Several Minot State students are being featured in the Biennial Open Photo Exhibition at the Taube Museum of Art in downtown Minot.
This is the third Biennial Exhibition to be on display at the Taube and is a juried show. People submitted photos to be judged by juror Ryan Stander. Stander is an associate professor in the Minot State Art Department.
The students involved in this year’s show are Alex Jimenez, Tienna Johnson, Rayson Renfrow, JoHannah Grosz, Isis Cabral, Joshua Strong, and Jay Gaare.
“It’s exciting to see students with these professional opportunities already, and they're out there showing, then the fact that it’s good work, too,” Stander said.
One major theme that Stander notes about the exhibition are strong examples of portraiture.
“There are quite a few portraits that come out of this set of work. Portraiture is always the art of photography, and we see several different styles,” Stander stated.
This is the first time that Tienna Johnson, a senior art and elementary education major, has had her work showcased at the Taube.
“I have seen a lot of exhibitions at the Taube, so I’m really excited to see my own work there,” Johnson said.
The inspiration for Johnson’s work began with her thinking about water.
“While I was shooting, I was just enjoying the dreaminess of the water and the way it interacted with my model’s skin tone and dark, curly hair so I worked to capture that interaction,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s work was chosen as Best of Show at the reception on Sept. 19. JoHannah Grosz, a junior fine arts major, submitted photos she took while studying abroad in Florence, Italy in the fall of 2018.
Joshua Strong is a multimedia studies major whose submission was chosen as one of the honorable mentions in the exhibition. This is the first time Strong’s work is featured in a public exhibition.
Strong’s submission of a series of three portraits was a collaboration with Isis Cabral, a fellow art student, that embraces negative space.
“I was inspired by negative space, which is the space in art that is unoccupied by subject matter — I really love the concept of having a lot of negative space in artwork and photographs,” Strong said.
Alex Jimenez’s submission titled “Lace” is a diptych, which is two portraits in one image, and was created after discovering his passion for photography, according to Stander.
“As the semester went on, he found himself carrying the camera more and more and began seeing photographically, then not only did his perception of what photography is but also his attraction to photo changed,” Stander said.
Stander is excited to have other people see the work being created by students on the Minot State campus and encourages students to put their work out there.
“Anytime you get to show your work it’s a good thing as a student because you get new feedback from the experience,” Stander said. “I often tell my students build your resume anytime you have the opportunity — if you can do something to get it on your resume, that’s a good thing.”
Stander highlights the value of these types of galleries in the local art community, especially in the Minot area, where they create vibrancy and accessibility for artists that isn’t present in other cities.
“It’s good for the regional photographic community to be able to see what other people are working on,” Stander said. “You get to meet other photographers and carry on a different level of conversation. In North Dakota, we can be kind of dispersed throughout the region — anything that brings that particular medium together is a good thing.”
The Biennial Photography Exhibition is on display at the Taube Museum of Art from Sept. 5 to Oct. 11 and the gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.