Most Americans walk around with multi-megapixel cameras in their pockets. It’s easier than ever to take a good photograph and show it to thousands of people.

Nonetheless, to see great photography, printed and framed and curated onto gallery walls, is a unique, special and uncommon experience in the era of Instagram, said Jeff Harrington, owner and director of the Mpls Photo Center, one of several photography galleries around the Twin Cities.

“We’re only seeing them on social media, and we’re seeing them very small on small screens,” Harrington said. Exhibits, on the other hand, give photographs the chance to mix and interact.

“You walk in and you’re enveloped by the power of the images, the presentation, which is often very thoughtful.”

Local, national and international photographers’ work is constantly cycling through the metropolitan area’s exhibits. The Photo Center, for instance, this month begins its Not Accepted show, highlighting 60 works among the hundreds not accepted by the Minneapolis State Fair this year.

Exhibits at the center in northeast Minneapolis are free and open to the public six days a week and cover every variety and genre of photography, including street and collage, Harrington said.

Outside of its exhibits, the center offers classes, studio space, a darkroom, a computer lab and printing services for photographers at every skill level. It also often holds calls for entry for juried shows that anyone can take a stab at.

“You can do everything here photographically,” Harrington said.

Across the city, off of Lyndale Avenue, the Weinstein Hammons Gallery displays a roster of internationally known photographers such as Cass Bird and Robert Mapplethorpe. Its exhibits are also free.

On exhibit now is a mix from several of the artists. The gallery on Oct. 18 is set to open “Volta Photo,” a showing of several dozen black-and-white studio portraits by Burkina Faso photographer Sanle Sory from the 1960s to the ‘80s.

The images capture their subjects’ escapes from daily life in a rapidly changing, flourishing and postcolonial country, according to a news release from the gallery.

“Photography is a witness to everything, a kind of proof of life,” Sory once wrote.

Other galleries showing photography in include the Praxis Photo Arts Center and Minneapolis Institute of Art, both in Minneapolis.

Much like the Mpls Photo Center, Praxis also offers print services, workshops and calls for entry.

Submissions for its “After Dark” exhibit of night photography are due by Sept. 30, according to its website. “The Found Object,” a call for entry focused on still-life shots of all manner of objects, are due Oct. 30.

Community editor

Dan Holtmeyer is the community editor for the Prior Lake and Savage papers. He grew up in Nebraska and worked as a journalist in Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas before coming to Minnesota in 2018.


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