FARGO — Work from almost 100 photographers is set to be joined together in public displays of perspectives fastened together by chain-link fences later this month around Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo.

“Photography for me is not so much an effort to freeze or capture a fleeting moment, as much as it is to celebrate that moment,” says author, Concordia College educator and photographer W. Scott Olsen, about “Scenes from a Moving Window,” his submission included on the Photoville FENCE.

By exploring the themes of people, streets, play, creatures, home, food, and nature, the FENCE offers an understanding of the world-at-large and issues close to home.

“Tumulus” by Chris Mortenson explores the Mesabi Range in Minnesota in a visual investigation of the human-altered landscape. Photo by Chris Mortenson / Courtesy of Photoville / Special to The Forum
“Tumulus” by Chris Mortenson explores the Mesabi Range in Minnesota in a visual investigation of the human-altered landscape. Photo by Chris Mortenson / Courtesy of Photoville / Special to The Forum

Seven photographers from the region were selected to be featured on the FENCE set to be installed later this month at the Scheels Soccer Complex in West Fargo, Rheault Farm in Fargo and the Minnesota State University Moorhead football field.

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Arranging the local arrival of the public exhibition, The Arts Partnership worked with sponsor 702 Communications and the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau to bring a wide range of photographic stories to the area.

The project was also coordinated in conjunction with the Fargo and West Fargo park districts as well as MSUM.

“Working Land” by Jon Solinger unearths the meaning behind a rural landscape and explores how human labor transforms the land and shapes the life of the worker. Photo by Jon Solinger / Courtesy of Photoville / Special to The Forum
“Working Land” by Jon Solinger unearths the meaning behind a rural landscape and explores how human labor transforms the land and shapes the life of the worker. Photo by Jon Solinger / Courtesy of Photoville / Special to The Forum

In addition to three outdoor locations throughout the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo community, the ninth edition of the FENCE will also be displayed in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Calgary, Denver, Durham, N.C., Houston, New Orleans, Sarasota, Fla., Seattle and Winchester, Va.

The regional photographers selected by a jury of local experts for the project include Char-Marie Flood, Chris Mortenson, Jack Dura, Jon Solinger, Monika Lawrence, Shane Balkowitsch and Olsen.

“COVID-19 Social Isolation Wet Plate Series” by Shane Balkowitsch goes against the grain of modern digital photography and makes use of pre-film wet plate photography for a look at a modern era. Photo by Shane Balkowitsch / Courtesy of Photoville / Special to The Forum
“COVID-19 Social Isolation Wet Plate Series” by Shane Balkowitsch goes against the grain of modern digital photography and makes use of pre-film wet plate photography for a look at a modern era. Photo by Shane Balkowitsch / Courtesy of Photoville / Special to The Forum

Based in Bismarck, Balkowitsch works in wet plate photography, an old form of the craft that makes use of chemicals and a wood box camera. His “COVID-19 Social Isolation” series is featured on the FENCE.

“They haunt me until I get them. I’ve got ideas in my head right now for images and they won't go anywhere until I chase them,” Balkowitsch says.

“Ojibwe Heart” by Monika Lawrence explores the intergenerational community effort to keep the heart of the Ojibwe culture beating. Photo by Monika Lawrence / Courtesy of Photoville / Special to The Forum
“Ojibwe Heart” by Monika Lawrence explores the intergenerational community effort to keep the heart of the Ojibwe culture beating. Photo by Monika Lawrence / Courtesy of Photoville / Special to The Forum

Monika Lawrence, a photojournalism professor at Bemidji State University and freelance photographer for Minnesota Public Radio News, highlights the traditions of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa in northern Minnesota in her series “Ojibwe Heartbeat.”

“I did this series when I was on assignment for MPR so I tried to reflect what I experienced, what I saw happening in front of me as objectively as I could,” Lawrence says about the intergenerational exploration of the tribe through a friendly game of lacrosse.

“Trees of Winter” is a documentation of photographer Char-Marie Flood’s first experience with a North Dakota winter when she moved to the area 20 years ago. Her reverent approach to photography still translates into the work she produces today. Photo by Char-Marie Flood / Courtesy of Photoville / Special to The Forum
“Trees of Winter” is a documentation of photographer Char-Marie Flood’s first experience with a North Dakota winter when she moved to the area 20 years ago. Her reverent approach to photography still translates into the work she produces today. Photo by Char-Marie Flood / Courtesy of Photoville / Special to The Forum

Documenting her first experience with a North Dakota winter after she moved to the area 20 years ago, Char-Marie Flood’s “Trees of Winter” is an act of worship.

“I feel blessed that I have been given eyes that see. I just want to shine a light on the amazing detail and love that I see in creation,” Flood says.

“North Dakota” by Jack Dura is a result of the photographer's travels through the state looking at simple scenery of the prairie, including rural churches, sinuous rivers and the waving grass that sits under endless sky. Photo by Jack Dura / Courtesy of Photoville / Special to The Forum
“North Dakota” by Jack Dura is a result of the photographer's travels through the state looking at simple scenery of the prairie, including rural churches, sinuous rivers and the waving grass that sits under endless sky. Photo by Jack Dura / Courtesy of Photoville / Special to The Forum

Working as a reporter for the Bismarck Tribune newspaper, Jack Dura documents his travels around North Dakota through his landscape photos, highlighting his travels to all 52 counties in the state.

“Photography translates in Latin to 'writing with light,' which I think that comes back again to the whole kind of documentarian aspect of photography for me,” says Dura, remembering the wise words of his photography professor Ross Collins at North Dakota State University.

With local and national perspectives coming together in public places throughout Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo, the FENCE will go on display at the end of October and remain up until December.

Find out more about where to find each FMWF Metro FENCE location at theartspartnership.net/photoville-fence/.

Visit fence.photoville.com/category/metro/ to view more from the regional photographers.

This article is part of a content partnership with The Arts Partnership, a nonprofit organization cultivating the arts in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo. For more information, visit http://theartspartnership.net.