The Frontier features rotating exhibitions by artists whose work supports the Frontier mission: connecting people to the world. Exhibitions at Frontier range from local to international photography, storytelling, travel, food and farm documentation, local history, and community organizations.

If you are interested in exhibiting your work at Frontier, please complete and submit the exhibition submission form. Exhibitions show for 2-3 months and are booked 9-12 months in advance. All artwork must be exhibition ready.

January–March, 2018

Plus Ultra ~ Further Beyond

Michael Gilroy (Gil)

Early cartographers defined the edge of the known world with the phrase “Ne Plus Ultra” (not further beyond) as a warning that danger loomed beyond the horizon. To those more intrepid and curious explorers this was an invitation; a challenge to push on, seek knowledge, and gain understanding—to go further beyond.

As a young college graduate in Washington D.C. in 1990 my work focused on analyzing the movement of people and goods along the world’s most traveled trade routes. I examined a world woven together by a network of highways, shipping lanes, rail lines, and flight routes. There was no World Wide Web available, but the world seemed small and accessible when measuring distances between continents in mere hours. The maps I studied depicted a timeless crossroads of commerce and culture, and as a 22 year old I longed to immerse myself into this world. So, I bought a one-way ticket to Hong Kong and began traversing my way overland to Moscow and in course, plus ultra…

For nearly a decade I chased horizons as a student, explorer, and trip leader across China, Russia, Mongolia, Central Asia, Antarctica, and Iran. What were once lines on maps depicting trade routes materialized as airfields, train stations, ports, and footpaths; as street markets, royal palaces, desert outposts, and village squares; as nomads, school children, farmers, and explorers; and at their core these routes materialized as life, death, triumph, and tragedy. Ultimately the maps I studied and the horizons I chased became the stories of people and places, and illuminated a deeper understanding of history, culture, and my own sense of self and community.

Plus Ultra ~ Further Beyond examines these horizons, and explores the tension, balance, and intersection of people and place. After years of living and working abroad I discovered that we live in a vast cultural landscape that, no matter how foreign or unfamiliar, is ultimately defined by the intimate, gritty, and vulnerable moments we all share. Plus Ultra ~ Further Beyond reflects these shared moments and seeks to connect us to the world and to the inspiration behind why I created Frontier. It’s my belief that it is ever more necessary that we share in each other’s stories because our unified destinies are determined less by the battles won or lost than by the stories we cherish and believe in.

Note regarding the photographs:
These images were captured on 35mm film, at a time when each frame was precious. With expensive 35mm film, you protected each roll tenaciously, composed each image deliberately, and shot sparingly. There was not the luxury of endless frames, so only the most meaningful moments could afford to be captured and processed. And when traveling in remote destinations, it would often be months before seeing a processed image. These aspects of 35mm photography created a sense of anticipation and excitement that imbued each photograph with it’s own rich storyline and unique significance.

Special thanks to Northeast Photographic, Zero Station, and ARTiPLAQ for your support in scanning, printing, and mounting this exhibit.