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Posts about Photography

Mpls Photo Center for sale as founders prepare to move on

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: January 21, 2015 - 3:35 PM

Abby and Orin Rutchick, co-founders of the Mpls Photo Center, at the popular Minneapolis venue. Star Tribune photo by Sara Glassman

After seven years nurturing the Mpls Photo Center, co-founders Abby and Orin Rutchick are looking to sell the business and move on. By next winter they hope to be settled in northern California, most likely Oakland, near their daughter Andrea, 36, and her four children, and not far from their son  Maxx, 27, who lives in Sonoma. 

"We're not looking for somebody just to manage MPC and we'd own it from a distance. We want out," said Orin, 63. "This is an opportunity for a younger person with passion and energy to create a future for themselves and take it to the next level, or for someone older and retired who wants to continue to be of service to the community."

Incorporated as a for-profit business, MPC is unusual in that it provides many of the educational opportunities and community features common to nonprofit organizations such as Highpoint Center for Printmaking or the Northern Clay Center. They all operate galleries that stage regular exhibitions, complete with publications, in their respective fields. All offer lectures, discussions, classes and workshops primarily for adults. They all have studios, work space and equipment for rent or cooperative use. Highpoint and the Clay Center have more ambitious and extensive educational programs for kids, but the basic services are similar in the three organizations.

The chief differences show up in the organizations' basic structures. Highpoint and the Clay Center have boards of directors to oversee their operations, and staff members who seek grants and help stage fund raising events. Their exhibition programs are more sophisticated and often feature international artists and complex exhibitions that require museum-style security and transportation. And both Highpoint and the Clay Center own their buildings.

By contrast, MPC is owned run by the Rutchicks with the assistance of a facilities manager, a part-time staff member, a bookkeeper and an accountant. Classes are taught by professional photographers operating as independent contractors. It's so down-home and personal that Orin even cooks the lunchs and prepares the snacks set out at openings.

"We offer about 25 classes per month taught by 10 different photographers," Orin said. "We try to provide classes that mold photographers from just learning how to use a camera to framing, editing, creating a personal project and then getting them out there to work."

The Rutchicks rent 12,000 square feet in an old brick warehouse into which they've invested "quite a bit of leasehold improvements," including building studios, digital labs, dark rooms, a gallery, storage and meeting spaces. They own the equipment -- printers, cameras, computers, lights and other photographic gear. 

"This was always built to be a self-sustaining entity that survives on its own revenue; it's a revenue generating machine," Orin said.

Even so, they investigated the possibility of transforming it into a nonprofit organization "but it appears to be so complicated to get anything out of it that a personal sale, a for-profit sale, makes the most sense." he continued.

"We have certain things that we make money with, things we spend money for. There's no secrets," Rutchick said. " Nobody is going to get rich but they can enjoy what they're doing. It's like a community center or a hobby farm for photography. Rather than playing basketball, they're doing photography."

Rock 'n' roll photography panel set for Thursday

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: January 14, 2015 - 3:57 PM

What is it like to travel with the Rolling Stones as their official photographer? What are the challenges of getting that decisive concert shot when you’ve got only two songs and you’re standing way back at the soundboard? What are key tips for photographers who are working with music stars and their handlers?

Those topics and more will be discussed at a panel on The World of Rock & Roll Photography at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Mpls Photo Center. Panelists will be Twin Cities music photographers Steven Cohen and Tony Nelson along with longtime Chicago photographer Paul Natkin, who has traveled with the Stones, shot magazine and album covers, and has become Buddy Guy’s personal photographer.  Star Tribune critic Jon Bream will moderate. The discussion is free.

The panel is a prelude to the Rock & Roll Call for Entry Exhibit, which opens on Friday at 2400 N. Second St., Mpls. The exhibit features music-related photos by photographers from all over the United States and as far away as Slovenia and Uruguay. Natkin, who took the photo of Keith Richards above,  served as the juror. Cohen received the first-place prize. 

Jerome Foundation announces "Emerging Artists" Fellowships

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: December 9, 2014 - 12:14 PM

Miranda Brandon's "Impact (Warbler)" photo was made in 2013 and has been shown at Soo Visual Arts Center.

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design has picked five Midwestern artists as winners of the 2014/15 Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Emerging Artists. Each will receive $12,000 and have various professional opportunities during the fellowship year.

Chosen from 252 applicants, the winners are Miranda Brandon, a bird-enthusiast who photographs and rehabilitates injured birds; Regan Golden-McNerney, who uses altered photos and drawings to document ecological change in the landscape; Jess Hirsch, a sculptor and installation artist concerned about health and healing; Sieng Lee, an installation designer drawing on his  refugee experiences as a first-generation Hmong American; and Jason Ramey, a sculptor intrigued by roadside signage and backyard furniture.

Judges were Candida Alvarez, an artist and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Shannon Fitzgerald, curator and executive director of the Rochester Art Center, and David Norr, a New York City-based writer/curator.

During the fellowship term, the emergees will meet with visiting critics, participate in a group show opening in fall of 2015 at the MCAD Gallery, have an essay written about their work, and participate in a panel discussion.

Ansel Adams' son, Michael, to discuss photographer in Winona

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: October 21, 2014 - 6:52 PM

Dr. Michael Adams, son of photographer Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams' son, Dr. Michael Adams, will discuss his Dad's photography and life at Winona State University at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24. The talk is presented in conjunction with "Classic Images: Ansel Adams Photography,"  an exhibit at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) in Winona. The talk is free but is expected to be so popular that its location has been shifted from a small hall to the main stage of WSU's Performing Arts Center. Parking should be available in the Gold Lot at the conrner of Mark and Main Streets.

Dr. Adams will recount his father's life and career starting with his childhood, obsessions with piano and photography, his climbing and camping in Yosemite, and the background of "Moonrise, Hernandez," one of his most famous photos.

Michael Adams is a retired physician and retired major general in the U.S. Air Force.

The talk is co-sponsored by the Marine Art Museum where more than 70 famous Adams images are on view through Jan. 11. All of the photos were printed by Adams himself and include such familiar and iconic images as "Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake," and the Half Dome series.

Ansel Adams, "Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska," 1947

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum is located on banks of the Mississippi River at 800 Riverview Drive, Winona, 507-474-6626 or www.mmam.org.

Minnesota photographer James Crnkovich launches new book

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: June 23, 2014 - 5:20 PM

"Reds, Virginia, Minnesota, 1985" by James Crnkovich

Former Minnesota photographer James Crnkovich returns to his home state for a five-day tour to launch a sweet book of his photos. Starting with a signing at the Saint Paul Saints game on July 1, the tour will include additional stops in St. Paul, Aurora, Gilbert, Virginia and Mountain Iron.

A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Crnkovich has been featured on CBS's Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt, has his work in the collection of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, and has exhibited around the world. Locally he's best known for his 1980s photos of the Iron Range which were included in the exhibition "At a Close Range," which traveled to colleges, universities and historical societies throughout the Midwest.

His new paperback, "Authentic Americana: The Art of Social Documentary," reprints about 50 of his color and black-and-white images dating from 1980 to the present. Taken in Minnesota, New York, Boston, Phoenix, Chicago and elsewhere, they capture the American scene in all its gaudy  vulgarity, latent violence, decay, cornball nonsense, and good humor. His commentary about the images is as insightful as the pictures themselves. There's a certain tenderness and big hearted acceptance of human frailty and loneliness that makes his photos very special.

Now a resident of Mesa, Arizona, Crnkovich will be back home in Minnesota to promote the book at the following events. The book also is available through: Naciketas Press, 715 E. McPherson, Kirksville, MO 63501.

July 1: 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Saint Paul Saints "Christmas in July" game, Midway Stadium, 1771 Energy Park Dr., St. Paul.

July 2: 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Common Good Books, Snelling at Grand, St. Paul.

July 3: 6 p.m., Aurora; 7 p.m., Gilbert. Patriotic Parades.

July 4: 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Aurora Public Library. 6 p.m. Virginia 4th of July parade.

July 5: 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Mac's Bar, 8881 Main St., Mountain Iron.


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