In A New Light Exhibit

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Date: September 20, 2010
Contact: Branda Thwaits, 715-635-8346 x425

"In a New Light" Exhibit at St. Croix River Visitor Center

How powerful is the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway? Can it transform a life? Can it inspire an at-risk teenage boy to discover his own magnificence? Witness the healing power of the Riverway through spectacular photographs by visiting the exhibit: "In a New Light: Connecting At-Risk Teens to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Through Nature Photography."   The exhibit will be on display at the St. Croix River Visitor Center in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, between September 24th and October 29th.

Beginning in March 2010, 26 teenage boys at Northwest Passage in Spooner, Wisconsin, embarked on a photographic journey of discovery, hope, and healing through the "In a New Light" project. When the project began, most of them had rarely held cameras. With photographic equipment, instruction, and a lot of time on the Riverway, the boys created stunning photographs.

"But this project has turned out to be about more than great photos. The boys have embraced their role as storytellers, and in the process of capturing the character of the Riverway, they have also shared their own struggles, dreams, and quest for healing. It's really inspiring," says Ben Thwaits, the Northwest Passage teacher who serves as project leader.

Derek, a 17-year-old participant from Superior, described one of his pictures of flowing water, artistically blurred with a slow shutter speed: "To me, this picture shows that the river is full of energy, full of life in a constant flow. And I feel like my life is just like the river--I have all this energy, and my life is now just beginning for the first time." 

For a more in-depth look into the "In a New Light" journey, visit the project blog at

The St. Croix River Visitor Center is located at 401 North Hamilton Street in St. Croix Falls. It is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, through October 11. Beginning October 12, hours will be 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Admission is free.

The exhibit will later travel to venues in Wausau, Madison, Cable, and Spooner. "In a New Light" was funded by an "America's Best Idea" grant awarded to Northwest Passage and the National Park Service by the National Park Foundation through the generous support of Unilever. Other community partners include Black Iris Gallery, the Wisconsin Arts Board, Cable Natural History Museum, Black Ice Outdoor Productions, and UW-Marathon County.

For additional information, please call (715) 483-2274.

With locations in Frederic, Webster, and Spooner, Northwest Passage offers comprehensive residential mental health services to youth, with the aim of restoring dignity, emotional wholeness, and a renewed sense of self-worth. Northwest Passage II, the Spooner facility participating in the project, specializes in nature-based experiential programming for boys ages 12-17. (715) 327-4402.

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, a unit of the National Park System, was established by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968. It is one of a group of eight rivers in the country that first received this recognition. For 255 miles, the St. Croix River and its tributary, the Namekagon, flow through some of the most scenic and least developed country in the Upper Midwest. (715) 483-2274.


Last updated: April 10, 2015

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401 North Hamilton Street
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024


(715) 483-2274

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