A Broad Focus 

Local physician creates nature photography gardens.

Church Health Center employee Ken Hall doesn't normally take on the role of curator for the gallery attached to the Leadership Memphis building on South Main, but after waking up from a procedure in his doctor's office, he liked what he saw.

"I awoke from a really good sleep and saw these beautiful photographs of nature," Hall said. "Later, I found out they were taken by my doctor, so I recommended him to the people at Leadership Memphis and Gallery 363."

 Gastroenterologist David Sloas started taking photos for that exact reason: His patients needed something pleasant to look at after coming out of a procedure. But Sloas didn't stop there. Five years after he hung the photos in his lobby, Sloas' hobby has turned into a civic campaign with Sloas donating all the proceeds from the sale of his photographs to charity.

In addition to selling his work in local galleries, Sloas also helped set up the new Nature Photography Garden at the Memphis Botanic Garden. Wanting to create something similar to the photography garden at his home (four acres of sprawling landscape in Cordova complete with a private lake and waterfall), Sloas approached Botanic Garden executive director Jim Duncan with his idea.

"At first, they didn't know how serious I was," Sloas said. "They looked over all my information and said they'd call me back in four to six weeks, but he called me back in two days."

Opened this past October, the Nature Photography Garden at the Botanic Garden is self-sustaining, with the plants providing shade, shelter, and food to attract wildlife. Concrete walkways provide level ground for a tripod, and because each plant is carefully placed, photographers can take advantage of both afternoon and morning light.

"Everything has been done for a reason, which makes it a convenient place to practice your hobby," Duncan said.

This spring marks the first bloom in the Nature Photography Garden, but Sloas' focus has now turned to developing a similar garden for the Sears Crosstown building. Crosstown Arts co-director Todd Richardson said that after hearing about the Nature Photography Garden at the Botanic Garden, the Crosstown team began brainstorming where their garden could be.

"Currently, there are three bigger green spaces that we are looking at," Richardson said. "One is the big parking lot. We plan to turn that sea of asphalt into a public plaza. Another possibility would be west of the parking garage, and the rooftop is also a possibility. But how it all gets worked out is still up in the air right now."

Once the location is set for the Crosstown Nature Photography Garden, Sloas would like to see it become a certified wildlife habitat with native plants that attract wildlife, an heirloom fruit orchard, a fountain for butterflies and hummingbirds, and numerous other attractions.

"It's going to be a beautiful and creative way to use empty land, and it's an opportunity for people in the neighborhood to use this space in a way they couldn't before," Richardson said.  

The exhibit at Gallery 363 featuring the photography of David Sloas will remain open until January 21st, with an extended schedule possible. All proceeds from the show benefit the MIFA.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Makers’ Space

      New Crosstown Arts facility is like a gym for artists.
    • ‘Really Confusing’

      Save IRV works to defeat council-backed referenda.

Blogs

Tiger Blue

Tigers 28, SMU 18

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies Defeat Kings 112-104

Hungry Memphis

Zopita's on the Square to open Nov. 19

We Saw You

Indie Film Fest, Grilled Cheese Fest, Adapt-A-Door and more!

Hungry Memphis

Little Italy Opening Downtown

News Blog

Seven Vie for Vacant District 1 Council Seat

News Blog

Group of White Women Test Mall’s No Hoodie Policy

Hungry Memphis

The Nine Now Open

Fly On The Wall Blog

What’s Kids in the Hall Co-Founder Kevin McDonald Doing in Memphis?

Hungry Memphis

Gordon Ramsay's in Memphis to Save a Restaurant!

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Shaw

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation