the Togiak River, which we will now follow to the coast, and these are part of the Upper Togiak Lake(s). This parting view shows the headwater lakes, and looks south and west, back into the distant peaks which are part of Tikchik.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post: THE TONGASS: Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees by Robert Glenn Ketchum

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees
by Robert Glenn Ketchum
In 1985, I began a 2-year commission to explore the Tongass rainforest, the largest forest in the United States Forest Service (USFS) system AND the largest temperate rainforest in the world. It was a unique, old-growth environment under siege from industrial logging. The resulting investigative book I published helped to pass the Tongass Timber Reform Bill, protect 1,000,000 acres of old-growth, and create 11 new wilderness areas. This is the story of how that was achieved.




Tuesday, November 13, 2018



THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #116:
THE TONGASS, #116:  Philip Slagter and I, regroup in Ketchikan after our cabin camp at Walker Lake, and prepare for our first kayak camping trip. We plan to go into Rudyerd Bay, one of the many fjords in Misty Fjords National Monument. We have a boat operator that will drop us, and pick us up, and we have even found someone to loan us a rifle, so that we finally have some bear protection. It has been an unusually warm and sunny summer, as we experienced at Walker Lake, but today, as we head for Rudyerd Bay, Misty Fjords and the Tongass RAINFOREST are doing what they do best,..raining. Really raining! Philip and I wish it were otherwise, but we do have to get used to it, so we are off for another adventure to add to our learning curve. It is not especially windy, but it is raining hard, and does so for most of our boat trip. It seems to abate as we motor into the Behm Canal, and when we turn into Rudyerd Bay, it stops for a brief while. We are hopeful, and about halfway into the fjord bay, we have our boat pilot drop us. This is a drill I will repeat many times over the ensuing years, but the thrill of it never seems to change - the loaded kayaks go over the side, you squeeze down into the them through all of the gear packed around you, everybody confirms time and place of pick up, the mothercraft departs,..and you and your crew are sitting in a deepwater fjord wilderness, encapsulated in a skinny, funny looking boat with one big, weird paddle, and looking for a place to call home. It has not yet occurred to us that a fjord might not offer a lot of campsites,..especially one that has an 18ft. tidal swing twice-a-day. Oh well, there certainly is no going back now!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Weekly Post, High and Wild: Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers

High and Wild: Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



After receiving my MFA from CalArts, I was invited by Bill Lund, Sharon Disney’s husband, to come stay at the families' Diamond-D Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming. Bill thought I might like to photograph in the nearby Wind River Mountains, which I did, backpacking through them extensively over the next three summers. Welcome to a world of big granite walls and huge alpine lakes!




Monday, November 12, 2018

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #64:
Wind River, #64:  There are many curiosities in the rock-strewn valley past the end of the last Titcomb Lake. The flowering meadows have all but disappeared, and in their place stand erratic boulders, and places where the slab granite has been fractured so perfectly, it appears to be hand-hewn. Belle and I have wandered off in our own direction when we come to this - a place where the river is wide, shallow, and flowing through rock pools. These are not typical “wild” pools, however, as they are more like manufactured ones, some are so perfectly cut. The fracturing of the granite all about us is sheer and precise - straight lines and AMAZING right angles! Then, Belle finds a perfect bathtub (left) and, of course, jumps in. The amazing rock “pool” is so tempting, I nearly join here, but decide against it as I would easily get hypothermic in the cold water, and then trying to dry of in this wind. Belle is NOT having that problem - LOL!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post: The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get by Robert Glenn Ketchum

by Robert Glenn Ketchum


Growing up my parents had a home near Sun Valley, Idaho. It was there that I learned to ski. Over many years I befriended members of the Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club, with whom I had both life, and art-forming outdoor experiences. I had my camera, and these are my adventures.  Enjoy!!  ~Robert Glenn Ketchum



Monday, November 12, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #132:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #132:  Above Boulder Basin and the ruins of the old mining town, there are numerous open slopes that ascend to the exposed rock summits, and many seem stabile enough to ski. For whatever it is worth, all of us trail avalanche cords behind us, and we carry Pieps avalanche beacons in our pockets. We also all have snow shovels in our day packs. We have come to have fun, not get buried. The skiing is GREAT, and for me, the views even greater. Best of all, I am getting pictures that will serve both POWDER magazine, and my own personal portfolio of B&W work, “WINTERS: 1970-1980.” At the moment of this image, however, I am about to lock down my heels and “drop-in.” There is a beautiful, long run back down to the basin floor in front of me, and the light is great. I would like to be aggressive about this, but having two Nikons strapped to my chest warrants more caution. Best not to take a header in deep powder. For scale of the terrain we are in, notice the limber pine on the rock outcrop in the lower, middle of the image. THAT is a HUGE tree!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Weekly Post: Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

The Yakutat Forelands are where the Tongass rainforest and the Chugach forest to the north meet. It is also home to many large glaciers, a stunning coastline, the huge Alsek-Tatshenshini river, and Icy Bay, which sits at the foot of Mount St. Elias, the greatest vertical rise from sea level in the world. There is a lot of powerful energy out here.



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias, #94:
The Yakutat Forelands, #94:  The spectacle of the exaggerated, and very visible, changes in the parts of Icy Bay we actually explored, is quite sobering to all of us. As the plane climbs and heads for the coast, we fall silent as each of us ponders the numerous times we have encountered life-threatening circumstances in just these past 10-days. This was NOT a casual Alaskan kayaking adventure. Our pilot suggests we have been in the middle “of an epic weather event,” and he acknowledges that he wondered what he would find in flying in to pick us up. He also notes that all flights in and out of Yakutat have been grounded for the better part of the last week, so he was not even sure if he would be allowed to come for us. As our flight path hits the coast, where we will turn south, the large river pouring out of the bay has flushed so much mud and silt into the Pacific, that it is actually changing the color of the ocean water for many square miles. Well, it IS Alaska! Go big, or go home. We have done one, and now we are going to do the other. I want to sleep on a mattress. We have all come to bow before St. Elias, and now suitably humbled, we retreat to play another day.

photograph(s) © copyright, Robert Glenn Ketchum, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum, @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Monday, August 20, 2018

TERRA FIRMA Exhibit at the Manhattan Beach Art Center featuring Robert Glenn Ketchum


When at UCLA, Ketchum studied with two very non-traditional photography practitioners, Edmund Teske and Robert Heinecken. Ketchum was especially influenced by Heinecken's use of many different materials in presenting his photographic imagery, some of which involved cloth and fabric. Working with UCLA, in 1985, Ketchum became the first American artist to enter their China exchange program. This began a 30-year collaboration with a nationally prestigious Chinese embroidery guild, to translate his photographs of the natural world into embroideries and loom weavings, of which two of the most recent are displayed here.


Graceful Branch Movement_ 2010
Graceful Branch Movement, 2010

One of the largest 2-sided embroidery panels ever created, featuring the untraditional use of two stitches that were never previously combined. The detailed leaves are done in the most laborious "Suzhou fine style," and all the other background work is done in the "random" stitch. There more than 40 dye colors used, and the work took several embroiderers 3-years.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Weekly Post: Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - Expanding My Winter Consciousness

Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - 
Expanding My Winter Consciousness
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

In the early '70’s, I was doing a lot of winter adventuring with my friends in the Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club, and a client invited me to take pictures at Big Mountain, a ski resort in Montana. Glacier National Park was not far away, so I thought that might be an interesting place to explore in the winter, as well. These two locations added important work to my exhibits and portfolios, and definitely expanded/sobered my winter consciousness.




Thursday, July 12, 2018

Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - Expanding My Winter Consciousness, #50:
Big Mountain, #50:  Bob Tchirkow and I finally arrive at Avalanche Lake which is frozen over, and we are certainly in a BASIN. Except for the direction from which we have come, the sheer walls rise straight up all around us, and disappear into the snowfall that is not only heavy, but the flakes have become gigantic as well. The open expanse of the lake runs right up to the walls, and there is no gorge now between us and an avalanche. Still boggled by the one we witnessed as we came in, neither he nor I want to get any nearer to the walls than where we already are. We choose a huge tree on our side that has a wind hollow beneath it, and we crawl in there, out of the weather, to drink, snack, and occasionally poke my camera out and take a shot. The above image, “Avalanche Lake Basin (Headwalls in a Blizzard)” becomes another from this trip to be included in my future portfolio, “Winters: 1970-1980,” and a larger print of this will also be included in “Silver See,” a portfolio, published by the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies. Once again, unfortunately, Bob and I misjudge the short winter day. Our journey back down the trail is more dangerous than we expect. Going downslope with so many trees is pretty ragged, there is a lot of falling,..and then it starts to get dark. When we fall in the heavy, wet snow, it clings, making our clothes wet as well,..and we are tiring. Then, rather abruptly in the growing darkness, the roar of the creek is close once again, and the bridge appears before us. We are back! Crossing the bridge to head for camp, we encounter a BIG, shaggy, snow-covered mountain goat, that just stands and stares at us, then disappears into the trees. I am sure we surprised him. Camp is a mess, as the heavy snow has squashed the tent and covered equipment. One of our two stoves will no longer light, and almost everything is wet. We survive the night, ski out in the early morning hours, and have a GREAT breakfast in a cafe. One feature story in POWDER magazine, and three new images for my portfolio are part of my expanding winter consciousness, and I hope you have enjoyed these “visits” to Montana that helped to shape my career.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, May 18, 2018

2018 Venice Art Walk Featuring Robert Glenn Ketchum


For more than 20yrs. I have contributed to this event. It is VERY fun!. Because of some significant sales in the past few years, I have been allowed an “oversized” contribution this year, as the committee recognizes my images have amazing detail that is best viewed at a larger scale. “Rivers of Life” is stunning at 40” wide. Come to the Google offices - view all the work being exhibited and auctioned. Eat, drink, be merry, enjoy music, AND bid up my piece. Help support healthcare for all!



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Remembering Barbara Bush


In 1987, Aperture published my book, 'The Tongass: Alaska’s Vanishing Rain Forest', which was intended to support the proposed Tongass Timber Reform Act. In the ensuing years, I spent much time in DC, exhibiting, lecturing, and lobbying on behalf of the bill’s passage. The most significant timber reform legislation in American history passed in 1990, and was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. He then invited me to the White House in 1991 to acknowledge my contributions to the effort. For the photo-op, I was ushered into a room to find both he and Barbara awaiting me. We “socialized” while the pictures were being taken, and even in such a brief period, I was struck by Barbara’s presence. The president and I exchanged formalities, and he made sure I knew he had seen the book and knew my story, as I would have expected on this occasion. Barbara, however, was like speaking with my mother, in spite of the fact I am sporting a mohawk, a long ponytail, and a diamond-stud earring, and I am sure she was glad I was not her son. Nonetheless, she wanted to know if I was married, had kids, took them with me, were my adventures scary, did I enjoy sleeping in tents - you know, mom stuff - not a word about the politics of the situation. I have never had anyone make me feel some comfortable, in an otherwise “stiff” situation, so thank you Barbara Bush for meeting with me that day as well, and may you rest in peace.

To further this story a bit, I brought along my newest Aperture book, Overlooked In America: The Success and Failure of Federal Land Management which I gave to the President during the photo-op. Given the title of the book, and the nature of my politics, the President smiled broadly for a picture holding the book, and then put it aside. After speaking with me for awhile, Barbara turned and picked it up, opening it and leafing through the pages, complimenting my pictures and asking about their locations. She was a skillful weaving of necessary Washington formality, and honest, human interest.

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