The North American Nature Photography Association Foundation (NANPA Foundation) named Beihua Guo of Agoura Hills, CA, recipient of the 2020 Janie Moore Greene Scholarship Grant. The $2,000 award supports Guo’s continued studies at Pitzer College.
Guo moved to the United States in 2013 and was immediately drawn to the national park system. “Growing up in Shanghai, China, a densely populated urban environment, I never experienced serene nature in my childhood,” he explained.
But as a teenager discovering America’s public lands, Guo was inspired by artists including Thomas Moran and Ansel Adams, as well as John Muir’s efforts in promoting preservation. “My love of the outdoors and landscape photography started to emerge,” he said.
Guo was awarded artist residencies in Lassen Volcanic National Park (CA), Petrified Forest National Park (AZ), and Yellowstone National Park. His studies at Pitzer College in California have included studio art and environmental analysis, but Guo also feels a responsibility to use his nature photographs to address social and environmental issues.
“One of my main interests is water issues in the American West. My Salton Sea series explores the escalating environmental disasters triggered by human activities in the Salton Sea,” said Guo. Located in Southern California, the Salton Sea was accidentally created in 1905 when the Colorado River breached an irrigation canal, flooding the Salton Basin. The manmade lake was once a popular tourist destination, but agricultural runoff and other pollutants resulted in fish and bird die-offs as well as rapidly increasing salinity, threatening the entire ecosystem. “I want to use my photographs and installations to emphasize the process of extraction and excavation, as well as how human activities shape the natural and built environments.”
About the Janie Moore Greene Scholarship Grant
The Janie Moore Greene Scholarship is a $2,000 award presented biennially by the NANPA Foundation to a student specializing in the study of photography at an institution of higher education. The next grant cycle is expected to begin in fall 2022.