We found creative ways to advance both artistic endeavors and educational programs focused on the Missouri River. For example, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, we supported photographer Alex Wiles’s effort to produce a unique photographic study of Missouri River wildlife. His creation, FLOOD PLAIN — A clear view of life in the Big Muddy brought a new appreciation to the beauty of the river’s native creatures.
As a photographer, Alex found the Missouri River’s water clarity not conducive to photographing the species that live in it. Eventually, he settled on using a white background to provide a glimpse into the world of the Missouri River floodplain. This technique, known as high-key photography, has typically been used for scientific purposes. This approach allowed Alex to produce clear, artistic and beautiful photos, giving recognition to the rarely seen charismatic Missouri River aquatic life.
Once the collection was complete, selected pictures were transitioned into large “stickers”. With approval from Omaha and Council Bluffs, these “stickers” were installed on the surface of various Riverfront Trails – and even the Pedestrian Bridge. As a result, thousands of trail and bridge users were delighted to see a these unique pictures of Missouri River wildlife!
Eventually, Alex arranged his work into an exhibit which was premiered at the Fontenelle Forest Nature Center. Thereafter, his exhibit traveled to nature centers and museums along the Missouri River, including a viewing in the River’s Edge Pavilion.
Project Partners: Fontenelle Forest.
Estimated Financial Support: Back to the River $13,000
Estimated Total Project Cost: $20,000