Western Exposure’s Photography Show Captures Local Talent


Shelley Cumella

Ray Tysdale, Rapid City professional photographer and exhibitor

RAPID CITY – An enthusiastic buzz filled the air as regional photographers visited, teased and shared with each other at the Western Exposures III: 20th Anniversary exhibit opening. The event took place at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, SD. on Sept. 15.  

Over 30 talented photographers from the western South Dakota region were invited to participate in the exhibit, which highlights the diversity of photography. One-third of the exhibit features students, alumni and faculty of Black Hills State University.  

Steve Babbitt, professional photographer and photography professor at BHSU, was a guest curator, along with Katie Adkins, assistant curator at the Dahl Arts Center and professional photographer.  

“The goal is to take over the whole building five years from now, so thank you again artists, and all of you who make this region known for great photography,” Babbitt said.  This was the third and largest Western Exposures photography exhibit since it began 20 years ago, in 1996.  

The show features professional photographers such as Rapid City local, Ray Tysdale.  Describing his work Tysdale said,  “I’m trying to interpret what I find after I take a picture. The picture is just the raw material.”  

Dick Kettlewell, a veteran Rapid City photojournalist who was in the original show, is in again this year.  New to BHSU, photography professor Skott Chandler explained that his exhibit photographs were shot using a pinhole camera technique. BHSU photography professor Jerry Rawlings had this to say: 

“I am honored to be included in such a wonderful exhibit by so many great photographers.”  Many works from current BHSU students and graduates including Caleb Munger, Jeannie Larson, Seth Harwood, Mason Moir, Jesse Brown Nelson and Madison Hand are part of the fascinating exhibit. 

The exhibit will remain on display at the Sen. Stan Adelstein and Lynda K. Clark Gallery of the Dahl Art Center in Rapid City, SD through Dec. 2. Black Hills State University Photography Program, the South Dakota Arts Council and the Rapid City Arts Council sponsor the exhibit. 

Skott Chandler, BHSU photography professor and exhibitor
Steve Babbitt, Western Exposures III exhibit guest curator and photography professor
Jeannie Larson, BHSU graduate in 2014, studies at Academy of Art University of San Francisco
Jerry Rawlings, BHSU photography professor and exhibitor