Two Weeks Worth of Adventure

Ive been in Highlands for two weeks now, and I’m loving every minute of it. In the past two weeks, I have hiked almost 40 miles, and have seen many waterfalls. Ive never had this type of freedom to explore my art before, have this much time. Ive gotten the number of shots it normally takes me a month to get, times two. I am enjoying my time up here immensely.

During my time exploring, I’ve gotten to try new skills and techniques out. my days at work (the outdoors) have been spent taking photographs and doing a little bit of fly fishing. Here is one of my favorite spots on the Chattooga river.

From the iron bridge on the Chattooga

Ive also hiked down to the bottom of Cullasaja Falls a few days this week, which is not a super easy trek down. Especially in the rain. This is one of my favorites from down there.

Cullasaja Falls

I hope you enjoy. Next week I’ll be sharing some behind the scenes of the shots I’ve been getting, so be on the lookout for that.

A New Way to Photograph

This past week, I’ve picked up a new addition to my photography collection, A drone. These are somewhat controversial in the photo community, as people are known to fly illegally and irresponsibly with them. I am on the path now to get Federally certified, and have been learning all the Ins and outs of safely operating a drone.

The one I bought is a fantastic choice for me. Since I mostly hike and backpack to get to shooting locations, the size of the aircraft was very important for me. It folds up and fits into my bag, allowing easy hikes just like what I’m used to. It also has enough megapixels for me to be able to print with it. The drone uses a 1″ Hasselblad Sensor, which makes for an outstanding image. Here it is:

The new addition allows me to get completely different shots than I have ever been capable of, giving me a new realm of creativity to work with. Lately I have been exploring the Chattooga river, and this has made that so much easier for me. Here are some shots from some of my days spent on the river:

Start of my Journey

Hello all, This is Dylan Lytle. I am the Photography Resident for 2019 here at The Bascom. I am thrilled to have this opportunity, and excited to share my progression as an artist, and as an individual with you all.

I have been photographing for six years now, and one year as a professional. I am passionate about landscape photography, and the beauty it encompasses. I look to further my art through my time spent here at The Bascom. I live in Old Fort, NC, right below Asheville. I am used to having a wonderful landscape within minutes to enjoy and photograph, and now living in Highlands, that certainly hasn’t changed.

I moved into my house three days ago, and love it. It is small yet spacious, and is perfect for what I need. Here is a shot I took upon my arrival.

The A-frame Cabin at The Bascom Gallery

I will be writing about my experience every Sunday afternoon, and possibly in between. I look forward to sharing my journey here as an artist with you all, and excited to be a part of this community.

Hello from Wrap Artists

Greetings everyone,

This post acts as an introduction of ourselves – Ray Baccari & Morgan Kennedy – and our residency project at The Bascom in Highlands, NC – hear + there. Additionally, this marks the end of the first week of the Winter Residency Artist Program (WRAP). We’ll be updating this blog about once or twice a week, with updates on the project, and a little information about ourselves along the way. To begin, we’d like to take this time to introduce ourselves, along with links to information concerning our project, hear + there.

Links to info on the project: Project Page, Artist Statement, Walks, and installations

Ray Baccari was born in Landstuhl, Germany and grew up just outside of Washington DC.  He received his BFA in Painting from George Mason University, and is currently an MFA Candidate at Western Carolina University (WCU).  His focus at WCU deals with the labors associated with events, how that information is embedded in everyday objects, and how to recall that information through play in the form of sound.  The end result of these projects is interactive sound-based sculpture.  These sculptures incorporate audio and visual representation of the objects associated with these events.  In addition to his studies at WCU, Ray is also a father of a 1 year old, who likes to keep him on his toes with impromptu dance parties at home.

Morgan Kennedy is an artist who works in a multi-medium cross-disciplinary direction that he defines as sculpture.   The translation of story into form is central to his work. These stories often are related to the human condition and a particular environment that is seen and unseen while attempting to define the relationships and boundaries that exist between them.  He looks to interpret the role of form and how it aids his understanding of the self and place. 

Kennedy has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally, including the Kim Foster Gallery in New York, and most recently, Gallery 126 in Galway, Ireland and the Bascom Center for the Arts Loft Gallery in Highlands, NC.  He has attended the Kohler Arts Industry Ceramic program, the Bemis Art Residency and is currently at the Bascom Center for the Arts Winter residency. His works have received several artist merits including the Eben Demarest Trust, The Virginia Museum Visual Arts Fellowship and the Maryland Arts Council award. He received a BA in General Arts from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. and an MFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va.  Kennedy is the assistant professor / area head of Sculpture at Western Carolina University. She lives and works in Cullowhee, North Carolina at 4500ft. with his wife, two kids and flock of wild mallard ducks.

If you’d like to keep up with the residency goings on between blog posts, you can follow us on Instagram. Ray Baccari & Morgan Kennedy

All Good Things…

All good things must come to an end.  My one year term as Photography Artist in Residence is complete.  But this isn’t really the end: I plan to continue on at The Bascom ( as a member of The Bascom Photography Club, and thereby stay in touch with fellow Bascomites, keeping updated on photography projects and events.  I absolutely intend to visit all the exhibitions here.  The Bascom makes it easy to stay involved.

That being said, it is the end of a phase. The experience of resident artist blasted me into action.  I have not photographed as intensely as I did here since graduate school (a long time ago).  I was included as an integral part of the work force (not merely an appendage).  And I received that which I most earnestly desired for years – to be engaged with a supportive community of artists.

As before mentioned, thanks to all bears repeating, despite the fact that “Thanks” is an exceedingly inadequate way to express the sentiment.  To Teresa Osbourne, who made it a point to poke her head in my door and say, “Well done”; to the “Girls” – Lin Sheffield and Julia McRae – who made life upbeat; all the staff and artists who contributed to the esprit decor; but most especially to Billy Love, whose support of and confidence in me spurred me on, I offer my most heartfelt and humble expression of gratitude.  This has been an experience never to be repeated.



As there are less than two weeks remaining in my term as Photography Artist in Residence here at The Bascom (, I find myself reflecting on the events of the past year.

I am privileged to have been selected for this position by Billy Love, Director of Education and Outreach.  I have been afforded opportunities at The Bascom I would not have had otherwise.

I have documented events here, done some teaching, but a large portion of my time was encouraged to be in the realm of personal creativity and exhibition.

Within two weeks of arriving, I was given a solo exhibition, Daufuskie Days, at Sotheby’s.  In February I had a collaborative exhibition with Grant Benoit, then Community Outreach Resident.  On the very heels of this exhibition followed another solo exhibition, The Life of Trees, and I am finishing up with the solo exhibition, A Walk in the Woods (reception September 19th at 5:30 pm). My life here has been a whirlwind of activity!

With the support of those at the Bascom – Billy Love, Teresa Osborne, the cadre of surrounding artists and the wonderful staff – I was provided the time, space and place to grow both personally and professionally.  Words being inadequate, I humbly say “Thanks”.

Images from The Bascom Exhibitions:

All Hung Up

This past week I installed my exhibition, A Walk in the Woods, in the Education Gallery at The Bascom (  I had, on one hand, a sense of achievement of what seemed at times like a never-ending project.  There on the wall were a finite number of cohesive images,  communicating a spiritual sensibility of humanity in the landscape.  Seeing the photos hanging together as a group made the experience feel complete: But only for a minute.

The trend my work has taken over the past several years has been to continue to explore the same subject , but in more depth.  For now, I would like to continue photographing in the  manner  I have for A Walk in the Woods.  The creative process will determine the destination.  Maybe this project is never-ending…

A Walk in the Woods runs through October 8th.  There will be a reception September 19th from 5:30pm-7:00pm.


Vistas Workshop

This past Saturday saw the last of my workshops, Photographing Vistas.  We met in the Whiteside parking lot – early, to ensure a parking space.  Slides were viewed at the picnic table next to my car, and a discussion of some various ways to approach photographing vistas was held.

A gentle hike of about thirty minutes took us to the first  cliff where we began to photograph.  We walked across the ridgeline, shooting as we went, and descended on the other side of the loop trail.

After lunch we returned to the Bascom (, where we downloaded the images, and edited and discussed them.  It was a full day!

I have enjoyed teaching workshops while here at The Bascom, and am thankful for this opportunity.


Clint Dawkins



The creative process does not exist in a vacuum, but rather has a place in the continuum of the history of creative process.  One’s work is influenced by others’, even if only subconsciously.  Somewhere, somehow, someone has thought something similar to your thoughts.  They may have executed their work differently, but relationships exist. And these are worth knowing.

Though I have been photographing landscapes for several years now, my current project, A Walk in the Woods, involves the human figure, albeit in a blurred form, with the intent of communicating the spiritual connection of humans to the landscape.  Hence, I have been reading, Landscape as Photograph, by Elizabeth Lindquist-Cock and Estelle Jussim, in particular the chapter titled, Landscape as God.

A lengthy relationship exists depicting the landscape as a metaphor for God.  It continues to this day.  One of the factors differentiating the varying appearances of   its rendering is which God is being referred to.  God as Creator, vengeful chastiser, distant master of natural law, machine, and more.

The landscape in my work consists primarily of lush, green forests.  My exhibition, A Walk in the Woods, opens at The Bascom ( in mid-September.  Come see it.  I leave it to you to determine which God is being referred to.


Always New

Though my functions here at The Bascom ( remain fairly constant – primarily teaching, documenting and creating my own work, the activities are never redundant, and continue to be fresh and new.  This week saw two important and fun events – The reception for Frank Vickery’s exhibition, Homage, and the annual Barn Dance.

 To celebrate Frank’s exhibition, refreshments were served up in the Ceramics Barn, which was transformed with tablecloths, flowers, and smock-free guests. The group later moved to the Loft Gallery, where Frank spoke about the intricate process in creating his pieces.

For the Barn Dance, the terrace was cleared to create a dance floor, where a square dance lesson was enjoyed by the crowd.  I found this particularly challenging to photograph, since standing outside the circle gave me a clear view of everyone’s backs.  So I moved to the inside of the circle, to be caged in by the dancers moving forward.  I don’t think I was too much in the way…

The Bascom serves the community with novel and diverse exhibitions, activities and events.  I enjoy the anticipation of seeing what’s next.