Arts advocate Patrick Moore of Montevideo was inspired by Nicole Zempel’s nature photography currently on display at the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council’s gallery in Marshall.

Zempel’s up-close photographs of mushrooms, lichen, moss, and slime mold blend science and art in a way that is both familiar and otherworldly.

“I just kind of get blown away by these photos,” said Moore. “I can’t believe that these are real, that this is something that you will find within 10 miles of my house. She has an exceptional eye.”

A closeup shot of slime mold spores taken by Nicole Zempel.

A close-up shot of slime mold spores taken by Nicole Zempel.

Courtesy of Nicole Zempel | Southwest Minnesota Arts Council

The exhibit runs through June 25, with a virtual tour available on YouTube.


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As a manager of the Prairie Island Campground in Winona, Minn., Jamie Schell often directs guests to the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in town. The museum’s current photography exhibition, entitled Tony Duran: California, departs from the museum’s water-inspired artwork, but there’s another connection. Tony Duran is a Winona native who has forged a career photographing celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone and Beyoncé. The exhibit includes those portraits and dozens of others.

“I started thinking of Tony as an old-time mariner,” Schell said, reflecting on the exhibit’s landing at the Marine Art Museum. “They would go out into the world, see all these amazing, unbelievable things, then come home and probably have a hard time actually explaining them to folks.”

Duran dedicated the exhibit, which runs through April 25, to his mother, who lives in town.


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