ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Jeremy Stein’s love for the Albuquerque BioPark extends beyond his death.
Stein’s photos, many of which were taken at the ABQ BioPark, hang at The Gallery ABQ. Stein, who died last August from leukemia, loved photographing nature in its element and in captivity.
“We wanted to do something to honor him and we kind of talked around with the family. They said he had always wanted donations instead of flowers to go to the New Mexico BioPark Society,” said Patricia Cream, director of The Gallery ABQ. “He had so many prints already created, so we thought we could do a salon show at our gallery. And the family said they wanted 25% to go to the gallery for us showing, doing all the work to get it all set up, and then 75% to go to the BioPark Society.”
According to Stein’s artist statement provided by the gallery, he regarded himself as a nature photographer “trying to capture and display the forms and aspects of our world.”
“I want to show the underlying patterns and details in nature and the world in general, especially those elements which we usually see fleetingly or not at all,” his statement reads. “I am fascinated by the unimaginable complexity and richness of detail seen in all life, and do my best to capture it in my photographs.”
Stein says in his statement that he had been a photographer of some sort all of his life.
“From the very first time I saw a blank sheet of paper in the developing tray magically turn into a photograph, I knew I had to be a photographer,” the statement says. “That magic is still there for me, undiminished. I went on to a very different career, but always took pictures as an avocation, until I retired from my ‘day job’ and could do photography full time.”
Cream remembers Stein as kind and always willing to share his knowledge about photography.
“Some of his photos that he took of the animals, he took actually in Africa. So a lot of the prints that we have, some of the lions and leopards, some of those are actually from his trip to Botswana,” Cream said. “I can remember him saying one day when we were talking he’s like ‘Listen, I have to finish up because I have to get down to the BioPark. It’s time for me to take my photos.’ I mean he spent a lot of time at the zoo at the BioPark and he just loved taking photos.
“And I think that’s the reason we have so many to work from, and his family could only keep so many, and so this is a great opportunity to get his beautiful photos out into the community.”
Stein had his own photography studio for many years and worked at Carr Imaging on Eubank NE.
“A lot of prints are matted and bagged, and so we had to go through a lot of them and get them physically ready to show at the gallery,” Cream said. “And we have 27 framed pieces that are hanging at the gallery as well.”
In addition to the salon show, the gallery will be raffling off some of Stein’s work. Patrons who come to the gallery in January will receive a raffle ticket.
“At the end of the month we’ll do a huge drawing and give out, you know, I’m hoping 10 to 15 pieces at the end of the month,” Cream said. “We’re hoping that this will draw people in, that we can give away some of his pieces, also sell a bunch of pieces to help the BioPark and also, like I said, our gallery as well.”