Roerich Museum/Modern Art Exhibition Hall
Naggar Kullu Valley, October 9-27, 2006
A solo exhibition of recent works on paper by the artist and Earth scientist, Payson R. Stevens, will be inaugurated at the Roerich Museum/Modern Art Exhibition Hall (www.roerichtrust.org) on October 9 at 11 am as part of the two day Nicholas Roerichâ€™s Birthday Celebration. The event will include two days of cultural performances and the inauguration by the Russian Ambassador. Stevens is an American artist and scientist living in the Kullu Valley for the last three years. The work will focus on the natural flow and flux of the Hirub and Jibhi nullahs in the Seraj/Upper Banjar Valley where Stevens lives half the year with his Indian wife, the writer Kamla K. Kapur. Stevens has also been a pro bono advisor to the Great Himalyan National Park and the NGO, SAHARA since 2000 working on issues of nature conservation and sustainable livelihoods.
The works exhibited capture the energy and beauty of the nullahs of the Kullu Valley. They not only reflect the deeper, mysterious movements and levels in Nature, but also the larger spiritual dimension that embraces us all. As both an artist and scientist Stevens, deeply appreciates the patterns of Nature that come out of his extensive travels and work on the planet. Says Stevens, â€œMy kismut has brought my wife and me to the Kullu Valley and I hope that these works, in some small way, will allow people to value and protect the unique environment that we live inâ€”the Valley of the Gods.â€
Stevens has seen the growth in the Kullu Valley accelerate enormously in the six years he has been coming to the region and like so many, is concerned with the impacts of unplanned growth and development including pollution and congestion. â€œWith the exception of the Tirthan River Valley,â€ continues Stevens, â€œall the major Kullu Valley Rivers have been impacted by hydel projects of all sizes. Currently there is a ban on the Tirthan River, but not itâ€™s catchments, like the Hirub and Jibhi nullahs/streams. For environmental safeguards and monitoring, this doesnâ€™t make complete ecological sense as the entire watershed should be protected.â€ Stevens hopes that the exhibition will help raise awareness to the splendor of these nullahs and the need for planned development in the Kullu Valley for residents, visitors, and future generations.â€
These works will also be exhibited in Germany in 2007 in a joint show with the artist Cornelia von Mengershausen. The exhibit will raise funds (through sale of the works) for environmental and community projects in Kullu in association with the American NGO, My Himachal (www.myhimachal.com) and the Kullu NGO, SAHARA. Stevens paintings can be viewed at his website: www.energylandscapes.com
Payson R. Stevens: kamlapayson @rediffmail.com, Kullu Valley: 1903-227-109
Ankit Sood: 9418102083/Kullu, Akara Bazar