at Plains Art Museum

Kid Quest has come to mean two specific things in our family. For me [a photographer, artist and creative entrepreneur], it’s an excuse to bring our 6-year-old son to the Plains Art Museum to create and consider art. For Young M. [a football fan, Star Wars aficionado and typical 6-year-old kid], it’s a chance to play with an assortment of toys in the second floor lounge. Our practice has always been to complete the art project first and then retreat to the lounge.

That was before we learned about vermin and were encouraged – as part of our Kid Quest experience – to look for them. These 4-inch tall ceramic figures are scattered around the museum in all sorts of places. They are awkward and charming at the same time. Artist Jamie Burmeister has hundreds of vermin installed at museums and public spaces around the world.

As soon as we learned about vermin, Young M. was on the hunt. Finding and counting vermin soon became a shared mission. We hit galleries on all three levels. We checked hallways and stairways. We rode the elevator. We learned to look here, there and everywhere. We counted and re-counted. We offered encouragement to others who were also looking for vermin. We thought we had them all and then found a few more.

Our final tally came in at 336 or maybe it was 339. Regardless of our numbers or how many vermin are actually installed at the museum, we both considered our adventure a resounding success. And, that’s what made last Saturday our most favorite Kid Quest to date.

Have a great weekend. – Ann at Plains Art Museum at Plains Art Museum

Frosty Photographs

A winter wonderland – in the form of hoar frost – descended on Fargo-Moorhead this morning. I’m not a huge fan of photographs made with cell phone cameras [and that might just be because I don’t yet own an iPhone], but when that’s what you have in hand that’s what will have to do. The frost was so pretty and inciting.

Here’s to a beautiful day and the start of a new month. Thanks for looking, Ann

Photography by Ann Arbor Miller

On a fine October morning last fall I headed up to photograph at Red Goose Gardens, located outside Shelly, Minnesota. My family has supported the farm through its community supported agriculture [CSA] program for several years. The farm is beautiful. I’ve always intended to photograph there, but somehow never seemed to have the time. My autumn photo outing was motivated by a local arts organization’s call for entry. The Arts Partnership is interested in doing what CSA farms do, but with art. So, art enthusiasts will be able to buy a share and receive a box brimming with work by different creatives. Anyway, the proposal deadline was adjusted so I’m back to working on my proposal and considering that first set of images.

Initially, my intention was to select pairs of images – so two complementary photographs would be printed side-by-side on a single piece of paper. However, I’ve been studying some of my selects from the October outing and am seeing ways to physically connect the images. I’m sharing two examples here. I don’t know that I consider either one of these a finished piece. My latest thought is to look for additional pieces or layers to include. For example, the working title of the image below is “Pepper Chicken” so I’m considering overlaying a recipe or a photograph of a recipe card for pepper chicken in the vacant space.

Regardless of what I ultimately come up with, I’m excited about the evolution of this little project. Best, Ann

Photography by Ann Arbor Miller

Creative Goals for 2012

Well, friends. Here are my creative goals for 2012. I tried to be a bit more realistic this year. You might notice a few repeats – or variations – on tasks that appeared on my 11 goals for 2011 list. I’ve found this exercise very helpful and think most everyone would find it useful.

Thanks for stopping by. – Ann

My work as freelance photojournalist for Minnesota Public Radio News expanded in 2011. I completed 30-some assignments for the organization last year and was pleased to learn that nine of my photographs have been included in MPR News’ Pictures of the Year. Online photo galleries featuring photographs by both staff and freelance contributors are available here, here, here and here.

My selected images are presented in order of oldest to most recent below. Not surprising, two of the biggest news stories from the region [spring flooding and the American Crystal Sugar lock-out] are well represented. In this era of newsroom layoffs and shrinking freelance budgets, I remain grateful to the editors and reporters at MPR News for their respective roles in helping me document the people and places in the Red River Valley. Few things give me more pleasure or satisfaction.

Happy New Year. – Ann

Stepping Stones

Bear Cub

Flood from Above

Sandbag Line

Golden-Winged Warbler



A&R Bar in Hillsboro, N.D.

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