It has been 11 years since John Guider put his canoe in the creek behind his Franklin home and began a 1,200-mile paddle that would end in New Orleans. In subsequent years he canoed the Mississippi in its entirety, and his efforts resulted in a national touring exhibition, The River Inside, A Photographic Journey by John Guider.

Seventy-five large platinum prints document the sites and people Guider encountered. The exhibit also includes his canoe, detailed journal entries, artifacts, and geographic maps detailing the waterways he traveled.

The River Inside was as much a journey of personal exploration and discovery as physical. I wanted it to be a journey that would encompass mind, body, and spirit. I wanted to better understand who I am and why I am here,” explained Guider.

Organized by the Tennessee State Museum and presented in conjunction with the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa, initial support for the exhibition was provided by Ingram Marine. The exhibition has been touring since it opened in 2008 and in April made its ninth stop at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum (LASM) on the banks of the Mississippi.

The River Inside: A Photographic Journey by John Guider will be on view through June 29 at Louisiana Art & Science Museum in Baton Rouge. For more information or to see more of Guider’s work, please visit and

“The river is within us; the sea surrounds us.”
– T. S. Eliot

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