Guest Artist: Minnetta Heidbrink

Sometimes passion surprises even the creator.

One day, this month’s Alliance Art Gallery guest artist Minnetta Heidbrink found herself literally stunned into photography when she visited the Valley of Fire in Nevada. Yes, of course, like every other American, she had point-and-shot hundreds of pictures: family, vacations, flowers. But now, the camera became a source of creativity. On that day, the brilliant orange glowing stones, the dusky sage, the brilliant blue sky with clouds texturing her newfound world, she began to click, and click, and click. Soon she hungered for wilderness. “That got me to travel.” Canada. North America. Mountain climbing. Though she had traveled to China, Japan, and other places, those were pre-passion moments.

She moved up from point-and-shoot to today’s Nikon D800 with its full frame features, and a Luminex for its light weight portability. Photography, for her, has become a form of fine art. In today’s world, with a camera embedded in every phone, and people snapping scenes at fast-food speed, she relishes digitally enhancing her images. “People do not want straight-up photography. They say to themselves, ‘I can take that picture.’”

Minnetta pushes herself to find the deeper expression of the image, connecting the emotional impact she experienced when photographing the image to her enhancement techniques. In some strange way, the photograph becomes so much more than a recorded image; it becomes an expression of beauty or nostalgia or quietness.

Recently she began harvesting gray slate shingles from old New Orleans homes, adhering her images to them. To see pink lupines from a mountain meadow against the slate draws the viewer right into being on a granite-topped mountain. The effect of photography and stone does not stop in the wilderness. Old New Orleans homes, scenes from downtown Hannibal couple with the slate to take you back in time, to quietly be in and with the image she has so beautifully captured.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday June 10 from 5 until 8:00.