Ed Wargin
 

 

ABOUT

 

       | PHILOSOPHY |

Photography as an art form is paradox perfected. It precariously balances the objective of letting one see light in a very unique way, while concealing the details in shadow. It is a nuanced art form; elusive and uncompromising in its own truth. In that photography is much like the Great Lakes themselves.

Nuanced. Uncompromising. Elusive.

With seemingly endless coasts, it will visually surrender to the wanderer only what it wants revealed. In this withholding, we discover its force, and its peace.

This is why I make photographs. This is why I continue in my pursuit to better comprehend our Great Lakes, our Fresh Coast.

 

 

 
 

       | ARTIST STATEMENT |

The Great Lakes landscape as experienced in a post-industrial revolution is the principal theme in my work. Through this, I portray a view of the Great Lakes on both film and digital mediums, during an era when the Great Lakes region seeks balance along the coastal districts that no longer clearly support activities of its own original making; lumber camps, commercial fisheries, mining, navigational lighthouses, and the people who manned these once flourishing industries. 

There is significant transition happening in the Great Lakes, yet in a visual way, it is nearly imperceptible. To make these ideas perceptible in my work, I seek landscapes that are rich in detail, while allowing a spareness of space that opens the photograph to interpretation. My work traverses a figurative dimension that explores both contrasts and parallels as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence, while seeking a dialogue that coincides with two distinct arcs; one of an industrial revolution that formed our Great Lakes heritage, the other being the systematic dissolution of post-modern film and the transition to modern digital mediums as told through the envisaging of the Great Lakes landscape.

 
 
 

       | ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER |

North American Photographer Ed Wargin is one of the Great Lakes’ most respected photographers. Over the course of his career he has specialized in understanding the elusive elements of natural light, applying this knowledge primarily in the genre of narrative fine art photography. Ed Wargin’s photographic works are held in private and public collections worldwide. His works on the Great Lakes have been produced in several award-winning photographic books. 

Born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, he began his photographic career while in high school and university, ultimately having studied under some of the countries most talented fine art, commercial and editorial photographers, while living and working in the western United States for several years before eventually moving back to his Great Lakes home.

Working with both film and digital mediums, Wargin is known as a consummate storyteller of the craft, his photographs presenting each subject in compelling narrative and contemplative aesthetic. 

Over the decades, Ed Wargin has dedicated his career to making photographs of the Great Lakes landscape coastal districts. His work includes extensive studies on the natural Great Lakes landscape, including the vast shorelines, rivers, streams, forests, waterfalls, waves, dunes, and prairies of the region. He includes in this work a continual study of manmade historical facets of the Great Lakes region from lighthouses to remnant commercial fishing villages, to historic forts, historic fishing grounds and cross-sections of the North American cottages, camps, cabins and more. 

 
 
 

HIGHLIGHTS SHORTLIST

 

       | Exhibited WORKS |

Five piece fine art collection purchased for the North American headquarters of the Edwards Vacuum Company in upstate New York. The fine art prints were from The Fresh Coast Project, each print depicting one of the five Great Lakes for each of their five corporate boardrooms.

Twenty-five piece fine art exhibition titled The Lake Michigan Collection found a permanent home at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Twenty-five piece fine art exhibition titled The Lake Michigan Collection selected as a feature exhibit for the Grand Rapids Museum of Art in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Twenty-five piece fine art exhibition titled The Lake Michigan Collection selected as a traveling exhibit sponsored by the Healing Our Waters Organization. This fine art collection exhibited in Washington D.C., Cleveland Ohio, Seattle Washington, Chicago Illinois and Kalamazoo Michigan. 

Twenty piece Ed Wargin photographic retrospective show exhibited at the corporate headquarters of the Campbell-Mithun Ad Agency in Minneapolis. 

Four piece permanent exhibition; The Arts & Healing and Urban Renewal Project - 2011 Children's Hospital of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Twelve piece permanent exhibition; The Arts & Healing and Urban Renewal Project - 2010 Children's Hospital of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Twenty-five piece solo-exhibition titled The Lake Michigan Collection exhibited at Meijer Gardens and Galleries; Grand Rapids. 

Twenty piece solo-exhibition titled Voelker's Pond, A Robert Traver Legacy presented at the Crooked Tree Arts Center, Petoskey Michigan. 


 
THE PHOTOGRAPHY IS SUPERB AND THE ESSAYS OR MEDITATIONS ARE BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN. THIS IS CERTAINLY MORE THEN A COFFEE TABLE BOOK—IT HAS PROVIDED US WITH A SIGNIFICANT LITERARY AND ARTISTIC EXPERIENCE.
— VOELKER'S POND - A ROBERT TRAVER LEGACY, COMMENT FROM A READER; AMAZON
 

       | Published Works |

2013 Fresh Coast - A Great Lakes Tribute, See North Publishers; Digital Coffee Table Book; foreword by Dave Dempsey, photographer Ed Wargin

2006 Lake Michigan-A Photographic Portfolio, Ann Arbor Media Group Publishers; Coffee Table Book; author Ed Wargin, photographer Ed Wargin

2005 Legends of Light-A Photographic Portfolio, Ann Arbor Media Group Publishers; Coffee Table Book; author Ed Wargin, photographer Ed Wargin

2003 Voelker's Pond-A Robert Traver Legacy, Huron River Press Publishers; Coffee Table Book; author James McCullough, photographer Ed Wargin

2000 The Great Lakes Cottage Book, Sleeping Bear Press; Coffee Table Book; author Kathy-jo Wargin, photographer Ed Wargin

1999 Michigan - The Spirit of the Land, Voyageur Press Publishers; Coffee Table Book; author Kathy-jo Wargin, photographer Ed Wargin.

 

       | Awards |

Michigan Notable Book Award-Winner 2006

Great Lakes Bookseller Award Nominee 2004

IPPY Award - Best Regional Nonfiction 2004

Michigan Notable Book Award-Winner 2004

Paddler Magazine; Photograph of the Year Award 2003

Great Lakes Bookseller Award Nominee 2000

A Read Michigan/A Michigan Notable Book Award-Winner 1999

 

       | BRAND EXPERIENCE SHORT LIST |

           The Orvis Company

Woolrich

L.L. Bean, Inc. 

GMC Trucks

Anheuser-Busch

Elephant Red Ale

Pure Michigan

Caterpillar Tractors

Newsweek

National Geographic Traveler

The Boston Globe

HOUR Magazine

Gray's Sporting Journal

Paddler Magazine

Traverse Magazine

Detroit Home Magazine

Blue Magazine

Minnesota Monthly and many more.

 

       | Misc. |

2015: The digital coffee table book Fresh Coast - A Great Lakes Tribute was requested by the EPA to give as a gift to African dignitaries on a recent visit to Tanzania with political officials from the African Great Lakes region, with governments who are involved with sharing and protecting the Lake Tanganyika region. 

2014: The digital coffee table book Fresh Coast - A Great Lakes Tribute was requested by the EPA to give as a gift by the United States Environmental Protection Agency on a recent visit with political officials from South America's Bolivian and Peruvian governments who are involved with sharing and protecting the Lake Titicaca region. 

2013: NBC's Minneapolis KARE 11 Boyd Huppert's Land of 10,000 Stories segment wins Regional Emmy Award for their story on the Fresh Coast Project. 

2012: Michigan dignitaries give the book Legends of Light - A Michigan Lighthouse Portfolio by photographer Ed Wargin as a gift to President Obama on a recent visit to Michigan, the book - we have been informed has become part of the permanent library on Air Force One. 

2012: Featured on NBC's Minneapolis KARE 11 affiliate for Boyd Huppert's Land of 10,000 Stories segment. 

2011: The Guest Speaker at the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

2011: National billboard release, Pure Michigan Tourism Campaign (Mackinac Bridge). 

1995 to 2010; Field Tester, LL Bean Company

2011: Appointment; Visiting Adjunct Professor, Environmental Photography, Western Michigan University; Kalamazoo, Michigan. 

2006: Chosen photographer for the award-winning inaugural Pure Michigan Tourism Campaign, work that was featured in magazine ads nationwide and billboard campaigns that were featured throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Canada.