Olympic National Park is surely one of the world’s most breathtakingly beautiful places. Glacier-capped mountains, vibrant green rainforests, wave-lashed beaches. An embarrassment of natural riches. Well, unless there’s fog. “Nothing could be seen because of the fog so it was a bit disappointing,” reads a one-star review from Yelp. Or how about this, from a visitor to Crater Lake National Park: “There are mosquitos everywhere and I can get a larger portion of food from Olive Garden for the same price. Hard pass. Restock your beer more frequently, we bought you out in 3 days.”
Artist Amber Share read a bunch of those reviews, probably many from our list, and decided to select one bad review for all 62 national parks and paint them as a kind of promotional poster. She calls the satirical project, “Subpar Parks.”
Share takes a memorable line from a bad review and turns it into a promotional garb. “Save Yourself Some Money, Boil Some Water At Home,” reads the Yellowstone poster. “Looks Nothing Like the License Plate,” for Arches National Park. “The Only Thing to do Here Is Walk Around the Desert,” says the Joshua Tree painting.
Clearly, Share has a love for the parks. Her work takes the strangely negative viewpoint of some disgruntled reviewers and turns them on their heads. Yeah, walking around the desert is awesome. “Nothing Specific To Do,” said one reviewer of Great Smoky Mountains NP, and, well, isn’t that the whole point?
“It’s so hard for me to even pretend to be mean about the Grand Canyon,” Share told an interviewer. “I mean, I think the biggest thing is, it’s too hard to look at. Like, ‘There’s too much to see.’ That would be my fake bad review.