"The Adventures of a Railfan," by Morris resident Mike Vandenberg runs through Dec. 18, 2010. "Trains are the focus of a new exhibit now on display at the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance in Morris.
"The Adventures of a Railfan," by Morris resident Mike Vandenberg runs through Dec. 18, 2010. An open house reception will be held from 7 until 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. The exhibit and the reception are free and open to all.
Trains have been a part of Vandenberg’s life since he was a small child. One of his favorite memories is visiting his grandmother in Michigan and watching freight and Amtrak trains on a swing bridge. He had his own model train set, and his parents brought him to places like Bandana Square in St. Paul, where they visited the Twin Cities Model Railroad Association. When he started college in 1997, he found his new home of Morris the perfect place to watch trains.
"Then my dad gave me his 35 mm film camera, and I started photographing trains,” remembers Vandenberg. “At first, I’d shoot a whole roll of 36, and I’d maybe get one good one. I use a digital camera now, but that experience got it all started.”
When his hobby expanded to photography, Vandenberg discovered a whole new group of friends, fellow railfan photographers. While many are long distance friendships online, he’s also found railfans nearby, and they share entire days together planning for shots and investigating routes and schedules.
“Chasing trains and taking pictures takes a lot of patience,” shares Vandenberg. “We do a lot of ‘scoping,’ figuring out spots for shooting." Vandenberg’s exhibit includes photographs of trains nearby and in various places around the country.
Vandenberg’s photography has been published in Amtrak’s American 2010–11 travel planner. His photographs have been used to illustrate projects as varied as a Minnesota state report and a children’s book, My Train Book, a Smithsonian project published by Harper Collins.
Vandenberg, a native of Mound, serves as senior admissions counselor in the Office of Admissions at the University of Minnesota, Morris, from which he graduated in 2003.
To view the exhibit, visit the PRCA, located at 632 Atlantic Avenue in Morris, Tuesday Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.; Thursday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. through the holiday season; Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.; or by appointment." Mike Vandenberg's buddy icon
PRCA Exhibit 2010 , flickr.com "These nine photos were featured in an exhibit at the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance in downtown Morris during the fall of 2010." Mike Vandenberg's photostream , from flickr.com
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The holiday train program started in 1999 and this year it will make 150 stops through eight states and six Canadian providences. At each stop, a live concert is performed and a donation is given for the local food shelf. This year, they donated $1,000 to the Alexandria Outreach Food Shelf.
“This is a great way for us to reach out to our neighbors in need and help them during the holiday season," Mike LoVecchio of Canadian Pacific Railways said.
Outreach Food Shelf Board of Director’s President, Mary Sinning said they’re grateful for the donations from Canadian Pacific and community members who came out to support the cause.
"This community just gives and gives and gives," Sinning said, "The holiday seasons just seem to bring out the best in all of us."
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