Art Gallery

The James Wegner Art Gallery provides an educational experience to students and the community by featuring exhibitions from regional, national, and international artists working in a variety of media.  

The gallery is located in the Austin East building just to the left of the Frank W. Bridges Theatre lobby. Gallery hours vary each semester. Please call 507-433-0600 for current information.

Visioning Rural Iowa Through the Documentary Tradition

Kristine Heykants

The photographs in this exhibit are selected from Heykants’ seven-year-long photographic documentary project on her father’s hometown, Belmond Iowa. Uprooted is a portrait of the town in the early 21st century created through examination of roles played by people from all walks of life.

October 11 - November 22
Gallery open hours:  Monday - Friday 10 a.m - 6 p.m  

Kristin Heykants' Artist Talk | Zoom 

Kristine Heykants – Artist Statement

The photographs on display are from a long-term documentary project about the rural farming community of Belmond, Iowa (population 2300), where my father grew up on a small family farm. Arising from a desire to reconnect with my extended family and to know the Belmond of today, I spent seven years visiting and photographing the town, countryside and people who live there.

I use the project name Uprooted as a metaphor for sense of place– of migration due to economic, political or personal circumstances; for people leaving behind a dangerous or impoverished land.

I make use of archetypes as a framework for describing the community. By photographing people in a straight-forward manner with natural-looking light, I seek to let the subjects’ presence within their environments speak for who they are. I am interested especially in connecting what has gone before to what exists today.

I aim to create insight surrounding the challenges of positive human connection, particularly at a time when the perspective of city dwellers is at odds with those living in the country; while shedding light on the paradoxes, complexities and social realities of rural Midwestern life.

Images were created on 4x5 film and digital capture.

Domonique Venzant

Domonique Venzant

Art Instructor