Work of Grand Lake photographer chosen for Denver International Airport art feature |

Work of Grand Lake photographer chosen for Denver International Airport art feature

Cyndi McCoy
Grand County, Colorado
A herd of moose move through a creek drainage.
Courtesy of Mark Abusamra

Wildlife photographers Mark and Judy Abusamra can now count Denver International Airport and the Colorado Capitol building as places to find their work.

A jury selected one of Mark’s wildlife images for display in Concourse A at DIA and the state Capitol building for seven months starting in February. The Colorado Council on the Arts and DIA selected it to be part of the 2009 Creative Capitol-Northwest Colorado exhibition.

After reviewing almost 100 submissions, members of the art and business community from the State of Colorado and the City and County of Denver announced their final recommendations at the end of January. The exhibition showcases two-dimensional interpretations of culture and environments in Colorado by artists in the state’s northwest region.

Abusamra, of Grand Lake, said this “is quite an achievement and honor” for he and his wife Judy. “This is like a dream come true.”

Mark shoots most of the images while Judy manages the inventory, ordering and matting.

“In other words,” Mark said, “she does all of the work.”

Mark started honing his photography skills while working as business editor for the New York Gannett Newspaper organization in the late 1970s. He covered major events and says the on-the-spot photography experience gave him good practice for his wildlife photography.

Settled in the Rocky Mountains for the past 12 years, Mark and Judy mostly focus on nature and wildlife shots. Wildlife, Mark said, is much more challenging.

“You have to be very fast to capture the right moment. With wildlife or any real action taking place, you’ve only got a split second to act.”

He said he likes to capture candids of animals in their environment, adding that it is a challenge because you also have to know where the animals are and what they are doing. To aid them, he and Judy are both avid readers of wildlife books. Although “certainly not wildlife biologists,” he said, “let’s just say we know a lot about the animals whose images we are trying to capture.”

Six months or more may go by before they capture what they call “a keeper,” Mark said. The image selected for display in Denver captures a very rare occurrence, Mark explained. It features a bull moose herding five moose cows along the Colorado River during mating season.

Named the “six pack” by Grand Lake Art Gallery co-owner Liza Cervenka, the moose bull herd is their most popular image on display. They’ve got several other “really good sellers,” Mark said, but that one really draws in the customers. They will be delivering it to DIA by Feb. 19.

Mark said he hopes the recognition will help pay for trips for more images. This May they plan to spend a week whale watching in the San Juan Islands north of Seattle. They also have a week planned in Yellowstone National Park, a whaling trip to the East Coast, as well as a trip to San Diego.

Elk photos by Abusamra Photography were chosen for the cover of the 2008 Names and Numbers phone book for Grand County and their bald eagle images were chosen for this year’s cover. Abusamra images are also displayed in galleries throughout Grand County.

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