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Dance, Drama, Literature, Music, Visual and Traditional Arts
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Walter Piehl Painting
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Featured Artist Works Displayed in the Offices of the Governor

October, November and December 2009 - Chuck Kimmerle (Grand Forks)

Photo of Chuck KimmerleChuck Kimmerle, born and raised in Minnesota, has been a photographer for more than 20 years. His career began as a photojournalist working at newspapers in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and North Dakota, followed by his current position as staff photographer at the University of North Dakota, a position he has held since 2000.

During this career span, his work has been recognized both locally and nationally. While a photojournalist he was named photographer of year in both Minnesota and in North Dakota. He, along with fellow photo staff members at the Grand Forks Herald, was honored as a finalist for the spot news Pulitzer Prize in 1998 and, as a university photographer, was named university photographer of the year four times in five years.

His personal work, black and white landscapes of the northern plains, is an almost 180-turnabout from that produced by his day job. These landscapes, devoid of people but not their presence, has been well received both within and outside of the photographic community. This work has been published in international photographic periodicals as Lenswork, B&W, and Shutterbug. Locally, a 51-print exhibit of his work was displayed at the North Dakota Museum of Art for nine weeks during July and August of this year.

The Unapologetic Landscape - The landscapes of the northern plains are, like its inhabitants, reticent and unassuming, lacking the visual grandiosity and splendor that adorn much of the rest of the country. As such, it is a land more often driven through at highway speeds than visited as a destination. This area has, however, subtle and unique virtues not easily understood or appreciated through car windows speeding past at 70 mph. Even lifelong residents often struggle to see the visual merits from the land on which they live. Yet, these elements do exist, surrounding us every day if we would only take the time to look.

The project, which consists exclusively of black and white prints, explores the unique features, both agricultural and natural, which adorn the northern plains of North Dakota and western Minnesota, giving the place the aesthetic value and unique personality, so easily overlooked. The project title came about when a fellow photographer mentioned that she felt my photos were “almost apologizing” for the North Dakota landscape. I was a bit taken aback by such a statement as, if anything, I felt the utmost respect for this area…. unapologetic, in fact. I look at this series of photographs not as traditional landscapes, but rather as PORTRAITS of the elements that make up the greater landscape. Most of my images have a very strong and identifiable central object.

To contact Chuck, mail correspondence to: Chuck Kimmerle, 1623 1st Ave N, Grand Forks, ND 58203; e-mail; or visit for more information.

Chuck Kimmerle images
Photo titled Devils Lake
Photo titled Shelter Belt
"Devil's Lake"
"Shelter Belt"
Photo titled Central North Dakota
Photo titled Winter
"Central North Dakota"
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