I love pretty much any kind of editorial assignment. That said, any assignment involving politics, politicians and voters ranks high among my favorites. Last week I photographed the Republican caucus in Moorhead, Minn., for Minnesota Public Radio News. A few days later I heard GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum planned a campaign stop in Fargo. It seemed to make sense to stop by to photograph the event. Apparently, hundreds of other people had the same idea. Local media reports pegged attendance at last night’s rally at 1,000 or more. Enjoy the photographs and thanks for stopping by. – Ann

P.S. Earlier this year I shared my 12 Creative Goals for 2012, which included a mandate to shoot at least six self-assignments [so those I assigned myself]. I’m counting my photographic efforts at Mr. Santorum’s rally as self-assignment No. 1.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

Rick Santorum rally in Fargo, N.D.

 

Mother Nature recently treated much of North Dakota and portions of northwestern Minnesota to several days of hoar frost. I poked around my backyard [literally] with my cell phone camera one morning. And, ventured around the block [literally] with my 5D another day. Oh, then I made a few photographs in downtown Fargo before a visit to the Plains Art Museum. Enjoy! – Ann

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

Photograph of Hoar Frost in Fargo, North Dakota

vermin.me 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

vermin.me at Plains Art Museum

vermin.me 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

Rep. Rick Berg's Town Hall Meeting In Fargo, North Dakota

North Dakota Republican Rep. Rick Berg held his sixth town hall meeting in recent weeks. Last night’s gathering, which attracted more than 100 folk, was at Longfellow Elementary School in north Fargo.

I stopped in for a bit. The meeting was – sort of – on the way to my office from another self assignment. I was curious to see how many people turned out and what they had to say [which was a lot and with strong opinion]. And, if I’m going to be honest with myself and you, I absolutely love photographing people in this community. It’s something I wish I could do more often.

The lack of a market, media outlet and what feels to me to be a general lack of interest in photographs of everyday people from this part of the world bothers me. Yes, we can count on national coverage for each and every flood event, but the aftermath draws little attention. [Really, what is going on in Minot?!] Oh, and yes we can bank on a few articles about western North Dakota’s oil boom and how we’re all so much better off economically than the rest of the country. I’d ask forgiveness for my frustration, but I continue to miss some pieces of my former life as a newspaper photographer/reporter.

Anyway, my commitment to myself – and to you since you are still reading – is to pursue more self assignments on a consistent basis. I’m open to ideas and requests.

Now, back to the photographs from last night. Enjoy! – Ann

Rep. Rick Berg's Town Hall Meeting In Fargo, North Dakota

Rep. Rick Berg's Town Hall Meeting In Fargo, North Dakota

Rep. Rick Berg's Town Hall Meeting In Fargo, North Dakota

Rep. Rick Berg's Town Hall Meeting In Fargo, North Dakota

Rep. Rick Berg's Town Hall Meeting In Fargo, North Dakota

Rep. Rick Berg's Town Hall Meeting In Fargo, North Dakota