Marlene Wisuri

50 Years: A Retrospective Exhibit

As the 50th anniversary of my involvement with photography was approaching, I entertained the idea of doing a retrospective exhibition of some of my work from that 50 year timespan. Then COVID hit and made an in-person exhibit impossible. A virtual exhibit seemed the best way to present an overview of work.

Where it all began...

In 1972, when I talked my way into a photography class taught by Sister Noemi Weygant at my alma mater, the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, I had no idea how drastically my life would be changed. Sr. Noemi was by that time a well-known nature photographer who had published books and was an inspired and enthusiastic teacher. Following two years of study with Sr. Noemi, I was led to a career in teaching, receiving M.A. and M.F.A. degrees, maintaining an active exhibition schedule, and becoming involved in book publication.

My creative work has led me down numerous artistic pathways over the years. I began by photographing things close at hand in black and white film. Always working in series, I began using infra-red film, Polaroid, Cibachrome color prints and other non-silver materials including found image collages, textiles, and origami. Most recently I have been working with manipulated digital images. The technology and techniques have changed over the years, but my subject matter has usually been concerned with the beauty and the elements of poetry and mystery inherent in the commonplace and close at hand becoming revealed and a cause for delight.

My goals in presenting this exhibit are threefold. I am presenting a sampling of my work for, I hope, the enjoyment of family, friends, former students, and other interested folk–especially my grandchildren who have seen little of this work. These last 50 years have seen tremendous changes in photography as it moved from silver based, mostly black and white imagery, to the digital age. My work mirrors those changes, so I hope to be able to educate viewers about some of this history and provide links for further study. And lastly, I want to emphasize that there are no age limits to creativity–the creative spirit can be pursued throughout an entire lifetime – it is as satisfying at 82 as it was at 32.

Sister Noemi Weygant
Sister Noemi Weygant

Minnesota State Arts Board Support

Marlene Wisuri is a fiscal year 2022 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Minnesota State Arts Board