Saturday, December 30, 2006


This weekend, I’ve been working on cleaning the room known as “the guestroom / Steve’s storage room / Steph’s room.” I stumbled across my resume and artist’s statement that placed my work in it’s first official show - it was a show in a small gallery in Northfield, MN. My “Achievements/Awards” section of my resume consisted of these 5 things:

• a gallery showing (which was not a juried show; anyone who submitted work got in)
• teaching (voluntarily) an art class in my old middle school
• an academic scholarship
• being a Sunday School teacher
• being inducted into the National Honor Society

AND, to top it all off, my 8th grade teacher was listed as a reference at the bottom.

Good times.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Divine Intervention??

This morning, I posted how I was questioning the way I divide my time - wondering if I was spending too much time teaching and too little time making photos. Well, on my way home from a spinning class (yes, I’ve been known to go to spinning classes now and then) I caught the tail end of a story on Minnesota Public Radio about National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg. I don’t really care for his work, but I always like to hear from photographers regarding their opinions on the current state of photography as well as their random photographic stories. Even though I’m not a fan, I think we have a lot in common: we both photograph Minnesota (albeit much differently), we both could be more articulate about our work.... well, maybe that’s all.

Anyway, fate stepped in after I had been listening for just a few minutes. Jim was talking about the changing scene of working as a photographer for National Geographic (a very different world from the one that I work in, but there were still connections). I listened to what he said while parked outside my house, and then ran inside to write it down immediately:

“Just take pictures for fun, folks. Don’t try to make a living at it. Trust me. Trust me.”

Now I’m not saying that I’m throwing in the towel. I’m not done making photos. I’m still going to play this balancing act of teaching and shooting. I’m just as confused as I was a week ago. But the interview and the words that were spoken felt timed too perfectly, as if someone wanted me to hear them. Interesting...

Random Thoughts of Late December

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been making much work lately. Well.... I haven’t been making any work lately. I’ve been sending work out, applying to contests, etc, but I haven’t picked up a camera in a serious manner since my residency in Red Wing.

And it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Spring semester I’m signed up to teach 5 DIFFERENT classes. It will help with the hope of a new home for Sarah and I in the next few months, but it won’t help my photo life. Or my sanity.

Don’t get me wrong - I really like teaching. I initially went to graduate school with the intent of teaching afterward. But now I feel like I’m not doing my photography career justice. I feel like if I could devote more time to making and promoting photos, I could go somewhere with my work instead of using my work as a way to get teaching jobs. But spending much more time on my photo career could be a pretty big gamble, and for how open-minded I am, I’m still a realist. And the realistic part of me says “Don’t squander your time away making pretty pictures.” I don’t know.

Speaking of making lots of work, check out Alec Soth’s photo blog. And, go get his (fairly) new book, Niagara. His work is great, and he’s simply a superb fella.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

December 9th: Anderson Center and CVA

The Anderson Center in Red Wing is having a one-day "art blowout" this Saturday, December 9th. I have 5 new photos from my Red Wing series in the show. Stop by and see them if you can; I’ll be there during the first part of the event. Here is what’s said about the event on the Anderson Center’s Website:

"December 9: Holiday Celebration of the Arts, 12 p.m. - 7 p.m. Highlighting the work of over 55 artists, writers and musicians. Open studios, music, art and book sales, demonstrations, food and refreshments. Unique holiday gift buying ideas!"

If you’ve ever driven from the Cities down Hwy 61 to Red Wing, you’ve been right past the A.C. and probably never noticed it. It’s on your left and has this big tower:

The same afternoon, Saturday December 9th, The College of Visual Arts in St. Paul is having its First Annual Holiday Art Sale. It is held at the CVA gallery in the Crocus Hill neighborhood of St. Paul. Here’s what CVA says about it on their website:

You Are Cordially Invited
to the
First Annual CVA
Cash and Carry
Holiday Art Sale and Silent Auction
Saturday, December 9, 2006
From 2 to 6 p.m.

CVA Gallery
173 Western Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55102

Silent Auction Concludes at 5:30 p.m.
Proceeds benefit the CVA scholarship fund
and CVA gallery programming.

In the CVA sale, everything $200 and under is priced for immediate sale. Anything over $200 will be put on the silent auction. I currently have 2 framed pieces in that sale that are VERY REASONABLELY PRICED! (One for sale and one in the silent auction.) I may be putting a few more pieces that are not framed into the show as well, but it’ll be a busy week and I’m not sure I’ll have time. Anyway, in you have time, PLEASE stop by CVA and support the school and it’s students. Tell a friend! It should be a great event. I hope to be there from about 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. if you want to stop and say hi.

Oh, and lastly, MCAD had their MASSIVE Art Sale this past weekend. They sold $166,000 worth of art work in the first evening! All of that was sold in only a 3 hour time period! They had a good day on Saturday as well and ended up selling a total of around $233,000 of art. Amazing. The CVA sale is not nearly on the same scale as the MCAD sale, but it will still be packed with great art ready for your walls!

Friday, December 01, 2006

How We Learn

We Learn...

• 10% of what we read
• 20% of what we hear
• 30% of what we see
• 50% of what we both hear and see
• 70% of what is discussed with each other
• 80% of what we experience personally
• 95% of what we TEACH to someone else

-William Glasser

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