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Joel B. McEachern : Ten Natural Light Photographs

Photographs by Joel B. McEachern.On August 12, 1950, Joel B. McEachern was born in a small community hospital by the Miami River.  On that day, the first major storm of the season was also born in the eastern Caribbean. On a course for Miami, they called it Hurricane Able. The smell of salt filled the air.

Hurricane Able would turn northward and away from Florida, eventually becoming a classic northeaster. But for the child who would grow up to make pictures of mangrove trees, Joel would never lose his love for the smell of the ocean air.

McEachern first became interested in photography when he took a cinematography course at the University of Florida’s School of Journalism. And though he never pursued the craft professionally, he never lost his fascination for film. With the birth of his son, he bought an Olympus SLR and never looked back.

After working in professional planning positions with local government agencies across south Florida, Joel’s photography turned increasingly toward the landscape. In that work, he learned about the developmental history of Miami Beach and other cities, contributing to the creation of the Miami Beach Architectural District. In preparing the City of Miami Beach’s environmental reports, he came to understand the specific impacts of growth on the environment. Somewhere along the way, the magic and vitality of his community and native state were lost in the sheer quantity and contrivation of development.

Joel B. McEachern.Like many artists, Joel grew his eye and his credits first through local and then national competitions and publication. His first awards came from juried art guild and national photography competitions like the Park Forest (Illinois) Photography Club.  They were a kind of classroom for the fine art of making pictures; their help not forgotten.

With the creation of Lone Dancer with Moon—Joel’s first light mangrove portrait, his creative course took yet another turn.  A book project was born.  It would be called Picturing Grace, Florida at First Light. Fiscally-sponsored by the New York Foundation For The Arts, McEachern is in the last phases of the project which includes “fingerprint” shows: exhibitions in public venues, primarily small museums and libraries, where the images are mounted intentionally lower so children can better see them. 

Joel’s work has appeared in national and international publications and exhibitions such as Zoom magazine, Terrain.org, Wild Earth Journal, Saatchi Gallery/London, Latchkey, British Journal of Photography, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the ASMP/NY Annual.  His work was also recognized by the America The Beautiful Fund. He holds a BA degree from Florida International University and a Certificate of Recognition from his second grade teacher (Mrs. Resnick) for his participation in his school’s annual spelling bee.

During the holidays, Joel’s work appeared in a group show at the No-Ho Gallery in New York City. Sponsored by the Ruth Chenven Foundation and titled Remembering Ruth: 25 Years of Giving, the juried show will feature a selection of the foundation’s award recipients. Additionally, two “fingerprint” shows are also scheduled, both at regional libraries in Florida. The first is in January 2008 at the Mount Dora Public Library and the second in February at the Winter Park Public Library.

On his work, Joel offers the following: “I have long believed ‘Florida is the light of dreams,’ its remaining wild and open places still both beautiful and magical. But one cannot profess with any certainty that those places are safe from our ambition nor its elements exempt from our vanity. America has reinvented the Medieval, its Three-Hundred Year War Against The Wild nearly won. Only now the enemy isn’t just poor and aboriginal peoples or lions or tigers or bears but eagles and senior citizens in trailer parks as well. What shall we call this time: The petrification of democracy or the last gasp of Eden? For this landscape artist, the context of the work cannot be denied. Ours is a time of unprecedented, nearly criminal, political and institutional predation. As Walt Kelly, the cartoonist, noted: the enemy is us. Were it only funny.”

Contact Joel B. McEachern at:

Natural Light Studios
P.O. Box 182
Mount Dora, FL 32756

Ten photographs by Joel B. McEachern

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All images and titles in this ARTerrain Gallery are copyright © by Joel B. McEachern. All rights reserved. No work may be used or reproduced without express written consent of the artist.



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