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Photo exhibit brings splendor of Nevada to Capitol Hill

Some of the Silver State’s most spectacular landscapes went on display Monday in Washington, D.C., as a weeklong photo exhibit called “Home Means Nevada” debuted in the rotunda of the Senate Russell Building.

The display of 17 images by 16 photographers highlights some of the unique treasures to be found on federally managed lands across the state, from bighorns to Burning Man, ancient rock art to Michael Heizer’s modern masterwork City.

The exhibit was organized by the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association and curated by UNLV professor Sergio “Checko” Salgado with help from wildlife biologist Paula Jacoby-Garrett.

Lynn Davis, the parks association’s senior program manager in Nevada, said the display is meant to echo the famous photographs and artwork from the late 1800s and early 1900s that helped spur protections for places like Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon.

Davis said Nevada is home to the largest wildlife refuge, the rarest fish, the most acres of wilderness and the darkest night skies in the lower 48 states.

“We took those bragging rights that we have, and we looked for artists to highlight them,” she said.

MGM Resorts and Barrick Gold Corp. sponsored the exhibit.

The display had to be approved by the Senate Rules Committee and could not be partisan or overtly political. But that didn’t stop its organizers from including a subtle plug for what some hope will become Nevada’s next national monument: Gold Butte in northeastern Clark County.

The image by Las Vegas-based international photographer Mike Hill shows an immense panel of spirals and other petroglyphs in the Gold Butte area, which conservationists are calling on President Barack Obama to designate as a monument over the strong objections of some members of Nevada’s congressional delegation.

“Absolutely we included it,” Davis said of the photo. “That’s probably the most quote-unquote conversational one in there.”

A reception to mark the opening of the exhibit was scheduled for early Monday evening, “so everyone (could) get home and watch the debate,” Davis said.

The photographs will remain on display through Friday.

Davis said the plan is to bring the photos back to Nevada for a series of exhibitions around the state over the next year or so.

Contact Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com. Follow @RefriedBrean on Twitter.

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