Chasing The Light: Morning at Jasper Ridge by Robert Buelteman

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November 2014 - January 2015

Chasing The Light: Morning at Jasper Ridge by Robert Buelteman

Photographer Robert Buelteman grew up during the 1950s in Woodside, California, on the San Francisco peninsula. Surrounded by spectacular vistas of the Santa Cruz Mountains, redwood groves, and ocean fog, Buelteman cultivated a reverence for life, natural beauty, and transcendence.

Searville Lake, with its sandy beaches, canoes, and concession stands, located in the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (JRBP), near Woodside, holds fond family memories for Buelteman. He graduated from Woodside High School in 1973 and recalls Stanford University’s Board of Trustees voting to designate 960 acres (now 1,200 acres) located between the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, now known as SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and the town of Portola Valley as a preserve and biological field station dedicated to academic pursuits and conservation. The creation of JRBP reflects the University’s academic tradition steeped in discovery and research. JRBP is a special place for research on critical issues ranging from environmental change and the structure of ecological communities to earthquake research and the human impact on the land.

On a hike through JRBP in 2009, Buelteman was overcome by childhood memories that recalled a place rich in warmth and beauty. When offered an opportunity to document the property, he enthusiastically accepted. Chasing The Light: Morning at Jasper Ridge was a three-year-long photographic journey that explored and enriched past and current research in the preserve. Buelteman’s images emphasize humanity’s connection to the natural world—a primary theme throughout his career.

Buelteman has exhibited at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Santa Fe Institute, Stanford University, and Yale University Art Museum. He has published nine photographic portfolios in his twenty-five-year-long career; three of these, A Vision of Life (1988), The Unseen Peninsula (1994) and Eighteen Days in June (2000) have been published as books. Buelteman lives and work in Montara, California.