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The Art of Labor: Working for a Living

Photographers are displaying photos from Lund Boats in New York Mills as part of the art exhibit. Photo by Rebecca Zenefski1 / 2
Joseph Theroux is showing paintings depicting the art of labor in a new exhibition at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. Submitted photo2 / 2

The Art of Labor, an exhibit in the Gallery at the Cultural Center in New York Mills, runs through Oct. 8.

The exhibition highlights the work of Joseph Theroux, a painter originally from Wadena, who now lives in Minneapolis. His paintings explore the relationship between humans and their work. Theroux creates iconic portraits of ordinary workers, using light and symbolism to portray the sacredness of labor.

Of his work, Theroux says, "From the urban landscape to the natural world I study the complex beauty inherent in the places and people that surround me. I take pleasure in exploring familiar concepts and connections we share through our experiences, our contact with one another and the earth we inhabit."

Featured in contrast to Theroux's paintings are photographs taken by four photographer - two professionals and two students - of laborers working in the Lund boat factory in New York Mills.

Rebecca Zenefski is a professional photographer based in the hustle and bustle that is the Twin Cities. A Minnesota metro native, she launched By Rebecca Studios in the very place she knows and loves. Over the past six years she has been lucky enough to photograph over 50 weddings, more than 25 commencement ceremonies, and countless moments with over 275 clients.

Since moving to Fargo, North Dakota in 2002, Meg Luther Lindholm, a documentary photographer, has worked as a freelance radio producer for Prairie Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. She also produces photo documentary projects using visuals, text and sound to explore how social, cultural and political issues impact individuals.

Through his years working in art, Caleb Vinton, a student photographer, never expected photography to pan out for him. He has always doodled in his notebook - he has written a poem or two - but Vinton's knack for photography eluded him. While in high school, his teachers helped him hone his skills and always Vinton's art projects were on his mind.

Jenna Braseth, a student photographer from Lake Park, is a senior in high school and a member of the Lakes Area Photography Club. She dove into photography four years ago by entering photos in the 4-H competition at the Becker County Fair. In 2015 and 2016 she won first place in the youth division of the Lakes Area Photography Show.

The four photographers captured their images on a visit to the Lund factory together in July. This is the first time that the Cultural Center has curated and produced its own artwork to be shown in its gallery rather than hosting others' exhibits. The Center is grateful for the opportunity to portray the Lund Boats production process and laborers at work in an artistic way. Many people know New York Mills as the home of Lund Boats and the Cultural Center, so this partnership is a salute to these two seemingly diverse entities celebrating a shared story.

A reception for the exhibit is Thursday, Sept. 22 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday's reception will include live music from local artists. Brats and bean will be available at the reception for a suggested donation of $5.

All exhibitions at the Cultural Center are free to see and open to all. The Gallery is open Wednesdays and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m (closed Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays). For more information, call the Cultural Center at (218) 385-3339 or visit the Center's website at www.kulcher.org.

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