Zoom Magazine, September, 2002
Karen Halverson is one of America's few women landscape photographers. Her Colorado River series "Downstream" documents the length of the river from its source in the Rockies to the point where it empties into the Gulf of California. Although there are some traditional pristine landscapes in the series, the majority of the works shows "the hand of man" on nature and the river. The river is diverted, channeled, dammed, and even runs through a pipeline! The mighty Colorado River, which carved the Grand Canyon, though still grand in places, can also be no more than a much diminished, "managed" trickle. Karen Halverson has a strong sense of irony and wry wit which is clearly on display in these pictures, yet the scale of the prints underscores the power of the forces in conflict in today's frontier: Nature vs. Engineering, and results of unrestricted development. These pictures are dispatches from the front line of the war for the environment.