"Into the Great White Sands" will present the beauty of White Sands National Monument in a new book of photographs by Craig Varjabedian, coming soon from the University of New Mexico Press.


We wish to sincerely thank the following people for their generous financial support of this project.

Tomas Abreu
Abby, Stephen & Wayne
Anonymous x 4
Tony and Gaynor Banham
Eric Banks and Lois Wilson
John Berkenfield
Robert and Joan Behlman
M. Robert Blum
Robert and Myra Bullington
Jeannie Camosy
Cheryl Cathcart
Mike Castles
John Cavallito
Randy Chance
Dr. Robert W. Clevenger
Nat Coalson
Diana Cook
Ron Cooper
Carole Debeer
Katrina and Steve Dickerson
Jim Eckles
Dr. Andrew Epstein
James R. Fullerton
Dr. Donald and Barbara Gazibara
Deborah Glessner
Tye Hardison

Gary Hein
Don and Kathy Holtzclaw
Craig Alan Huber
Scott A. Hutchinson
Kathy Imel
Kevin K. Jones
Robert and Sandra Kal
Dr. Burton Kushner
Michael R. Johnson
Dr. Mark D. Johnston
Clifford Land
Cindy Lantrip
Debra Nunes and Janet LaPierre
Hanna and Larry Lattman
J. David Levy
Paula Loftin
DiAnn L’Roy
Howard and Ellen Lowery
Robyn Mehmke
Dolph and Jeanne Miller
Roland Miller
Michael R. Mock
Sue Glover Mottinger
Charles Ondrej
Leah Ostro

Barbara and Dale Ouimette
Clyde Parrott
Bill Polkinhorn Photography
Cathy Porter
Amy Reams
Lisa and Tom Redburn
Lisa Richardson
Mike Rosebery
James Saxon
Stephen Schafer
James and Yolanda Scheihing
Nicholas Schoeder
Bill Schultz
Robert W. Shea
John Ashley Simmons
Russell Smith
Kerry Stewart
Robert W. Stuhrman
Rhonda Troutman
Jim and Marjorie Van Hoy
Vicki Vaughan
Hank Voegtle
W.C. Waterbury Jr.
K. Wheeler


MY NAME IS CRAIG VARJABEDIAN and I am an award-winning fine art photographer, especially drawn to New Mexico’s unique and powerful landscapes. For years I have been enchanted by the magnificent dunes at White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico. I’m attracted to White Sands because of its mystical and understated beauty.

Welcome to White Sands National Monument

I have been exploring and photographing this luminous place to share the authentic story and spirit of White Sands through images and through the voices of those who have lived, worked and visited there.

White Sands National Monument is part of the National Park Service, surrounded by two military installations, the White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base. One of the world’s great natural wonders, the monument comprises 275 square miles of white wave like dunes of gypsum sand. It is a fragile landscape, biologically rich and diverse. This place of profound beauty shows me stories that reveal connections to this ancient landscape going back to early man and even earlier—from dinosaurs, to petroglyphs, to rockets and to the atomic bomb. We and future generations must nurture and protect this ever-changing part of the earth, not only for what it is, but for how it speaks to our humanity.

The Photographer

I am fortunate to have successfully completed five major photographic projects that resulted in prize-winning books and national traveling museum exhibitions. For over 40 years my work has been recognized with numerous awards including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Emmy Award for a PBS documentary film about my work titled En Divina Luz: The Penitente Moradas of New Mexico. I have a BFA in Fine Arts from the University of Michigan and a MFA in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

An Appeal

Most humbly, I ask for your help. In a nutshell I seek your support to complete the principal photography in the coming year and partially fund the cost of publishing a book in 2017 with the University of New Mexico Press. My agreement with the Press, a not-for-profit publisher, requires a financial contribution to cover the additional expenses of producing a high-quality fine-art book.

Once the photography has been completed, I will edit the images, make proofs and prepare the digital image files for the publisher. I will collaborate extensively on the book’s design and content. I will also work closely with the publisher’s art director to ensure that the images are reproduced to the highest standards. The book as planned will include eighty photographs and three essays.

As you can imagine, this photography project is an expensive undertaking and up until now the project has been self funded. Because I know how much you appreciate fine photography I hope you will join with us to make possible the completion of this body of work and the creation of a beautiful volume worthy of this truly magnificent place.

I invite you to be a part of my effort.

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