This is a Big *! *! Deal
That well publicized comment by our countries Vice President has been in the news lately and it seemed to fit as a lead into this report. Two photographers from Hastings have made news that I think is a “ big deal.”
One “Big Deal” involves the annual IPPY awards given nationally to independent book publishers for outstanding work. (The IP obviously stands for Independent Publishers, but the PY is a mystery. The web site doesn’t explain the meaning—but I digress.)
This year a IPPY was awarded to Jorn Olsen for his coffee table book “Across a Wild Horizon”. Jorn, by my calculation, has only been involved in professional photography for about 10 years. In that short time he has established himself as one of the premier landscape photographers in the country. His work has been published in numerous magazines and books around the world. He frequently is featured in Nebraska Life magazine, which is known for its great images of Nebraska. He markets prints of his photography from his studio in downtown Hastings and by attending numerous art festivals throughout the region. He also has a dynamic web site at jornolsen.com. Check it out. You’ll find a visual banquet.
Jorn’s work is at a level that few photographers achieve. There are many aspects needed to take good photos. You must have (1) Good equipment – lens and mega pixels. (2) Experience – you get there from shooting thousands of shots. (3) Work ethic – get up before dawn and work late into the evening. (4) Patience – waiting for the perfect moment. (5) Good fortune – you can’t control Mother Nature or the animals that won’t pose.
However, the thing that separates the good from the great is the aspect that an artist brings to the equation. Some of us have an artistic eye, but those that see with 20/20 vision are not that common. Jorn has that special artist’s vision.
The other “big deal” by a local photographer, involved Todd Brown. His work was recently added to the personal collection of Robert and Karen Duncan of Lincoln. The big deal level is reached because of the scrutiny that each acquisition is given before it is purchased. Numerous art historians consider the Duncan collection to be world class. It includes 1500 pieces from all over the world and Glen Brown, a professor of art history and department head at Kansas State says about the collection,” It has representations of some of the most important sculpture of the 20th and 21st centuries.” The Duncan Collection includes paintings and photography that rates at the same level as the sculpture.
Duncan has engaged the help of Anne Pagel, who serves as their curatorial assistant. Her expertise and knowledge of Nebraska artists is the result of her experience as the Director of the Hayden Gallery in Lincoln, project director of the Lincoln Arts Council and art editor for a Nebraska newspaper. With her advice and that of Larry Roots, an accomplished artist and gallery owner, the Duncan’s added Todd’s work to their home.
Todd’s photography has been enlarged to 5 ½ X13 feet, so the size alone requires consideration and needs the right spot, so it can be properly viewed and enjoyed. His photo has joined the company of well-known artists like Jun Kaneko, Georgia O’Keeffe, Leiko Ikemuro, Deborah Butterfield, Niki de Saint Phalles and Robert Weaver.
These “Big Deals” are just steps along the way for two local artists who keep improving and helping us all to see the world in new ways.
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