For the past 30 years, the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Photographers program has supported the work of mid-career Minnesota artists, both to recognize their accomplishments and to assist ongoing work. The fellowship provides four annual awards which include a $25,000 stipend, visits with nationally and internationally recognized curators and critics, and the production of a monograph artist book or catalog. mnartists.org has hosted and managed the fellowship for the past five years, working with a total of 20 mid-career photographers.
The 2012-2013 McKnight Artist Fellows include an accomplished group of contemporary photographers selected by jurors Kevin Moore, an independent scholar and curator; Lisa Sutcliffe, a former Assistant Curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and current Curator of Photography at the Milwaukee Art Museum; and San Francisco artist, Todd Hido. The fellows worked closely with the McKnight Photography Fellowship staff and Minneapolis publisher Location Books to produce four distinct monographs. The completed books are published in a limited edition of 100 copies, and they represent the distinct bodies of work made by each fellow. Each book includes an introductory essay on the artist’s work written by independent curator Charlotte Cotton. Below is a preview of the newly published catalogs: see a sampling of each fellow’s images, read excerpts from the essays. We encourage you to download a copy of each through iTunes if you’d like to read more.
Ackerman’s work has been recognized by the Inge Morath Award, Review Santa Fe/CENTER, Magnum Expression Award, the Honickman First Book Prize, Communication Arts Photography Annual and others. One of her projects, Trapped, was named Non-Traditional Photojournalism Publishing Project of the Year, and the project’s short film won an Emmy. Ackerman studied photography at the Danish School of Journalism, and received a master’s degree in visual communications from Ohio University. During the fellowship year Ackerman continued working on her project, Frozen, shooting with a 4×5 camera in the rural areas of Northern Minnesota.
From the introductory essay by Charlotte Cotton for the book, Frozen:
Jenn Ackerman moved to Minnesota three years ago, and it is perhaps not surprising that her first mature body of work created here would engage with one of the defining characteristics of this state. In her series, Frozen, Ackerman responds to the unique visual drama of winter weather. She gathers a series of scenes and encounters in northern Minnesota, seen through the eyes of a newly arrived photographer, each conveying a graphic sense of the infinite terrain that the ice and snow create in the winter months. There are solitary structures and vehicles that she finds in remote places — almost comical and anthropomorphic, resilient and even optimistic in their ability to endure these harsh winters, disconnected from regular fall or spring time use.
Fullerton is a 2010-11 Jerome Emerging Artist Fellow whose work has been included in 22 solo and group exhibitions in Portland, Seattle, Milwaukee, Santa Fe, the Twin Cities and Paris. Fullerton grew up in Lake Tahoe, California, completed a Master’s in Education (1996) in Portland, Oregon, and a Master’s in Fine Art (2008) from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Fullerton traveled to both Molokai and Hawaii during her fellowship year, where she created photographic and video portraits of veterans for her project, The Return.
From the introduction to Before Eros/After War:
Fullerton often takes an observation and something that is, for her, an emotional point of pressure, and thinks through how a photographic strategy can reveal the contradictions and hidden narratives of contemporary life. There are a number of facets to Teri Fullerton’s photographic practice, which all centre upon the human condition of loneliness and the quest for a feeling of homecoming. This is absolutely explicit in Fullerton’s ongoing series of photographs, which portray American military veterans.
But Fullerton also introduces her own interventions into this mediated system of desire, creating an artful gallery of ‘fantasy boyfriends’, reworking the iconography of heterosexual male desirability that the Internet now provides, reminding us of the deep-seated desires that we project so naturally upon online photographic imagery.
Pearson has exhibited his photography and drawing both nationally and internationally and is the recipient of the Jerome Foundation Travel and Research Grant (2011), Djerassi Resident Artists Program Residency (2008), The Cooper Union School of Art Residency (2007) and the Anderson Ranch Arts Center Residency Program (2007–08). His work is in a number of private collections as well as the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL. Pearson was born and raised in Minnesota. He holds a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2002) and an MFA from Syracuse University (2007), both in photography. During his fellowship, Pearson traveled to Playa del Carmen where he staged photographs that function in tandem with a cache of images co-created with his twin brother for his project, No Kissing.
Cotton, on No Kissing:
Jason Pearson, in collaboration with his brother, has been creating a cache of photographic imagery. They construct a visual language of shared memories, notes, and proclamations that collectively provide an idiosyncratic glimpse into their histories and experiences. Their photographs act as a set of codes and signifiers of imagined events, games and desires. Jason Pearson has an eye for the visually strange and contradictory, and this is the overarching characteristic of all of the photographs shown here.
Turczan’s work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. She was a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and 2010 Fulbright Fellow and has travelled extensively in Eastern Europe, making photographs which reflect the changes in the former Soviet Union. For her fellowship year, Turczan returned to Dneprodzerzhinsk, where she photographed the impact of social upheaval on the lives of young women in her project, Breshnev’s Daughters.
From Cotton’s essay on Breshnev’s Daughters:
Katherine Turczan uses a slow camera, the 8” x 10” large-format camera, positioned on a tripod, and that determines the gentle scrutiny that she gives her subjects. Working in the women’s domestic spaces, with their distinct patterned carpets, wallpapers, paintings, and elegant displays of flowers, Turczan provides a sense of safety and respect in these photographic encounters with her use of black-and-white photography. The delicacy in the play of light, of finely detailed fabrics, the women’s hair and skin are all palpably present in these monochrome scenes.
Complete catalogs, with full essays by Charlotte Cotton on these fellows’ projects, are available for download on iTunes.