Big screen show of West’s best wilderness slated tonight at Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

PORT ANGELES ­— It’ll be like a drive-in movie without the cars, a tour of the West’s best wilderness — and an experiment.

Alongside “The Back Country,” the wilderness-exploration art show at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, photographer Bob Kaune of Port Angeles will give an outdoor slide presentation on an 8-foot square screen in the arts center courtyard at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd., tonight.

It begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $6, or $5 for Friends of the Fine Arts Center.

Kaune will take his audience tonight to 11 Western states’ stupendous places: the national parks and forests from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean.

The center has never hosted such a show, said executive director Jake Seniuk.

Out in courtyard

He wanted to try hosting an event in the courtyard — though in case of rain, he’ll be ready to move it inside the gallery, where there have been lots of concerts and slide shows over the center’s 25-year history.

Whether the show takes place outdoors or in, Kaune will leave the arts center with a gift: that big screen.

It’s his expression of gratitude to the center, which has given him and myriad other artists a place to show their work.

And Kaune has plenty of experience with outdoor programs.

He worked at Yosemite and Sequoia national parks in California before transferring to Olympic National Park, where he was a naturalist and back-country ranger who gave

campfire talks.

Kaune now runs his own business selling hand tools to boat builders.

Photos of favorites

But he continues to answer the call of the wild, shooting photographs of his favorite places ­— from Wyoming’s Wind River mountain range to Washington’s Okanogan wilderness, and into Olympic National Park’s remote reaches.

On most of Kaune’s backpacking trips, his wife, Rosalie, is at his side. And she’s sometimes in his pictures.

She will be at the slide show tonight, some 47 years after they met while working at Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park.

Kaune is a prolific and inspired artist, Seniuk said.

Just one image

Because of space limitations, the arts center director had to choose just one image for “The Back Country,” the exhibition that will stay up through Oct. 9.

The photograph, titled “Regeneration,” shows a stand of burned, grayish lodgepole pines behind an aspen grove whose leaves are turning from green to gold.

Tonight “is an opportunity to see Bob’s work in more depth,” Seniuk said.

“It will be a fireside slide show without the fire,” he quipped, adding that instead of a campfire, the courtyard has Watershed Notes, David Eisenhour’s bronze fountain.

Either way, Kaune said, “people are more relaxed when they’re outside.”

________

Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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