National Geographic photos of rarely seen phenomena on display at Kean University

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UNION, NJ — An art exhibition featuring 50 images captured by some of the world’s finest photographers is bringing viewers face to face with animals, landscapes and heirlooms rarely seen by human eyes.

Brought to Kean University’s Liberty Hall Academic Center gallery by the National Geographic Society, the exhibit, titled “Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary,” will run through Wednesday, Nov. 23.

“By transporting us to far corners of the globe, these stunning photos open us up to what’s possible,” Kean President Lamont O. Repollet said. “They give us a greater understanding of the people, places and animals that share our world, and they might just move us to affect meaningful change.”

The exhibit is designed to connect art with sustainability, as will all 14 exhibits at Kean’s seven galleries this year, said Lynette Zimmerman, executive director of the Galleries at Kean. The theme is consistent with the mission of the galleries: building awareness of critical global issues.

“What you’re seeing in each photo is a moment in time that may or may not be visible today due to climate change,” Zimmerman said. “It’s important for us all to reflect on that, because to live in a sustainable world means we have to be aware of the root causes of humanity’s issues and willing to do our part to make the world a better place.”

The exhibit, which greets visitors with a large image of a white tiger, fills two spaces at the center: the gallery and the adjacent exhibition hall. During tours, guides highlight challenges to sustainability at some of the photographed sites.

The guides include Kean students, who fill numerous roles at the university’s galleries. Two of those venues are dedicated to displaying student work, and Kean offers additional creative opportunities through multidepartmental projects for those pursuing liberal and fine arts.

“In connection with the National Geographic exhibit, we have a storytelling program for students enrolled in the English and communication departments,” Zimmerman noted. “After engaging with the exhibit, the students will write short stories, and the top stories will be exhibited in a pop-up exhibit for everyone to see.”

Another collaboration brings a new internship opportunity to Kean for students studying liberal or fine arts. The Creative Economy Experience Internship Program, announced by Repollet during the opening reception, will match students with arts and cultural institutions including the National Geographic Society.

The Galleries at Kean and the Office of Career Services will work with 15 Kean students, who will receive guidance in writing resumes and submitting applications for internships. Students can also receive help with the costs of transportation, food and housing during internships.

“By giving them a taste of professional life, the program will expose those students to a world of possibilities,” Repollet said. “That’s fitting, because broadening our perspectives is really what education and art are all about.”

Other opportunities to delve into art at Kean — including artists’ talks and workshops offered in conjunction with gallery exhibits — are open to everyone. For instance, the National Geographic exhibit will be complemented by a workshop on Thursday, Nov. 3, on enhancing photographs with post-processing software. A nominal fee is charged.

“Rarely Seen” is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

Photos Courtesy of Kean University