February 2, 2012 - February 26, 2012
The Bridge at Hoover Dam
From the moment photographer Jamey Stillings first encountered the bridge at Hoover Dam he knew it was a subject he couldn’t ignore. Over the next two years, he visited the bridge 16 times documenting the progress and completion of the enormous structure that would eventually span the Colorado River. As Stillings explains, his project goals were “to acknowledge the collective talents and labors of those who built the bridge, to place the bridge within the historical and aesthetic context of Hoover Dam and the American West, and to initiate a dialogue that the imposition of infrastructure within a natural environment inevitably summons.”
Officially named the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, the bridge is located roughly 1500 feet downstream of Hoover dam and is the central portion of the Hoover Dam Bypass project. Construction began in 2004 and was completed in 2010. The 1,905 foot long bridge spans the Black Canyon connecting Arizona and Nevada nearly 900 feet above the Colorado River. It is the first concrete-steel composite arch bridge in the United States and the second highest bridge in the country.
Photographing this bridge was a personal quest for Stillings. Between March 2009 and January 2011, he spent 39 days at the site taking photographs. He visited the bridge at all hours of the day and night, rented helicopters for aerial shots, and worked closely with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Federal Highway Administration for permission to access restricted areas. Stillings’s resulting large-scale, jewel-toned photographs sumptuously capture the bridge’s impressive scale and grandeur. Early morning and nighttime photographs are rich with saturated color, while daytime images juxtapose the manmade structure’s shapes, lines and patterns against the natural beauty of Black Canyon.
Jamey Stillings (b. 1955) is a photographer whose work spans documentary, fine art, and advertising. He holds a BA from Willamette University and an MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Currently based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Stillings travels and works professionally throughout the world for a wide range of clients, including The New York Times Magazine, Toyota, GE Global, and First Republic Bank, while continuing to pursue personal projects. He was a finalist in Photolucida’s 2010 Critical Mass Top 50, and was recently recognized with CENTER’s 2010 Director’s Choice Award and the 2010 International Photography Award, Architecture: Bridges.