Melanie Gabbert-Gatchell grew up on her family’s Century Farm in rural Granite Falls. It is that rural landscape and its history that has always influenced her subject matter whether it is photography or writing poetry. After attending Southwest Minnesota State University and earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in Literature/ Creative Writing and History, she attended Minnesota State University, Mankato where she attained her Masters of Fine Art in Creative Writing with a concentration in poetry. She currently teaches Creative Writing, literature and composition at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall and lives with her husband, Dorian and their son, Tarin on a farm northwest of Granite Falls.
Although she has had an interest in photography most of her life, it wasn’t until the fall of 2011 that she started to show others her work. Melanie’s photography philosophy is what she likes to call “Organic and All Natural” because she do not use filters, effects or programs to alter what nature has already provided. The landscape of Minnesota is filled with unique natural wonders and that is what she focuses her lens upon—capturing the beauty of the
simplicity of the everyday that many overlook.
It is through the beauty that surrounds us in the natural world that connects us to our most base reasons for being and for thriving. When people are going through times of stress, they most often return to nature for peace and focus. Melanie’s photography strives to offer moments of quite appreciation for what we have and oftentimes fail to notice. Images can offer comfort, strength, spirituality, clarity, joy, hope and confidence to face whatever may come next in our individual journeys through this life.