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Month of Photography: A Solo Cycling Journey Across America by Randall Sampson

Feb 20, 2019 - Mar 22, 2019

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(Denver) Lawyer, amateur photographer, and erstwhile ceramics and metal artist, Randall Sampson hadn’t owned a bicycle for almost a quarter-century when, in the summer of 2017, he purchased a used road bike and rekindled his long-dormant love of cycling during frequent round-trip rides between his Denver home and Boulder. With his planned 2018 retirement in mind, that initial reintroduction to cycling was followed by the purchase of a touring bike, trips to the gym, and the development of plans for a coast-to-coast solo cycling adventure. The upcoming exhibit, “3631: A Solo Cycling Journey Across America” chronicles his trip to the lonely reaches of the northern United States and Ontario, Canada via photographs and written narrative. It will be on view from February 22 – March 22, 2019 at Niza Knoll Gallery, 915 Santa Fe Drive, in conjunction with the state-wide, Month of Photography celebration. The public is invited to an Artist Reception on Thursday, Feb 22 from 6-8:30 and to view the show during regular Winter Hours, 1 to 4 pm Wednesday through Saturday, First and Third Friday, 4 to 8 pm.

Sampson’s journey began alone on August 1, 2018, at the ferry terminal in Anacortes, Washington, and ended, after traveling the northern United States and Ontario, Canada, including the Cascade mountains of Washington, the northern plains, the upper Midwest, the north shore of Lake Erie, the Erie Canal, New England and more, exactly 75 days later, in Portland, Maine, among friends.

Sampson takes us along on his travels through his photographs and supplementary narrative excerpts that feature insights and anecdotes. Unlike past expeditions, he purposefully did not have professional camera equipment in tow—only his iPhone camera. It’s important for the viewer to remember that Sampson embarked on this journey not as an artistic endeavor, but rather as a life endeavor or “bucket-list” item. He hopes that the photographs in this exhibition are enhanced and informed by, rather than diminished by, this knowledge and thus are received in the spirit of chronicling a small, but very meaningful, sliver of his life. Given the context of a bike-trip, most images are the product of a very brief stop on the shoulder of a road. Many—perhaps better—photographs not taken, were lost to real or perceived pressures of time, the lack of safety in the moment, or a reluctance, say, to interrupt the hard work of slogging up a mountain pass.

Randall Sampson served as an attorney in the public sphere until his retirement in May of 2018. He fed his artistic side over the years with photography and the creation of metal and ceramic art, for a time, exhibiting his work as part of The Mix Co-op in the back of Niza Knoll Gallery. Upon announcing his bike trip, he was encouraged to start a blog, so others could follow his travels. Despite his hesitations with the technology of blogging, and the often self-aggrandizing nature of social media, his love of writing and his belief in the "value of voice” prevailed.” He is proud to share his "small" voice, knowing that not everyone feels empowered to use theirs. Visit www.randallsampson.com to read full blog posts.

The Month of Photography Colorado (MOP) is a biennial celebration of fine art photography with hundreds of collaborative public events throughout the region. Visit www.mopdenver.com for more information.

In 2009 Niza Knoll Gallery opened in the Art District on Santa Fe at 915 Santa Fe drive. The gallery specializes in intriguing conceptual exhibits, hosts first and third Friday events, monthly salons, private concerts and guest speakers. Past exhibits have included unusual artist pairings, outsider art, collaborative work, thought provoking thematic exhibits of artists using non-traditional media. Through a partnership with Kingman Winery the space serves a tasting room for their fine Colorado wines and is proud to offer their wine for sale during art walks and other special events. Visit www.nizaknollgallery.com for more information.

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