The Great Lakes Film Collection

Methodology

I work with film because it requires a thoughtful, disciplined, and artful approach to making a photograph; these deliberate considerations allow me to form a deeper, more meaningful connection with the landscape.
— Photographer Ed Wargin
 
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  About the Artist

North American Photographer Ed Wargin ( 1963 -  ) is one of the Great Lakes’ most dedicated photographers. In 1987 he founded The Fresh Coast Project. Working almost exclusively with film, his preferred photographic medium, Wargin is known as a consummate storyteller; his photographs present each subject in compelling narrative and contemplative aesthetic. Wargin's print works are held in private, corporate, and public collections worldwide, and his work on the Great Lakes has been produced in several award-winning photographic books.

Originally from Minnesota, he began his photographic career in high school and continued into university, whereafter he went on to work and study under some of North America's most talented fine art, commercial and editorial photographers. He then went on to establish a successful commercial and editorial career while developing his craft as a fine art photographer dedicated to making photographs of the American and Canadian Great Lakes Coastal Districts. 

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While there have been numerous media stories on the Fresh Coast Project and the work of Ed Wargin throughout the decades, we believe that this Emmy-Winning story by Boyd Huppert for KARE 11 News in Minneapolis, represents the true spirit of Ed Wargin’s film work.


NBC and KARE 11 presents 

Exhibited Works & Collections

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. 


Fresh Coast: More Than Just A Catch Phrase:

When Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett called the Great Lakes region the “Fresh Coast” at the Metropolitan Planning Council’s annual luncheon, The Cities that Work, last month, he was hardly the first to use the term. In fact, Minnesota-based photographer Ed Wargin, whose artistic and commercial work is nationally recognized, has made it his life’s work to document the Fresh Coast: the entirety of the Great Lakes, both the American and Canadian sides, in all four seasons.
— Chicagoland H20, August 23, 2012

Published Works | Hardcover Books

Michigan - The Spirit of the Land Voyageur Press; author Kathy-jo Wargin Pub. 1999

The Great Lakes Cottage Book Sleeping Bear Press; author Kathy-jo Wargin Pub. 2000

Voelker's Pond - A Robert Traver Legacy Huron River Press; author James McCullough Pub. 2003

Legends of Light - A Michigan Lighthouse Portfolio Ann Arbor MG; author Ed Wargin Pub. 2005

Lake Michigan - A Photographic Portfolio Ann Arbor MG; author Ed Wargin Pub. 2006

Fresh Coast - A Great Lakes Tribute See North Group; Digital Book; fwd by Dave Dempsey Pub. 2013



Published Works | Book Awards

Michigan - The Spirit of the Land A Read Michigan/Michigan Notable Book Award-Winner 1999

The Great Lakes Cottage Book Great Lakes Bookseller Award Nominee 2000

Voelker’s Pond - A Robert Traver Legacy Michigan Notable Book Award-Winner 2004

Voelker’s Pond - A Robert Traver Legacy IPPY Award - Best Regional Nonfiction 2004

Voelker’s Pond - A Robert Traver Legacy Great Lakes Bookseller Award Nominee 2004

Lake Michigan - A Photographic Portfolio Michigan Notable Book Award-Winner 2006

 
 
The photography is superb and the essays or meditations are beautifully written. This is certainly more than a coffee table book - it has provided us with a significant literary and artistic experience.
— A Voelker's Pond - A Robert Traver Legacy Review
 
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Features & Highlights

1987: Made the first photograph for The Fresh Coast Project along Lake Superior’s North Shore of Minnesota.

1995 to 2010; Field Tester, LL Bean Company

2006: Chosen photographer for the award-winning inaugural Pure Michigan Tourism Campaign featured throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Canada.

2011: Appointment as a Visiting Adjunct Professor, Environmental Photography, Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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

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

2012: Considered an "Action Figure" by the prestigious environmental news organization Circle of Blue.

2012: Michigan dignitaries present 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. Michigan dignitaries informed it became part of the Obama library on Air Force One.

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

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.

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

2015: The digital coffee table book Fresh Coast - A Great Lakes Tribute was requested by the Environmental Protection Agency 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. 

 

Brand Experience | A Short List

The Orvis Company

Woolrich

L.L. Bean, Inc. 

GMC Trucks

Universal Picture Studios

Anheuser-Busch

Pure Michigan

Caterpillar Tractors

National Geographic Traveler

Gray’s Sporting Journal

Newsweek

The Boston Globe