Five-Time Smithsonian Exhibitor Seeks to Open Second Gallery in Downtown Asheville

Asheville, N.C.— A new image by Asheville resident Benjamin Walls will be featured in the Windland Smith Rice International Awards exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Walls will be recognized during the opening cocktail reception at the Smithsonian on Thursday, Nov. 15. This is his fifth image to be featured at the Smithsonian.

The 23rd annual awards exhibition presents breathtaking fine art photographs that highlight the best of nature photography. Walls’ image, titled “Zebra Hide,” was acclaimed as Highly Honored in the African Wildlife category. The image was one of 60 images selected to be displayed out of more than 26,000 entries from 59 countries.

“Zebra Hide” depicts the thin stripes of an endangered Grevy’s Zebra from the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya. The image is one of five works in Walls’ new Hide series, currently on display at the original Benjamin Walls Fine Art Gallery, located at 701 State Street in downtown Bristol, Virginia. Additionally, the work will be published in the 2018 Fall/Winter Special Collector’s Edition of Nature’s Best Photography Magazine.

“We all know zebras have stripes, but I want this piece to speak to the mesmerizing power and complexity of those stripes,” Walls says. “We tend to forget that African animals are threatened, but I want folks to remember that this majestic animal, which is the largest and most threatened of the three species of zebra, remains endangered. There are only 2,000 of these majestic Grevy’s zebras left in the wild. We all have a role to play in conservation, and it starts with awareness.”

Walls is the winner of seven international awards, and his work has been displayed in more than four dozen museums in 12 countries. He is a results-oriented environmentalist and community advocate whose work often benefits local environmental charities including Friends of the Smokies and the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. Walls has long-standing ties to Western North Carolina and moved to Asheville in the spring in search of a retail location for his second signature gallery in the city’s downtown district.

“My two great passions in life are art and conservation, and I’ve long admired how those cultures thrive in Asheville. I’ve always wanted to open a gallery here, and I’m excited to finally give it a go.”

Walls has yet to secure a new space, but remains undeterred.

“Asheville is thriving, and I’m searching for a 3,000 square-foot space where I can welcome guests and display my work. This will be a long-term home for my second gallery, and I am confident my patience in finding the perfect spot will pay off.”

About Benjamin Walls

An internationally recognized artist, Walls has traveled more than 1 million miles over the past 12 years, photographing on every continent save Antarctica, and has established himself as the artist to watch in the fastest-growing segment of the visual arts — fine art photography. In 2015, Walls leveraged his extensive travel expertise in Africa to establish WALLSabout Travel which offers exceptionally crafted, personalized journeys for small or private groups to his most intriguing African destinations. He currently serves on the Roots & Shoots and Development Committee for the Jane Goodall Institute, a global community conservation organization that promotes the understanding and protection of chimpanzees and their habitat. For more information about Benjamin Walls or the Benjamin Walls Fine Art Gallery, visit www.benjaminwalls.com.

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For more information, contact Anita Melchor Slavkoff, special projects director,
Benjamin Walls Gallery, by phone at 877-989-2557, ext. 8,
email anita@benjaminwalls.com,
or visit the company at www.benjaminwalls.com.