Meg Ojala received her BA from the University of Minnesota and her MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. She teaches Foundation Photography, Intermediate Photography, Senior Studies in Studio Art, and A History of Photography. Ojala’s recent work involves closely observing and photographing the banks of the Cannon River near her studio in Dundas, Minnesota. She scans medium format negatives to make large-scale inkjet prints in both color and black and white.
“A constant interest, through all of the seasonal transformations I witness, is constructing the spatial illusion and investigating the ambiguities of closeness and distance, gravity and weightlessness. I explore the simultaneity of perception of abstract marks and realistic representation, comprehensible pictorial space and bewilderment. I would like the images to embody the quality of an unselfconscious, unmediated, fleeting experience in a carefully constructed photograph. Haiku is analogous to what I am after because it evokes the intense experience of a fleeting instant in the natural world, presented in a highly compressed and structured form.”
She has exhibited in places such as the Flaten Art Museum, St. Olaf College; Groveland Gallery, Minneapolis, MN; Tisch School of Fine Arts, Photography Gallery, New York University; Thomson Gallery, Minneapolis, MN; Parts Gallery, Minneapolis, MN; The Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY; International Center of Photography, NYC, NY; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. In 2002 she was one of ten artists commissioned by the McKnight Foundation to document “Twin Cities Treasures”, open spaces that will be the focus of conservation and protection efforts.
Ojala is a recipient of the 2005 University of Minnesota/McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship for Photographers. Other earned grants include Minnesota State Arts Board Artists Assistance Grants, Film in the Cities/McKnight Photography Fellowships and Faculty Development Grants from St. Olaf College including “Place and Landscape” and “Photographing the Undine Region: Mapmaker Joseph N. Nicollet's 1838 expedition route through southern Minnesota”.