Just as a prophet is seldom recognized in his own country, the country sometimes can't recognize itself without a prophet.
Dan Smith and Tillman Crane fulfilled that role during a photography workshop held in the Rollette and Rugby area last May. The fruits of their labor are on display at the Taube Museum through Feb. 24, with works by 10 artists from nine states.
"It's a collaboration," said Taube executive director Nancy Walter. "Tillman is very well known in the photography world. He puts on workshops and gives classes all over the country."
Terry J. Aman/MDN - - “Untitled Three” by photographer Charles Waldron is part of the “Forgotten Places” exhibit at the Taube Museum of Art.
Terry J. Aman/MDN - - “Pantry,” shot in Rugby by photographer Tillman Crane.
Smith, of Rugby, was coordinator and explains the true artistry behind photography. In his artist's statement he said, "A painter has the advantage: (He) can put in elements wanted or needed. As a photographer, I exclude. Rather than trying to include everything possible, I try to pare down what is in front of me to the minimum needed to express what I feel and see."
Many in the workshop used black-and-white to keep the start images stark and spare, with color most evident in the glorious sunsets captured.
In keeping with the theme of "Forgotten Places" the photographers selected as subjects not only dilapidated barns and farmhouses, but interiors with jackets hanging abandoned and empty chairs waiting for their owners who have left them behind.
There is a new position created and filled at the Taube Museum recently, that of gallery manager.
Wendy Kimble, a Minot native who has spent some years in California with her husband, an airman, has been named to fill the new position. The Kimbles have been back in Minot about three years.
"Actually I've known her some time," said executive director Nancy Walter. "We both went to Minot State University at the same time. She got her degree in art, with a specialization in graphic arts, which will help us around here considerably."
Smith had an advantage in introducing the others to landowners in the area and gaining access to the locales selected.
In praise both of the workshop and the state, Sterling "Rip" Smith of West Virginia said, "For perhaps the first time in my life as an artist I have visualized a photographic project to capture a part of history, to explore a fascinating place and share the project with those who will never have an opportunity to go there."
Although many of the works filling the main and lower galleries are untitled, in some cases the title adds a sudden depth to the image shown. One such is "Bowtie," the grill of a car photographed in vibrant colors by Charles Carson of Pennsylvania. Another is Crane's "Waiting" and Smith's "Winter's Rest."
As some of the images inevitably recall recent scenes of Minot's flooded buildings, Karen Stringer of Washington has an a propos reminder in her statement: "I offer these images to you as a humble reminder to respect the past. Then release it. Then, thus unencumbered, engage with the ambiguities and impermanence of the present."
An artist reception is set for today from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Hors d'oeuvres will be served and Smith will give a talk at 6 p.m.