About/ Artist Statement
Linda Gammell has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions regionally and nationally in museums and in college, non-profit and private galleries.
They include the Evanston Art Center, Illinois; New York University, Nina Bliese Gallery in Minneapolis, Go Gallery at UCLA, Princeton University, the Chicago Cultural Center, For Wayne Museum of Art, Phipps Center for the Arts, Grinnell College, Iowa, Center for Book Arts, NYC, Open Book, and Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
She is the recipient of artist fellowships and grants that include the Bush Artist Fellowship, McKnight Photography Fellowship, Jerome Travel Grant, three Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants, NEA Regional Fellowship, and Barbara Deming Memorial Grant for Women. Gammell’s photographs are in the collections of the Weisman Museum of Art, the Minnesota Historical Society, Walker Art Center, Grand Rapids Museum of Art, the George Eastman House, TIAA-CREF, NYC, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Methodist Hospital (Minneapolis), St Croix Watershed Research Station of the Science Museum of Minnesota, as well as many private collections. Her artist books are in the collections of the University of Minnesota, University of Colorado, Boulder; UCLA, Stanford University, Ringling Brothers School of Art and Design, and the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington, DC. Gammell’s public art commissions include the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Regions Hospital, St. Paul, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Methodist Hospital, Minneapolis, and Anoka Ramsey Community College, Minnesota.
Her artistic practice includes collaborative activities and projects as well. As a founding gallery member of WARM (Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota), one of three prominent national women’s galleries founded in the late 1970’s, her work was included in the retrospective exhibition and book at the Weisman Art Museum in 2006, which acknowledged the collective’s contributions. She is co-collaborator of the Farmer’s Daughters Project, which used art, performance, installation and artist’s books to bring women’s contributions to the growing, production and value and importance of healthy food in our culture. She has taught photography as associate professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, as well as at the Colorado College, St. Olaf College, Hamline University, and the College of Visual Arts in St Paul, Minnesota. She studied journalism and mass communications before earning an MFA at the University of Minnesota.
“There are two eyes in the human head…the eye of mystery and the eye
of harsh truth – the hidden and the open – the woods eye and the prairie eye.
The prairie eye looks for distance, clarity, and light; the woods eye
for closeness, complexity, and darkness.”
Minnesota writer and poet Bill Holm
For two decades I have photographed places that I love and have known since childhood, the dense boreal forests and waters along Lake Superior. In the “Boreal Forests” project I am drawn to the intimacy of nature as experienced in the body, within reach and touch (rather than an overarching view), the subtlety of slow time experienced in cyclical and seasonal change, and in it’s metaphoric resonance. Along in my mental backpack is a chorus of other voices of wisdom and knowledge: poets, naturalists and scientists, writers, such as Minnesota poet Bill Holm. He writes how the eye perceives landscape: “There are two eyes in the human head…the eye of mystery and the eye of harsh truth – the hidden and the open – the woods eye and the prairie eye. The prairie eye looks for distance, clarity, and light; the woods eye for closeness, complexity, and darkness.” In the studio I cull through hundreds of gathered images to reconstruct and reimagine my experience, extending time and space through multiple-paneled photographic pieces. For me they become both factual and imaginative.
My work is an emotional response to the natural world, an experience of time and place that is biological, geological, cyclical, systemically fragile, poetic and hopeful, despite our relentless destructiveness.