The Spaces Between: Reflecting Minnesota Relics Photographs by Ann Arbor Miller

Let’s get the embarrassment out of the way. It’s been months – and I do mean many, many months – since I’ve posted anything new on this little website. I’m sure there are some semi-valid reasons I could rattle on about, including an abundance client work and deadline-driven assignments as well as a serious illness last fall that took me out of commission for the better part of a month. The bottom line is that I haven’t yet found a way to work writing and posting journal posts into my daily, weekly or even monthly workflow. Maybe it’s because I get so tied up in whatever I’m working on at the moment that I don’t make time to reflect or share. Maybe I’m just not cut out to blog.

Thankfully, there are people in my life who remind, encourage and even pester when necessary. A few of these people are responsible for my application to the TMI Hospitality Resident Artist Program, which is open to artists in Fargo, N.D., as well as neighboring West Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn. I am the third artist selected to participate in the program and have been hard at work to develop a new series for exhibition. “The Spaces Between: Reflecting Minnesota Relics” features a selection of eight photographs and opens Thursday, March 27 with a public reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at TMI’s headquarters, located at 4850 32nd Ave. S. in Fargo, N.D.

The exhibition represents just one component of the program. I am most excited about a layer of professional development made available to me. This is coming at a good time and provides extra incentive to consider my work, my life priorities and how I want to engage with photography. I feel fortunate to have the luxury to consider these and other questions.

If you happen to be in Fargo the evening of March 27, stop by TMI and say hello. It would be great to connect.

P.S. To fellow artists in the Fargo area who are interested in the TMI Hospitality Resident Artist Program the deadline for the next round is coming up April 30. Information about that program and several others is available via The Arts Partnership.

Hundreds attend Fargo rally urging veto of abortion measures

First, the facts. Rallies organized by the recently formed Stand Up for Women North Dakota were held in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Minot yesterday. Hundreds turned out to urge Gov. Jack Dalrymple to veto legislation aimed at limiting or banning abortion. Today, the governor signed three bills, setting the stage for legal battles, more rallies and a lot more. Fargo is home to the state’s lone abortion provider.

Second, the obvious. Abortion ranks as one of the most contentious issues in the nation.

Third, the disclaimer. I attended yesterday’s rally as an independent photojournalist who frequently documents organized events and general happenings in the Red River Valley. I present these photographs as a record of events. My guess is future rallies and counter rallies will be held. I will also photograph those gatherings as life permits.

Thanks for looking. – Ann

Hundreds attend Fargo rally urging veto of abortion measures

Hundreds attend Fargo rally urging veto of abortion measures

Hundreds attend Fargo rally urging veto of abortion measures

Hundreds attend Fargo rally urging veto of abortion measures

Hundreds attend Fargo rally urging veto of abortion measures

Hundreds attend Fargo rally urging veto of abortion measures

Hundreds attend Fargo rally urging veto of abortion measures

Untitled. Photography by Ann Arbor Miller

In recent years I’ve entered an increasing number of juried shows and group exhibitions. There is something satisfying about viewing a photograph – and other artwork – displayed on a wall, especially if it’s big. Much of the visual chatter we consume everyday is on a screen of some form. I don’t know about you, but looking at photographs on an iPhone, an iPad or even a decent monitor isn’t the same as standing back and looking at it in person. It’s a different experience. One of the other things I’ve come to notice is how the title of a piece plays into its interpretation. A title that resonates with the viewer seems capable of elevating work from pretty good to exceptional.

The Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists, which I’m proudly a member, holds an annual spring show here in Fargo-Moorhead. The submission deadline for the Big Art Show is quickly approaching. I selected the above photograph for the show and am now on the hunt for a suitable title. The photograph was taken last May at Red Goose Gardens near Shelly, Minn. It was created in color, but I decided to show it in black-and-white simply to allow it to read quicker. I’ve tried playing with a number of obvious words [grass, carpet, rug, arrow, shadow, pointing, direction, found object and many others], but appear to be headed toward “Untitled” and maybe that’s okay.

Here’s hoping spring decides to show her face soon. Here in the upper Red River Valley we are ready! – Ann

Accident on Fargo's Main Avenue

Life on both the home and work fronts has been generally super busy. Entries here have been far and few between for many months. I’ve lost count. Sometimes I get in the habit of just going. You know the kind of going that takes a person from one task to the next without pause.

Well, this afternoon a big old pause popped up right in front of my new office and studio space in Fargo’s SoMA District [South of Main Avenue]. A silver SUV flipped over in the east bound lane of Main Avenue not far from my door. The driver’s vehicle went up on the curb, hit a tree and flipped, according to bystanders. He was conscious at the scene and taken to a local hospital. After hearing a bit of a commotion, I’d grabbed both my cell phone and 5D classic on my way to find out what was going on. Photographing as firefighters freed the man seemed like the natural thing to do – although I’m not sure what purpose the resulting pictures serve. The experience reminded me how quickly life can change and how everything can come to an abrupt stop. I’m off to collect my son from school, planning to drive carefully and intent on taking pause.

Thanks for looking and I’ll be back soon. – Ann

Commons

News+HappeningsDecember 6th, 2012

Commons: A Curious Pairing of Photographs by Ann Arbor Miller and Britta Trygstad

A new series of work by Britta Trygstad and myself will be on display at The Spirit Room in downtown Fargo for the next six weeks. Similar to its predecessor Parallels, Commons presents photographic pairs in curious combinations. My collaborator describes the photographs as modern, organic and simple. That works for me.

Tonight is the opening reception and we’d love to see as many people as possible. Event starts at 6:30 p.m. with a brief talk and Q&A at 7:30 p.m. The Spirit Room is located in the heart of downtown Fargo on Broadway. If you can’t make the reception – or even if you can – read up on our collaborative process and the creation of Commons in a recent story on the ArtsPulse blog.

Hope to see you tonight. – Ann