Bristol, Va. — A new image by Benjamin Walls will be featured in the Windland Smith Rice International Awards exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. This is Walls’ fifth image to be featured at the Smithsonian. He will be recognized during the opening reception at the Smithsonian on Thursday, Nov. 15.
Named after Windland Smith Rice, a photographer and conservationist, the 23rd annual Nature’s Best Photography Awards exhibition presents breathtaking fine art prints and short videos that highlight the best of nature photography. Walls’ image, titled “Zebra Hide,” was acclaimed as Highly Honored in the African Wildlife category. The image was one of 60 images selected to be displayed out of more than 26,000 entries from 59 countries.
“Zebra Hide” depicts the thin stripes of an endangered Grevy’s Zebra from the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya. The image is one of five works in Walls’ new Hide series, currently on display at the Benjamin Walls Fine Art Gallery, located at 701 State Street in downtown Bristol, Virginia. Additionally, the work will be published in the 2018 Fall/Winter Special Collector’s Edition of Nature’s Best Photography Magazine.
“Human cultures around the world have traditionally used animal hides in their homes for both form and function, and we have a natural affinity for wild and exotic animal hides,” Walls says. “With this new series, I’m bringing a wild element into my collectors’ personal spaces — pieces that portray an animal’s essence, without any distractions.
“We all know zebras have stripes, but I want this piece to speak to the mesmerizing power and complexity of those stripes. We tend to forget that African animals are threatened, but I want folks to remember that this majestic animal, which is the largest and most threatened of the three species of zebra, remains endangered. There are only 2,000 of these majestic Grevy’s zebras left in the wild. We all have a role to play in conservation, and it starts with awareness.”
The Benjamin Walls Gallery will host a reception from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, at the State Street location to celebrate Walls’ most recent accolade. Members of the public are invited to attend and hear the story behind Walls’ new Hide series at 7 p.m., followed by the unveiling of his new work from Grandfather Mountain. A book signing will take place at 8 p.m. Admission to the event is $10 and free-of-charge for collectors of the Benjamin Walls Gallery. Special pricing on Walls’ work will take place in conjunction with the celebration.
Walls is the winner of seven international awards, and his work has been displayed in more than four dozen museums in 12 countries. The Benjamin Walls Gallery earned top honors in the Best Art Gallery category of Virginia Living Magazine’s 2018 Best of Virginia Awards. Additionally, Walls is a recipient of the 2017 Arts Achievement Award presented by the Arts Alliance Mountain Empire (AAME) and A! Magazine for the Arts for his contributions to the arts in the Tri-Cities region, and for serving as a mentor and source of inspiration for others.
About Benjamin Walls
Benjamin Walls is a results-oriented environmentalist and community advocate whose work benefits local community and environmental charities. An internationally recognized artist, Walls has traveled more than 1 million miles over the past 12 years, photographing on every continent save Antarctica, and has established himself as the artist to watch in the fastest-growing segment of the visual arts — fine art photography. In 2015, Walls leveraged his extensive travel expertise in Africa to establish WALLSabout Travel which offers exceptionally crafted, personalized journeys for small or private groups to his most intriguing African destinations. He currently serves on the Roots & Shoots and Development Committee for the Jane Goodall Institute, a global community conservation organization that promotes the understanding and protection of chimpanzees and their habitat. Walls currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina, where he is pursuing the establishment of a second gallery. For more information about Benjamin Walls or the Benjamin Walls Fine Art Gallery, visit www.benjaminwalls.com.