Photography: Courtesy Michael Golembeski
Photography: Courtesy Michael Golembeski

The sky's the limit when it comes to Michael Golembeski’s passion for the plight of wild horses.

Michael Golembeski’s passion for wild horses and burros began after he read Hope Ryden's book America’s Last Wild Horses. “One section of the book specifically struck a chord with me, and I was captivated with the movement,” Golembeski says. He quickly became an ardent advocate and started his own organization, The WindDancer Foundation — which is named after his own 17-year-old mustang.

“The mission of The WindDancer Foundation is to protect our wild horse and burro heritage and populations through education, appreciation, and celebration,” he says. Recently, Golembeski and his foundation found a special way to bring awareness to these magnificent animals through a “call to action” exhibit in Denver International Airport.

Facing the Wind is an art exhibit featuring 31 captivating works by 14 photographers and two painters. It is displayed across two 100-foot walls on Concourse A at the Y-junction within the airport. “The goal of the Facing the Wind exhibit is to protect our national treasures and legacies for generations to come by simply re-sparking the sheer wonder of these magnificent animals,” Golembeski explains. "They are as wild as the land they inhabit.”

The photographs were handpicked by Golembeski with the aim to capture the mission of his foundation. While looking for the right images, he strove for both “excellence and meaning." “[After all] those years of being in the field in several of Colorado’s wild horse areas, I wanted to seek that same quality in my vision of my photographic excellence," he says. "I knew what images I desired.” The exhibit holds true to Golembeski's vision, as the images are at once compelling, dynamic, and quick to generate enthusiasm and wonder for these beautiful animals.

One piece in particular is a must-see. Mud Baby by Gail deMonet, Golembeski’s favorite piece, depicts a foal born in Craig, Colorado. According to Golembeski, the photographer “saw the birth and moved along to give them some private time. Upon returning a few hours later, [she] saw the newborn stuck in a mud hole, his mother struggling to help the little one. [deMonet] stopped to help, and Mud Baby became the photo after the foal was out of the mud hole.”

SWB Horses-4
Photography: "Mud Baby" by Gail deMonet/courtesy Michael Golembeski

If you are traveling through DIA before the end of March 2016, be sure to check out Facing the Wind. The series’ compelling presentation will captivate the imagination and inspire wonder of the natural beauty of Colorado’s wild horses.


While in Denver, stop at the Renaissance Denver Downtown for an Allan Tupper True cocktail.