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Fargo City Hall to Host Panel Discussion about Photography


Four area photographers discuss the art of portrait photography.

The City of Fargo will host a panel discussion with four area photographers, who will discuss the role of the portrait, from ancient times to the selfie. The discussion takes as its point of departure the 16 portraits of people, places and things by photographer Dan Koeck in the current exhibit “Parallels” at City Hall.

The discussion will be held on Thursday, June 14, from 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers, Fargo City Hall. Joining Koeck on the panel are photographers Dan Francis, Ann Arbor Miller and Jon Solinger. The artistic practice of each of these artists includes portraiture.

Panel moderator and “Parallels” curator Tania Blanich noted that each photographer captures what documentary photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank said was the one thing the photograph must contain: the humanity of the moment. “These four artists approach portraiture from very different perspectives,” she said, “so it will be interesting to hear their views about why portrait photography has been and is still important, even as it has changed dramatically with the evolution of cell phone and other digital technology.”

The public is invited to come to City Hall early enough to view the Koeck exhibit prior to the discussion.

The 16 works in “Parallels” will be on view through June 30, 2018.

About the Panelists

Dan Francis is a Certified Master Professional Photographer based out of Fargo. He also was a college photography instructor for eight years. He specializes in architecture, interiors, commercial spaces, as well as headshot photography. Francis studied graphic design and photography at Northwest Tech. Since moving into his first studio in 2009, he has been 2010, 2013 and 2015 PPND Photographer of the year and a 6X Kodak Gallery award winner.

A photojournalist, Dan Koeck spent much of his career photographing the North Dakota State University campus for its University Relations Office. He continues to capture local scenes and events for The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters News Service. His photographs can be found in the permanent collections of the museums and corporations throughout the region.

Ann Arbor Miller, based in Fargo, specializes in editorial, education and commercial photography and writing assignments. She worked at The Forum from 2002-2006 and 2007-2009. Her work has been recognized by Pictures of the Year International, the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists and others. Miller earned a master’s degree in visual communication for Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication, after earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana.

Jon Solinger has exhibited regionally, including the North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks; Rourke Art Museum, Moorhead; Plains Art Museum, Fargo; and galleries in Minneapolis, Fargo and Fergus Falls, Minn. In 2000, the North Dakota Museum of Art commissioned him to photograph the shelterbelts on the Red River Valley’s agricultural lands. Solinger received his bachelor’s degree in art with a photography emphasis from Minnesota State University Moorhead. He resides in Lida Township, Otter Tail County, Minn., maintaining a studio there and working as the third-generation owner of Solinger’s Resort on Lake Lida.

This is a program of the City of Fargo’s Arts & Culture Commission. The Commission, established in 2015, explores and promotes the intersection between art, creative place making and community, as well as the role and installation of public art. Since 2016, the Commission has supported the curation of visual art exhibits installed in the hallway between the City Commission chambers and the City Commission offices.