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A Kansas photographer's new exhibition shows off the intense beauty of the Flint Hills

A man stands amid a vast prairie, facing away from the camera with a hand on his hip. He wears a backwards baseball cap and looks out over the landscape.
Laura Cobb
Philip Heying
Philip Heying is a 2022 Guggenheim fellow and photographer based in Matfield Green, Kansas. His exhibition "A Survey of Elemental Gratitude" will be on display at the Kansas City Public Library until December 9.

"A Survey of Elemental Gratitude," an exhibition currently at the Kansas City Public Library, showcases the beauty of the Flint Hills— and asks us to consider its environmental future. Philip Heying's photography will be on display until December 9.

Kansas City native Philip Heying has been fascinated by the Flint Hills since he was a child. That's why, in 2019, he moved to Matfield Green, a tiny Kansas town in the heart of the Flint Hills, after spending much of his life in cities like New York and Paris.

Since then, his appreciation for the area has only grown. The prairie landscape and its wildlife have become a focus of Heying's photography, for which he was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2022.

An exhibition of Heying's photography, "A Survey of Elemental Gratitude,"showcases the beauty of the Flint Hills and asks viewers to consider its environmental future— by drawing comparisons between macro and micro aspects in the prairie landscape.

"When I think about those scales, and that we exist in the middle of it, and I can't have any feeling but awe," Heying said on Up To Date. "And ultimately gratitude for how preposterously unlikely it is that here we are, on KCUR, with a remote connection from Matfield Green, having this conversation in the middle of the cosmos."

The exhibition is on display at the Kansas City Public Library-Central Branch (14 W. 10th St.) until December 9.

  • Philip Heying, photographer
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