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‘Ghosts’ Photo Exhibit Opens June 4 at Museum

By Staff | May 29, 2015

Submitted “Rolette County,” a photograph by Sterling “Rip” Smith of Martinsburg, W.Va., is part of the “Ghosts of Hope” photography exhibit opening June 4 at Prairie Village Museum in Rugby.

“Ghosts of Hope,” a photographic exhibit of old and historic farms taken near Rugby, opens with a wine and cheese reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 4, at Prairie Village Museum, Rugby. Photographer and exhibit curator Dan Smith, Rugby, will present a gallery talk at 5:45 p.m.

More than 20 photographers from throughout the United States are featured in the exhibit, which will be on display at the museum through Sept. 8. The opening reception is open to the public free of charge.

The photos are of abandoned farm buildings, churches, homes and other dwellings in the Rugby area captured on film over the past five years by participants in photography workshops led by Tillman Crane of Camden, Maine.

During Crane’s “Spirit of Structure: Abandoned Farms of North Dakota” workshops, participants photograph at least two locations per day around Rugby and Rolette, N.D.

“Each spring some new locations are added and some are lost,” Crane said. Structures range from windowless shells to intact buildings containing personal belongings of long-gone occupants.

Smith, who assists Crane in setting up locations and instructing his North Dakota workshops, mounted the “Ghosts of Hope” exhibit.

“We have had many excellent photographers here each year and the work reflects their talent,” Smith said. “‘Ghosts of Hope’ comes from the idea that these structures are what’s left of the hopes and dreams of those who built them.”

In addition to individual photographs, the exhibit includes photo essays of two iconic sites along Highway 2: Tunbridge Church, taken by Joe Nash of Baltimore, and Oppen Park pastel cabins, taken by Dorothea Eiben of Bar Harbor, Maine.

During the closing reception on Sept. 8, Crane and Nash will present a gallery talk and several photographers with images in the exhibit, who are participating in their first fall photo workshop in the Rugby area, will be in attendance.

The opening reception for “Ghosts of Hope” is sponsored by Friends of Prairie Village Museum; Jennifer Zachmeier Photography, Rugby; and the Rugby Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. For more information on this and other upcoming events, visit prairievillagemuseum.com , call 776-6414, or email prairievillagemuseum@gmail.com.

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