New Baldwin Gallery exhibit focuses on seeing forests and trees in photographer’s work

Feb 24, 2022 at 02:01 pm by WGNS

Photo: Raul Mora Avalos, a hook tender on a high-lead logging operation, pauses during his work in this image by Oregon photographer David Paul Bayles. Avalos' photo is included in a new exhibit featuring Bayles' work, "Still, Trees," underway through Thursday, March 17, at MTSU's Baldwin Photographic Gallery in Room 269 of the university's Bragg Media and Entertainment Building, 1735 Blue Raider Drive. (photo by David Paul Bayles)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Visitors at Middle Tennessee State University's renowned Baldwin Photographic Gallery can see both the forests and the trees — and the people who work and live amid them — in a new exhibit focusing on photographer David Paul Bayles’ images. 

“Still, Trees” will be on display weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Thursday, March 17, in Room 269 of the university's Bragg Media and Entertainment Building, 1735 Blue Raider Drive.  

Bayles, a resident of Philomath, Oregon, also is set to discuss his work at two public events. 

In the first, Bayles and retired U.S. Forest Service scientist Frederick Swanson will talk about their ongoing collaboration to document a devastating 2020 wildfire near Eugene, Oregon, in a special public discussion set for Friday, Feb. 18, at 10 a.m. in Room 103 of the Bragg Building. 

Bayles will speak in person, while Swanson will participate remotely from Oregon. 

The pair have been collaborating on documenting the landscape of the Holiday Farm Fire, a Labor Day 2020 wildfire near Eugene, Oregon, that destroyed more than 173,000 acres of private and public lands, including portions of the Willamette National Forest. 

Then, on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 3 p.m. in Bragg 103, Bayles will return for a second free public lecture about his several decades of work amid America’s forests.  

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Bayles is currently in a residency at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest near Blue River, Oregon, and is capturing new images of forests and other landscapes, including documenting floods, fires and other disasters, to show how the earth survives.  

A former logger in the Sierra Nevada mountains who grew to embrace environmentalism, Bayles often focuses his work on how human pursuits and the needs of the forests can collide, sometimes coexist and occasionally find harmony. 

His photos have been on the covers of both academic and commercial magazines, including Oregon Arts Watch, Commonweal, and Earth Surface Processes and Landforms: The Journal of the British Society for Geomorphology.  

Bayles is the author of the 2003 book "Urban Forest: Images of Trees in the Human Landscape" and is working on a second book. Copies of his book “Urban Forest” also will be available at the Feb. 18 and 19 MTSU events. 

More information about Bayles' work is available at his website,

MTSU’s Baldwin Photographic Gallery, which is marking its 58th anniversary at MTSU in 2022, is part of the university’s College of Media and Entertainment.  


The Baldwin Gallery is located at the top of the stairwell in the Bragg Building’s interior courtyard. 

A campus parking map is available at Off-campus gallery visitors can obtain a one-day permit at or park free in the university’s Rutherford Boulevard Lot and ride the Raider Xpress shuttle to the Bragg building. 

Guests can arrange public tours by contacting gallery curator Shannon Randol, who also is an assistant professor of photography in the Department of Media Arts, at The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays when MTSU classes are in session. 


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