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  • Writer's pictureAmy Felder


Updated: Jul 30, 2021

“We must make up our minds and decide for ourselves what the national parks should be and what purpose they should serve.” [1]

Enticing viewers to an idyllic landscape that can only be reached by walking through panels depicting human activity, my installation work creates a space for viewers to examine the dichotomies between the human desire to preserve the wilderness and to enjoy it.

These photos were taken on a trip to Yellowstone where I witnessed people getting dangerously close to the bison. Their unsafe behavior showed up in my Overcrowded piece.

This work combines tent fabric with hand-painted scenes on transparent panels of plastic to portray a peaceful landscape hidden behind layers of human activity.

Panel 1 (details).

There a sense of anxiety in the crowding of figures.

Panel 2 (details).

The installation creates an environment that helps viewers reminisce about nature while considering their actions with the earth.

Panel 3 (details).

In the distance there is a guy getting close to a bison in order to take a photo. There is also humor like the selfie stick.

Panel 4 (details).

The final panel depicts a hopeful scene of a valley of bison untouched by human presence in Yellowstone National Park.

Panel 5 (details).

What do you think our national parks should be?

What purpose should they serve?

Juror Arielle Meyers awarded Overcrowded Best in Show in the University of Northern Colorado’s 2020 Annual Student Exhibition. To learn more visit To see this piece along with more of my work in the collection Scholarship & Creative Works @ Digital UNC, visit

Image credit: Overcrowded, 2019 | Acrylic on canvas and plastic on nylon | 34x90x90 inches

[1] Abbey, E. (1988). Desert solitaire. University of Arizona Press.

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