Talking Pictures

What is it about the desert that makes people wax poetic? And how can we make them stop?

Holly Metz, a West Virginia native, takes smashing black-and-white photos of the parched terrain near her Gila River Indian Community home, many of which you can see in her “The Spirit of the Saguaro” exhibit, opening today at Desert Botanical Garden. If only the artist would allow her regal sentinels to speak for themselves, but no. There must be poofery. It’s the desert.

Her notes on the exhibit at include a bunch of happy horseshit like the following: “The Saguaro are getting used to me in their own time. We inhale together. We expand and contract. I wait. They bloom. A shutter clicks.”


Our advice? Tune out the photographer and listen to the photos. Each is worth a thousand — silent — words.

Sept. 5-Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2008
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Clay McNear
Contact: Clay McNear