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Artist Statement


I make landscape, nature, cultural, and portrait images that evoke a strong emotional response in me. My images are drawn from travel experiences throughout the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and a 12,000-mile motorcycle adventure with my son from Minnesota to Argentina. Photography helps me see and appreciate the world in a fresh way and I love seeing others connect with my work on a personal level.

Photography is a creative force in my life and I especially relish seeing, celebrating, and sharing beauty that I find in humble places. In order to accomplish this, I attempt to enter new situations with my eyes and heart open; I must switch off the world and truly experience the situation I’ve encountered.

At times, I may find value in representing the objective reality in front of me and I’ll operate more in the tradition of fine documentary image making. At other times, I may wish to express a personal response to a subject or idea. My intent when working in the impressionist tradition is to go for the reality and truth that lies beyond the literal – the feelings, passions, caring, moods, or other intangible qualities I experience.

There are times I need to be a craftsman as well. When composing any image I must visually explore whatever grabbed my interest and consider the basic building blocks of visual design – shape, line, texture, color, and perspectives. My underlying desire through-out the process is to be sensitive to the essential structure I’m working with and to show understanding and respect for my subject. I also need skilled use of the camera to support what I’m seeing and to effectively convey a visual message. When operating in the impressionist tradition I may use in-camera multiple exposures, intentional camera motion (ICM), and montages. When working in the digital darkroom, Lightroom 6 for me, my desire is to retain the visual clarity of an image without overly manipulating or making additions in post-processing.

I am a self-taught photographer and currently reside with my wife (Rose) in a 1916 farmhouse with gallery space in a converted barn in Maplewood, Minnesota. I hold a Ph.D. in Education and recently retired as a professor at Bethel University and before that I served as an elementary school teacher and principal. I’m an avid outdoors person, have hiked over half of the Appalachian Trail, lived a tent for over two years, and worked as a muskie fishing guide for seven summers.

Fortunately, my work has been featured in multiple art shows, the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN, multiple galleries throughout the mid-west, in addition to winning numerous awards. My work was also published in the book “Reflections: Finding Beauty in Humble Places” and featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I was also recently selected as a "Portrait Equality Photographer" and “Photographer Without Borders.”

Welcome to my work! Please step in and let the images come to you. Let your mind be still and experience art, people, places, and life.

.Jay Rasmussen Photography, LLC Jay Rasmussen (President)

Rose Gagne (Vice- President)