Life on the Rocks

A Journey into the St. Francois Mountains

 Life on the Rocks showcases a collection of fine art nature photographs by Greg Matchick, a St. Louis based artist. The images explore the beauty of the oldest mountain range in North America, the St. Francois Mountains of southeastern Missouri.

 About the Exhibit:

This exhibition explores texture, patterns and color through composition and light. Unpolished, the exposed granite of these mountains is beautified by the life that grows upon it; from the lichens that cover the stone, and grasses in the cracks, to the forests which cover the mountains – this exhibit highlights the natural beauty of some of Missouri’s well known (and lesser known) sites, such as – Johnson’s Shut Ins, Elephant Rocks, Hughes Mountain, Taum Sauk Mountain and the Castor River Shut Ins.

When and Where:

In addition to my regular exhibition space at the Gateway Gallery in Clayton, Missouri, I have taken one of the guest artist spaces in the gallery to showcase this special exhibit.

Gateway Gallery is at 7921 Forsyth Blvd. in downtown Clayton, MO

The gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday 11 am to 6 pm, and Friday evenings until 7 pm.

There is a gallery reception Friday June 5 from 6 pm to 10 pm.

This exhibit will run until June 26.

 About the St. Francois Mountains:

When we think of mountains we usually think of majestic peaks – the Rockies, the Alps, the Himalayas, etc. However, the St. Francois Mountains, in southeast Missouri, are the oldest mountains on the continent of North America. In fact, according to geologists, when the Appalachian Mountains were being formed (which are nearly seven times as old as the Rockies) the St. Francois Mountains were already twice as old as the Appalachians are today. They are thought to have existed as an island archipelago in the ancient seas, flanked by ancient reefs. What remains of this ancient mountain range today is the exposed volcanic rock from which the Ozark dome radiates.

 The exposed rock that remains is primarily granite and rhyolite forming some unique geologic features. For example, the distinct landscape of weathered boulders at Elephant Rocks State Park is a tor (a geologic feature often found in Great Britain). Another sample of the unique geologic features is the columnar joining, found atop Hughes Mountain, similar to the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland and Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Granite from the St, Francois Mountains was quarried for the cobblestones used on the St. Louis streets and riverfront levee, as well as the Eads Bridge and other architecture throughout the city. Thus one might say that the St. Francois Mountains are the foundation on which the city of St. Louis was built, so to speak.

Information on the Gateway Gallery Reception - June 5, 2009

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The Prints:

 “Grass and Granite” (2008) – Elephant Rocks State Park

“Congregated Boulders I” (2008) – Elephant Rocks State Park

“Cracks and “Lichen Patterns I” (2008) – Elephant Rocks State Park

Black River Cascade” (2004) – Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park

“Boulders and Shadows” (2008) – Elephant Rocks State Park

Castor River Reflections I” (2008) Amidon Conservation Area

 “Golden Oak Through the Boulders” (2002) – Elephant Rocks State Park

“Suspended Leaves” (2002) – Hughes Mountain Natural Area

“Golden Poplar Among the Rocks” (2004) – Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park

“Oak & Sumac on Hughes Mountain(2002) – Hughes Mtn Natural Area

“Autumn Among the Rocks” (2002) – Silver Mines Recreation Area

“Golden Leaves Reflecting” (2002) – Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park

“Above Mina Sauk Falls (1997) – Taum Sauk Mountain State Park

“Bulging Boulders” (2008) – Elephant Rocks State Park

“Gap in the Boulders I” (2008) – Elephant Rocks State Park

 

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