National park poster artist aims to inspire a new generation of nature lovers

Rob Decker visited his first national park when he was 6 years old. That trip to Yosemite made an impact. Two years later, on a 10,000-mile cross-country trip with his family, Decker visited five more national parks. He photographed them with a Kodak Duaflex camera with black-and-white film and was hooked.

He continued to study photography, and in 1979 had what he describes as the greatest experience of his life. He studied under photographer and conservationist Ansel Adams in Yosemite National Park.

A respected photographer and graphic artist, Decker has continued to explore and photograph national parks. One of his creative goals is to create images of all 61 national parks, inspired by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) campaign of the 1930s and 1940s, which advertised programs and projects across the country.

“Everyone should have a chance to see these places,” Decker told CNN. “It’s not just the awe-inspiring landscapes. It’s the culture, the history of the country that are often encapsulated there.”

As of late June 2019, Decker has been to 47 of the 61 parks. Each of Decker’s images is available as a numbered, dated and signed poster, printed on 100% recycled paper stock with soy-based inks. Prints are available for $35 on his website.

Because several parks celebrate major anniversaries in 2019, Decker created limited-edition prints to commemorate the events. The one above is for Grand Canyon’s 100th anniversary. Other big occasions are below.

90th Anniversary Grand Teton National Park

90th Anniversary Grand Teton National Park
(Photo: Rob Decker)

75th Anniversary Big Bend

75th Anniversary Big Bend National Park
(Photo: Rob Decker)

Joshua Tree National Park

25th Anniversary Joshua Tree National Park
(Photo: Rob Decker)

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