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July 21, 2024

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Photo Ark

An eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys picta picta) at the Tennessee Aquarium, part of the National Geographic Photo Ark exhibition at Tennessee Aquarium, beginning March 1

National Photo Ark Exhibit Coming to TN Aquarium

Gorgeous, giant photography by award-winning National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore will be on display at Tennessee Aquarium starting March 1, highlighting the importance of valuing nature in the world.

Children love fish and turtles and animals of all kinds but have they ever heard of a raspora? Beginning March 1 and continuing through the end of 2024, the Tennessee Aquarium, located in Chattanooga, will exhibit two dozen images from the National Geographic Joel Sartore Photo Ark Exhibition. The Photo Ark, is award-winning National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore’s attempt to document all species in human care at zoos, aquariums and wildlife sanctuaries around the world.

This spring, you’ll be able to see Sartore’s incredible photographs on giant banners, graphics and video projections.

β€œThe Photo Ark is really my last-ditch, desperate effort to get people to care about nature,” Sartore explains. β€œWe must, must, must get people to care about these species. It’s absolutely critical.”

Photo Ark Exhibition: A Call to Protect Life on Earth

Sartore hopes his images will inspire wonder and a sense of urgency to protect all life on Earth. Presented on plain black or white backgrounds, Photo Ark viewers can consider each animal’s unique qualities in isolation and, hopefully, feel moved to safeguard them. Through a 17-year effort, Sartore has archived stunning portraiture of more than 15,000 species across more than 50,000 images. He estimates completing the archive will take another seven to eight years. The chub and rasbora β€” both freshwater fish species β€” are two of the dozens of animals Sartore visited at the Tennessee Aquarium to photograph as part of the exhibition.

More details about the Photo Ark are available at To view Photo Ark images taken by Joel Sartore of animals at the Tennessee Aquarium, go to

The Tennessee Aquarium is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. eastern time. Travel distance from Nashville is approximately two hours and 10 minutes. Tickets are $39.95 for adults; $29.95 for ages 5 – 17; ages 4 and younger are free. The National Geographic Joel Sartore Photo Ark exhibition is presented locally by the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation with additional support from First Horizon, and Yamaha Rightwaters.



About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.