Photography exhibit kicks off New Year at Monroe Arts Center

Red Velvet Jesus Bank, Pump Handle, and Gondolas? These are just a few of the pieces featured in a show of fine art photography by Stephanie Essex Elkins, now on exhibit at the Frehner Gallery at the Monroe Arts Center through Jan. 24. The exhibit is titled Juxtapositions, and Elkins’ body of work expresses many variations on that theme.

Much of the show is devoted to the contrast of the natural world against the man-made world and includes photos of rural Wisconsin and compositions from Italy. There are also two pieces from Elkins’ powerful Red Velvet Jesus Bank series, one of which has been enlarged to more than 4 feet tall. Many of Elkins’ photographs are minimalistic, infusing a sense of serenity and simplicity while packing a powerful visual punch. She works in both black & white and color, and particularly enjoys photographing while hiking and cross-country skiing. Elkins’ pieces are issued in signed, limited editions of 50, and in addition to the January 2004 exhibit at MAC, she is represented by the Sugar River Gallery in New Glarus, Wis., and the Cottonwood Gallery in Lake Mills, Wis.

An emerging fine art photographer, Elkins began shooting seriously in 2001 and entered her first competition the following year, capturing two firsts and a Best of Show, and she was a Wisconsin State Exhibit Award winner in the 2003 Wisconsin Regional Artists competition in Monroe. She then went on to win two major awards at her first juried art fair in September of 2003. Elkins’ work can be found in business and private collections across the country, including in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Iowa.

The Monroe Arts Center Frehner Gallery is located at 1315 11th Street. Frehner Gallery viewing hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. For additional information, contact the Monroe Arts Center at 608/325-5700 or visit This exhibit has been made possible through the support of The Monroe Arts Center Foundation, 1315 11th St., Monroe, Wis.

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