photography exhibition MMAM looks back on last year | Culture & Leisure

“Eric Mueller: Reset 2021” is now open through May 1, 2022 at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) in Winona. During the shutdowns, quarantines and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minneapolis-based artist Eric Mueller created one photograph a day to address the events of 2020 and 2021. “Reset 2021” looks back on the ups and downs of a trying year as Mueller navigates the world around him.

Eric Mueller is a photographer, filmmaker and teacher known for his graphic style and compositional strength. His photographs have been exhibited in dozens of group exhibitions, including Plains Art Museum, Devos Art Museum, Midwest Center for Photography, Head On Photo Festival, Southeast Center for Photography, and Columbus Museum of Art.

Much of the exhibit focuses on the cityscape, particularly the lakes and parks of the Twin Cities, as Mueller navigates life in a pandemic. Fifty-two images were selected for the exhibit, out of 365 taken to fill the year, and reflect the changing seasons in Minnesota. From the freezing days of January to ice skating on Lake of the Islands, kayaking on Lake Harriet in June, and the splendor of the State Fair in September (through the lens of a mini donut), “Reset 2021” gives you a powerful, and often humorous, overview of the past year.

“I hardly took any photos in 2020; my artistic practice seemed inconsequential to everything that was going on,” says Mueller. “Forcing myself to create an image every day helped me find my balance. It showed me that even though I can’t control the world, I can take charge of a small piece of it, one photo at a time.

MMAM visitors have the chance to be part of the exhibition. A prompt in the gallery asks visitors to share photos that show how they take time to reset, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally. Submitted photos will be included in a slideshow in the exhibition. More information can be found at www.mmam.org/eric-mueller.

Tracey L. Sweeney