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Chaco Culture National Historic Park Announces Photographer as Inaugural 2016 Artist in Residence

Albuquerque, NM, March 06, 2016 --( The non-profit National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) in cooperation with the Chaco Culture National Historical Park of the National Park Service, along with the Friends of Chaco Culture National Historical Park announced today that Stan Honda, a photographer will be the park’s March 2016 resident.

Stan Honda is an experienced photojournalist who now works with natural landscapes -- usually night time panoramas -- that fuse sky and earth. Honda has long wanted to work extensively at Chaco Culture NHP, and the park is the ideal location for dark sky photography. He plans to use the canyon’s unique crepuscular light qualities to make dynamic tableaux of the ancient sky and the ancient earth: “The pueblo sites at Chaco would be featured against the night sky. The site-specific work would show these ancient stone buildings within the setting of both Earth and celestial objects. Working only in natural light, I would use the moon to illuminate ground elements, thereby creating a naturalistic effect. Since different parts of the sky can be seen from different pueblos, the photographs would connect these intricate earthly structures to the heavens.” Honda will use the March 2016 residency to create artwork inspired by the night desert land and starscapes of the legendary Chaco Canyon.

The foundation has established three Artist Residencies at the park for its first year at Chaco. Two back-to-back in April and March and then another in October that is dedicated to Night Photography, called the Dark Skies Residency. Chaco Culture NHP is one of the few places in the United States that has earned the Dark Sky park designation which is the ideal for Astronomy and Astrophotography. Chaco is unique also as there is plentiful evidence that it has been used for as an Astronomical observatory by the Puebloan cultures for centuries.

Honda’s past photographs of Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico were used in a report that led to Chaco being designated an International Dark Sky Park. He frequently gives talks about this work and has led night sky photography workshops all over the US. While a resident at Chaco, he will make a public presentation about his work and conduct workshops at Chaco to show visitors some tips for his unique long exposures and other techniques of night photography.

Honda is a New York-based photographer who worked as a photojournalist for 34 years, most recently for Agence France-Presse (AFP), the French news agency. For 16 years at AFP he photographed news and sports in New York City and around the U.S., including the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the aftermath; post-war Iraq in 2003 and 2004; Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005; the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns and inaugurations; the 2010 Haiti earthquake and World Cup soccer match in South Africa; and five years of space shuttle launches and landings in Florida. Stan’s photos have been featured internationally in newspapers, magazines and websites, most recently in The New York Times Magazine’s “The Lives They Lived” issue (Dec. 27, 2015), which featured an obituary of 9/11 survivor Marcy Border, known as the “Dust Lady.”

Founded as an Antiquities Monument in 1907, this truly stunning and mysterious park was operated for most of the 20th century as a anthropological storehouse of knowledge and evidence of the Chacoan Culture. The Monument expanded to its present boundaries and park designation in 1980. It received its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 1987. The park is located in the open plains of Northwestern New Mexico, sharing borders with the Navajo Nation and BLM land. It is approximately one and a half hours from the closest city, Bloomfield, and two hours and forty minutes from Albuquerque.

The Park Service is very excited to host this master photographic artist this year. As the Park’s Superintendent, Larry Turk, explains “The park is thrilled that NPAF has picked the centennial year to highlight Chaco as a destination for artists, photographers, and night sky enthusiasts.” Programs like Chaco’s residency add value dynamically to the Park experience for visitors now and in the future and represent the highest aspirations of the Park Service’s goals for the next century, particularly in its 2016 Centennial year.

NPAF is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the promotion of the National Parks of the U.S. through creating dynamic opportunities for artworks that are based in our natural and historic heritage. This project is currently supported by generous benefactors. All NPAF programs are made possible through the philanthropic support of donors of all sorts ranging from corporate sponsors, small business, and art patrons and citizen-lovers of the Parks. NPAF is always seeking new partners and donors for its wide-ranging artist-in-residence programs. For more information or to donate: visit
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National Parks Arts Foundation
Cecilia Wainright

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