THE RED RIVER VALLEY OF THE NORTH is a rich agricultural region that buffers the border between Minnesota and North Dakota. The landscape is so broad and flat, and the descent into the valley so gradual, that, upon arrival, a person has no sensation of being in a valley at all.
In June, 2016, I spent two weeks photographing this region as a guest of the North Dakota Museum of Art’s McCanna House Artist-in-Residence Program. This was a homecoming of sorts; I had lived in Crookston, Minnesota for several years after I graduated from art school. “Invisible Valley” presents a selection from the hundreds of photos I gathered as I explored the region’s towns, fields, and wild places both in the Valley and nearby. The resulting photos reveal my persistent fascination with how people establish their place in the environment. What is being given attention and what is being neglected? What belongs, and what is out-of-place? What is in the front yard, and—more interestingly—what is out back? Behind the subject matter lie my abiding interests in the formal qualities of texture, composition, and light.