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Learning To Breathe II: Annapurna And Nagarkot

OAKHURST — “The quest for life is not to be afraid of yourself, but to be afraid that you have not challenged yourself to live fully in the present,” says artist Michael J. Costa, in advance of his Gallery 5 talk about recent travels and the impact they’ve had, both creatively and personally.

Michael offers a special presentation on Sunday, Oct. 8, recounting his trek and sharing photography from the journey, in “Learning to Breathe II: Annapurna and Nagarkotand.”

“Bring your adventurous heart, soul and spirit, and join me for a photographic journey into the heart of Nepal. Be present as you engage with the vision that led me back to this magical land. Experience a country filled with pride, religion, kindness and respect for Mother Earth.”

The talk at Gallery 5 will start at 6 p.m. and seating is limited. Admission is $15. The work will be on display through Oct. 10. Gallery 5 is located at 40982 Hwy 41, Suite 5, Oakhurst CA. Phone (559) 683-5551.

Just a year after trekking to Mt. Everest Base Camp in 2016, Michael Costa returned to Nepal to explore the wonders of Annapurna, and the western region of Nagarkot. The Annapurna Massif in the Himalayas lies just north of central Nepal and is known in the culture as the “Goddess of Harvests,” the universal mother that feeds all. The Annapurna Trail takes you on a journey over suspended bridges, through lush green forests and majestic mountain peaks. Slowly gaining altitude, you reach your goal at 4,130 meters, equivalent to 13,545 feet above sea level.

The Western region of Nagarkot is rugged and forested. The trek leads to the city of Dhulikhel, surrounded by farming villages and immense swaths of crops and open land, then on to Namo Boudha, a small village near what is called The Thousand Steps, surrounded by Hindu Temples, a Buddhist monastery, and a 32 foot tall Buddha statue. — Michael J. Costa

Michael says that, when you set foot in Nepal, you begin a life-changing experience.

“Whether it is the great Himalaya mountain range that inspires you, or the search for your soul through Buddhist or Hindu Temples, or who you meet along the way, the adventure comes down to who you are and how you choose to engage with the experience.”

This body of work depicts my vision of Nepal, and its mesmerizing effects on my heart and soul, projected through my lens and seen through my photographs. As you walk through this exhibit, my goal is to take you through a portal that allows your mind to fully understand the value of human life.

Michael J. Costa is a graduate of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco who has worked as a photo journalist and producer for Valley Public Television and Sierra Art Trails. Costa is represented by Stellar Gallery in Oakhurst.

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