Capturing Chapters: A Journey Through the Lens of John Wimberley

posted in: Arts and Culture | 0

Exploring the landscapes, rock art, and underwater wonders that define an iconic photographer’s career.

On March 7, Cawein Gallery closed its first official art exhibition after the remodel of Pacific’s AuCoin Hall. Titled “Chapters,” the gallery featured the work of the internationally renowned John Wimberley, a prolific landscape and American rock art photographer. The exhibit showcased a variety of photographs, with subjects ranging from sand dunes and abandoned mining towns to ancient petroglyphs. In total, it also captures the essence of Wimberley’s spiritual and creative journey throughout his career.

   Wimberley’s passion for photography began in the early 1960s when he started shooting flight operations in the US Navy. However, upon his discharge, Wimberley became interested in other subjects. This was when he began pursuing landscape photography, shooting almost exclusively in black-and-white and focusing on the natural aspects of Native American Rock Art. Critics describe his work as technically masterful.

   One of his most acclaimed photography collections showcases a series of photos of women underwater. The pièce de résistance of this collection is “Descending Angel,” taken in 1981, depicting the legs of a woman swimming. Wimberley attributes most of his fame to this collection. 

   Despite his success with that collection, his affinity for landscape photography drove him back to the wilderness, where he shot primarily in the western United States, including Nevada, California, and Oregon. His thirst for natural beauty also led him around the globe, and his portfolio includes pictures of faraway places, such as Ireland and New Zealand.

   Throughout his career, Wimberley has been featured in over 70 exhibits worldwide. His most recent gallery, excluding Pacific’s Cawein Gallery, was held at the Portland Art Museum. Wimberley also has many accolades. He received the American Rock Art Research Association’s (ARARA) Oliver Award for his book Evidence of Magic, which features American Indian Rock over the latter half of his career. 

   The Cawein Gallery’s reception for Wimberley’s work occurred on March 6 from 1 to 4 p.m. Guests enjoyed a virtually conducted Zoom meeting with Wimberley while soaking in his artistic expression one last time. Cawein Gallery’s next exhibition will showcase photographs from Scott Tuomi, a retiring Pacific University Music and Arts Professor. However, information has yet to be released for the upcoming exhibit.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *