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Kristine Heykants

Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Train Station 2006

Train Station (2006), translucent film (Duratrans)
on light box, 30" x 40"

Artist Statement

Storytelling is my point of entry into photography. My professional training as a photographer took place in graduate school for photojournalism. During my years as a freelance photographer, my clients included local and national newspapers, magazines, graphic design and public relations firms.

I teach Photography and Digital Imaging at Minneapolis Community and Technical College where I encourage students to develop their unique point of view. While technique is an important part of our curriculum, I infuse my classes with activities and assignments that stretch my students creatively. As a result, our two-year program graduates have a solid technical skill base, and at the same time possess a unique and creative portfolio of photographs that sets them apart from their peers.

The two works that have been selected for this year's display are from the Media Stories project, which is a series of staged portraits intended to challenge viewers to evaluate their roles in consuming mass media. I use photography’s unique ability to record a scene with exacting detail while paradoxically recording scenes based in fiction.

Underscoring the artifice of the photographs is the humanity brought to the pictures by the models. Functioning as actors in my scenes, each person brings to the picture a reality grounded in the present, making the pictures layered exercises in ambiguity. Highly saturated colors, carefully controlled lighting, wardrobe and propping combine to create images that make use of the language of commercial photography. Some of the pictures are presented as backlit film mounted on commercial grade light boxes, extending the vernacular of advertising. Other photographs are printed on rag paper or canvas, and framed without glass, in the tradition style of framing a painting.

Additional works on display:

Traveler (2005), archival pigment print on paper, 24" x 24"