Cuba Expedition Photos to Be Unveiled

VENICE, Fla., March 9 /PRNewswire/ — Renowned landscape photographer and environmentalist Clyde Butcher will unveil photographs taken during three expeditions to the mountains of Cuba. The photographs will be shown at his Venice gallery from March 12 through April 30.

Butcher, who is best known for his evocative black and white photographs of Florida wetlands, took the Cuba photographs in some of the most remote and mountainous locations of the island during expeditions in 2002 and 2003.

Butcher developed by hand only 15 silver gelatin prints of each photograph of his Cuba collection, ranging in size from 16×20 inches to 30×40 inches. The collection includes large format photos of the Sierra Maestra Mountains in Cuba’s eastern province of Granma, the south coast of Cuba between Manzanillo and Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa, the waterfalls of Sierra de San Juan and the region of Pina del Rio.

“It is my hope that these photographs open to the world unseen beauty that lies just 90 miles to the south of Florida,” Butcher said.

Butcher was asked to photograph Cuba by Luis Gomez-Echeverri, United Nations Development Program resident coordinator in Cuba and Naples businessman John Parke Wright IV in response to the United Nations declaring 2002 the International Year of Mountains.

“As a Floridian, I am honored to play a role in showing the beauty of Cuba to all,” said Wright.

In 2002, the United Nations encouraged countries all over the world to hold environmental conferences about mountain conservation. In response, Wright organized Taller para el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Montana (the Conference for the Sustainable Habitat of the Mountain) with the help of Luis Gomez-Echeverri, United Nations Development Program resident coordinator in Cuba, and Cuba’s high-ranking comandante de la revolucion Guillermo Garcia Frias in the Sierra Maestra Mountains of eastern Cuba.

The conference brought together conservationists from the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe so that regions could work more closely together on environmental issues. The conference marked the beginning of Butcher’s photographic work in Cuba.

“It is important to call attention to the fact that we live in a small planet with a finite amount of resources,” Butcher said.

In addition, International College in Naples will honor Butcher with the 2005 Humanitarian of the Year Award on March 11.

“International College will pay homage to his efforts as an inspiring educator and ardent defender of environmental concerns,” said a news release from International College.

Butcher and his wife Nikki have lived in Florida for more than 25 years. A large selection of Butcher’s photography is on display at his gallery and studio in Venice and his gallery in the Big Cypress National Preserve in the Florida Everglades. Every Labor Day weekend, Butcher offers swamp walking tours on his 13-acre Big Cypress property. His tours have attracted thousands of tourists and residents alike, as well as a variety of notable statesmen such as former Florida Governor Lawton Chiles and former United States President Jimmy Carter.

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