Written by Zach Zins
Her mind froze scenes as solidly as the Minnesota northwoods winters froze your bones. As a little girl bouncing in the passenger seat of Daddy’s big truck, snapshots of the woods, deer, wheelbarrows, neighbors, and the sky went from 50 mph to 0 mph in 0.00 seconds--and lingered there while the rest of the road went hurtling on unnoticed until the next shutter click.

But she wasn’t much for showing others what her mind was freezing until she picked up a camera. “My, oh my,” she thought. “This oughtta do just fine.” Her gift had found the perfect vehicle, and she and they roared off to the
University of Minnesota to find what was to be found, what was to be shown, and what was to be known in a land where one in a thousand is known—if you’re lucky. Or good.

After two legendary shows at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, numerous one-woman shows teetering on the cusp of guerilla art, and city-wide recognition as the local vanguard of hypermodern photography, Melissa Venné’s work is indeed good. Or better than that. It can now be appreciated in downtown corporate offices, Ache magazine, an internet gallery, the homes of
St. Paul’s East Side, and everywhere those with good taste are.

Keep your aesthetics on the lookout for Melissa’s community darkroom and impending summit with Lee Friedlander.