As summer got underway, we began the search for two photographers for Picturing Trails, a project in partnership with King County Parks to comprehensively capture and interpret the Regional Trail System through fine art photography for the very first time. Now, as fall approaches, we’re excited to announce that Jenny Riffle and Melinda Hurst Frye have been selected!
As a component of the Arts Master Plan for the RTS, written in 2015 by Brian Borrello, Picturing Trails represents an ongoing effort to bring the trail system to life for the public, and King County Parks brought invaluable expertise to the selection process. Regional Trails Coordinator Robert Foxworthy welcomes Riffle and Hurst Frye to the project saying that it “…extends the vision and ethos of the Arts Master Plan to enhance the public’s awareness of and relationship to the trails. Parks recognizes the value of art and image-making to the public’s experience and understanding of the trails as unique destinations on the way to destinations.”
Melinda Hurst Frye is a Seattle-based artist who works within a still-life aesthetic, revealing the mystery and activity of subterranean ecosystems. Of the Picturing Trails projects, she states that her excitement “…is magnified by my background growing up in King County and traversing the trail system. As a fine art photographer, this amount of access and support is both inspiring and important to the artistic process.” Hurst Frye often uses scanners to create her multi-layered images, and she views this project as “…a beautiful opportunity to show the uses, the users, and the natural world together. I am ready to hit the trails with my bike and scanner to create images inspired by King County’s Regional Trails System. See you out there!”
Jenny Riffle also hails from Washington state and has a longstanding affinity for the RTS: “I have always found the wildness of the parks and trails in this region a wonderful experience, so close to the city streets one can get into the woods and feel as if you are far away from the din of the city.” Her Sound of Wind series captures the mystery and dreaminess of Northwest landscapes—you may have seen some of these works at Metro bus stops. She’ll bring that perspective to Picturing Trails as well, stating, “…I will be using photography to show the border between the urban and natural world and the beauty and power of nature and the relationship that humans have with it.”
Over the coming year, both photographers will spend time exploring and photographing in the trail system using their unique approaches and methods. Parks and 4Culture will work with the photographers to select a number of images to become part of the King County Portable Works Collection, a diverse collection of portable artworks that can be seen in public buildings, hospitals, and health centers throughout the region. Stay tuned to 4Culture and Parks for chances to interact with Riffle and Hurst Frye out on the trails, and for a chance to have your own photography featured in a future phase of this project!