Posted at 2:52 p.m., Jan. 29, 2015


Experiencing tracks of our past:

Students view photos taken by artist Richard Koenig in the Esther and John Clay Fine Arts Gallery located in the Fine Arts Building of LCCC. The "Contemporary Views Along the First Continental Railroad" exhibit will be on display through Feb. 20.

Photo by Taylor Snell

Exhibit revisits
historic railroad route

Let yourself get sidetracked from the daily grind and chugg-along at the Laramie County Community College’s Esther and John Clay Fine Arts Gallery. You may just blow your stack over an exhibit that defines taking something old and making it new. The exhibit called “Contemporary Views Along the First Continental Railroad” will be on display in the Fine Arts Building through Feb. 20.

On his website, the artist Richard Koenig said, “I want my photographs to contextualize the historic route…to give the viewer as strong of a connection as possible to this 19th century engineering marvel through the remaining visual evidence of the human-altered landscape.”

The railroad photographs show off these extraordinary landscapes from city to desert and how this man-made project changed them. The artist will have a reception at noon on Thursday, Feb. 12.

Artist teaches college photography

Koenig teaches photography and art at Kalamazoo College, Michigan. He earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from the Pratt Institute and received his Master of Fine Arts from Indiana University. He took advantage of two styles of photography: a panoramic style showing more of the landscape and then a single-frame with a more direct perspective. One of the driving forces of this multiyear project was his interest in the history of photography; on top of that he was always drawn to 19th century Western landscape photos.

This is a culture learning experience that anyone could enjoy whether it be because of his incredible photography and the amazingly breathtaking landscapes behind it that emit this overall feeling of exploration, or to really dive into and explore the history behind every picture and location. The exhibit fits well with the Western heritage that those at LCCC share and can give a nice “tunnel vision” of what our landscape could have looked like about a century and a half ago.

Koenig and his works were chosen to be presented at LCCC because what better fit to this cowboy college than an exhibit about some of the first railways in history and art behind it all?

Richard Koenig website

The First Transcontinental Railroad