Photographer Roger Degler became captivated by Arizona’s majestic sunsets four decades ago after moving to the Grand Canyon State; his art fills the gallery at Boyce Thompson Arboretum this month – and he welcomes visitors to his meet-the-artist reception Saturday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Saturday is also the 6th Annual Prickly Pear Festival in downtown Superior – a free event that celebrates prickly pears and other edible desert plants. Plan a day trip: check out Superior’s unique festival, then stop by and talk about art and photography with Roger Degler at his gallery opening, just three miles west, at the Arboretum.
(Editor’s note – here’s a special for readers of the Superior Sun and sibling papers: visit the Arboretum website, click the “featured artist” page, and click Roger’s photos on that page to get your own coupon for FREE admission to the Arboretum on Aug. 19 to meet Roger, see his gallery show, and enjoy a day at the garden! Make sure to print a copy of the coupon, or save the image to your phone to get the admission discount (daily admission $12.50 daily if you don’t have the coupon.)
Roger’s story echoes many other artists – starting as a kid with a Kodak Brownie camera; graduating to more serious photography with a 35mm SLR film camera in the 1970s and learning about photography as an art form.
“I’m an electronics and software engineer. I started learning electronics at age 11, fixing radios and TVs. I was soon building electronic kits and designing my own circuits. At age 15, I began programming computers. And that has remained my interest to this day,” he said.
“Right from my backyard, or driving to-and-from work each day I see the beautiful sunrises and sunsets across the desert,” said Degler. “This led me to purchase my first digital camera – a pocket-sized point-and-shoot; I began literally pulling over to the roadside during my commutes to and from work, shooting pictures of the rising or setting sun out the car window. I was hooked – soon I was hiking into the desert every colorful evening for new sunset pictures.”
“What I love most, and try to capture in my pictures, are the beautiful and daily artworks that God paints in our Arizona skies. Sunset photography has become a planned destination, instead of just incidental. Yes, I still pull over for a particularly opportune roadside snapshot – but each day I find myself keeping an eye on the sky, watching the cloud formations, paying attention to the wind direction – planning ahead, deciding where I can side-track during my evening commute; what time I’ll be able to get there to best take advantage of the surrounding landscape features and conditions above in the troposphere – for yet a new perspective on the setting sun. I plan special outings in order to get to places that I wouldn’t normally pass on my daily commute.
See more works from this exhibit and find links to Roger’s website and social media at cals.arizona.edu/bta.