Beauty of Alcove Spring Historic Park To Be Displayed At Lee Dam Center

The beauty of Alcove Spring Historic Park will go on display through February at the Lee Dam Center For Fine Art in Marysville.

The show features photographs taken in 2018 during hikes led by Blue Rapids photographer Tom Parker.

β€œThe photographs celebrate the diversity of the park, from expansive views of the Blue River Valley to secretive recesses on the forest floor,” Parker said. β€œThe breadth of the park’s biodiversity is matched only by the creative vision each photographer brought to the hikes.”

An opening reception for the exhibit will be 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, at the center. Refreshments will be served. The event, sponsored by the Marshall County Arts Cooperative, is free and open to the public.

Parker led the hikes during evenings and a few afternoons from summertime into the fall and finished with a couple of winter hikes. The photography shows the radiance of summer, fall and winter in the natural setting and the transformation from season to season. It also captures the raging waters after a flood hit the park in early September.

β€œThe park received six inches of rain on June 18, swelling the perennial creek to more than five feet in depth,” Parker said. β€œAs impressive as it was, it paled in comparison with the uprooted trees and carved new channels through the park. Thousands of tons of gravel washed down, burying some trails and scouring vegetation from stream banks.”

The photographic tours were part of the year-long celebration of the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail at Alcove Spring. Parker guided hikes of the most scenic areas of the park while simultaneously teaching basic photographic principles such as composition, depth of field and exposure.
Photographs in the exhibit include works by Parker, Suzanne Mooradian, Marysville, Andrea Skalla, Blue Rapids, and a few others.

Photos will be for sale. In addition, a 13×19-inch signed print by Parker will be given away during the reception.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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