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Centennial Art Exhibit Reaches More Than 24,000 Visitors at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Midwest Region, March 7, 2003
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Seeking refuge from the cold winter weather, many visitors from across the United States and the world are often attracted to the Grigg Lobby of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Here, during the winter months of January, February and March, they attempt to find solace, healing, knowledge and comfort in this place.

This year, those who braved the elements noticed something new. Out of the corner of their eye, appeared photographs of wildlife and habitat. Present were the American Bison, Karner Blue Butterfly, Blue-winged teal, American Bald Eagle, and scenes of various wetlands, just to name a few. To the amazement of many, however, the vividness of every photograph greeted each visitor with the familiarity of a warm embrace.

Enduring! Impressive! Captivating! No single word could best describe this extraordinary experience. Of course, this was nothing new for anyone who had previously encountered the work of nationally renowned, freelance photographer, Karen Hollingsworth. She had captured the very spirit of refuges in each seemingly animated photograph. First impressions were varied for children and adults visiting from all walks of life. But, all who came into contact with the exhibit left with a greater understanding and appreciation of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge Complex in cooperation with Three Black Ducks, Inc., Holingsworth's company, arranged to have this photographic art exhibit on display at the Missouri Botanical Garden from Jan. 20 through Mar. 7. This proved to be a wonderful venue and provided access to a new audience for our Centennial message. According to John Grass, visitor services manager for the Missouri Botanical Garden, more than 24,000 visitors traveled through the Grigg Lobby during the time the exhibit was on display.

The art exhibit featured 16 photographs that highlighted the harmony existing between flora, fauna and scenic landscapes found on the Great Lakes and Big Rivers of Region 3 refuges. This Centennial exhibit will continue to travel throughout the year and is currently on display in the visitor center of Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, located near Brussels, Ill.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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