At Yosemite National Park, more than five million annual visitors are supported by thousands of local rangers, workers, and volunteers. Through Yosemite People, the complex and nuanced relationships between people and Yosemite’s natural wonders come to life. Photographs from award-winning artist Jonas Kulikauskas – who brings his street photography sensibilities to the wilderness – reveal crowds clamoring to take the perfect selfie with Half Dome in the background and families cooling off in Tenaya Creek, while servers prep for diners at the Ahwahnee Hotel and rangers patrol the expansive Park. Traditions and history, too, are preserved through these images; Kulikauskas captures master basket weaver Julia Parker before her retirement, as well as Yosemite Valley Stables (where horseback riding tours are no longer allowed). Augmenting these images are text panels with oral histories from visitors to and workers in Yosemite, as well as historic images from Eadweard Muybridge, Ansel Adams, and Carleton Watkins.
Jonas Kulikauskas is an award-winning artist, photographer, and author, who has exhibited nationally and internationally, including a solo museum show at the National Čiurlionis Gallery of Art, Lithuania, in 2012. Since 2002, Kulikauskas has been a faculty member at ArtCenter College of Design, where he received the Samsung Faculty Enrichment Grant for Yosemite People.
Yosemite People is a traveling exhibition from Exhibit Envoy and photographer Jonas Kulikauskas.
Photographer Jonas Kulikauskas discusses his inspiration for his Yosemite People project and the people and scenery he encountered along the way. Since 2002, Kulikauskas has been a faculty member at ArtCenter College of Design, where he received the Samsung Faculty Enrichment Grant for this project. The Yosemite People book took 1st place in the People category at the prestigious International Photography Awards in 2017, and in 2019, 33 images from Yosemite People were accessioned into the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.