Photo and story by Lione Clare
Last October, I had the opportunity to visit the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum (IPHF) in St. Louis, Missouri for its Grand Opening to see my image in, The Past, Present, and Future of Nature Photography exhibit that was on display through January of this year. My photo was one of ten selected from several submissions by recent North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) High School Scholarship Students for the “Future” part of the exhibition.
I was so surprised when my mom announced we were going to St. Louis to see the exhibit. I thought she was crazy; getting to St. Louis from Alaska involves almost the worst flight connections possible and almost two days travel. I told her it would be okay if we didn’t go, but she insisted. I think she may have been more excited than me! In a matter of weeks, we set off on what would be an exhausting, but worthwhile adventure.
When we walked inside the museum, Kathy Bradley, Director of Operations of IPHF, warmly welcomed my mother and me. She, along with other staff members, were thrilled that we were able to make the trip. Kathy introduced us to Executive Director, John Nagel, who gave us a tour of the museum. The other exhibits on display were extremely inspiring, especially Nappadol Paothong’s documentation of the North American Grassland Grouse and the work of the National Geographic Young Explorers, one of whom I know, Gabby Salazar. Seeing my photo on the wall (top right) along with fellow 2013 NANPA scholarship recipients Mark Kreider, Avery Locklear, Tim Harding and Jenaya Launstein made me feel excited and honored, but also nostalgic, as some of their photos brought back fond memories from our NANPA scholarship experience. Even though they were not there with me, I sensed a powerful connection between us. Being scattered across the continent makes it difficult for us to stay in touch, but seeing the exhibit gave me the realization that our photographs will keep us connected.
Lione Clare was one of ten students selected for NANPA’s 2013 High School Scholarship Program. Applications for the 2015 High School and College Scholarship Programs in San Diego will be open soon! Read more about the student scholarship programs here.