In short, I am an artist, wife, mother, and grandmother. My mother and grandmothers fostered personal creativity in me throughout my childhood. Today, I strive to pass on my love for the arts.
I live in the hills of SE Minnesota on a small hobby farm along the banks of the Zumbro River; a watershed that feeds into the Mississippi River, the largest drainage system in North America. I am passionate about my gardens and producing wholesome homegrown fruits and vegetables for my family to eat, and selling extra bounty direct from the farm. Four generations of my ancestors farmed land in this region. Today, I am a five decade farmer, instilled with a deep conviction to be a caretaker of the land.
I first began the quest to photograph scenes that were important to me at age ten when Santa Claus gave me a camera. My parents made it clear that I needed to pay for the development of my images, so each print became special, mounted in handcrafted scrapbooks with captions or poems. Decades later, with advances in digital technologies and online educational opportunities, I am no longer limited. I can explore the medium I dream of.
For as long as I can remember, I have wondered about the landscapes that I see. During my undergraduate studies, my professors encouraged and supported me to blend class projects with visual storytelling. Additionally, I secured a research grant, which culminated in a documentary study of local women’s arts. Visual Sketches: The Women & Their Arts, is a multimedia narrative combining photographs, scanned imagery, audio, and video.
It is my belief the only constant thing in life is change. Knowledge of the past and present, along with an open-mindedness to see the broader picture inspires positive change. The camera is my tool to give back to the land. I hope my work inspires forward thinking about imprints upon earth.
2004 - Present Sole Proprietor at Wiech Creations, a professional documentary photography, video production, and fine art printing studio.
2009 - 2011 Copy & Print Manager, Staples Store 1317, Rochester, MN.
1999 - 2004 Weighmaster–Dispatcher, Mantorville Quarry, Stussy Construction, Mantorville, MN.
1980 - 1998 Weighmaster–Dispatcher, Golberg Quarry, Quarve & Anderson Co., Mathy Construction, Rochester, MN.
2015 - Projected M.F.A. Photography, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California.
May 2015 Projected.
2009 B.F.A. cum laude, Digital Art and Photography, University of Minnesota Duluth.
2006 A.S. with Honors, Digital Art: Multimedia Design, Rochester Community. & Technical College, Rochester, Minnesota.
Honors & Awards:
2014 Spider Fellow Nominee, Black & White Spider Awards.
2013 President’s Honor List, Academy of Art University.
2008 U.R.O.P. University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, Visual Sketches, a multimedia digital documentary.
2008 Chancellor’s Purchase Award, University of Minnesota—Rochester.
2007 International Education Office Photo Contest, 3rd Place Award, University of Minnesota—Duluth.
2007 Honorarium, The Zumbrota Sesquicentennial Committee for production of
2006 A Year in Review a historical multimedia digital documentary.
2006 Special Recognition: By City of Zumbrota. MN, for creation and production of Bridging Memories 1856-2006 a historical DVD documentary for the community.
2015 Spring Show, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA.
2014 Poetography 2014, group juried, Crossings, Zumbrota, MN.
2010 - 2014 Zumbro Art Splash, group juried, Zumbrota, MN.
2012 It’s All One Water, group exhibition, Crossings, Zumbrota, MN.
2010 - 2011 Easel, (Experience Art in Southeastern Libraries), group juried traveling exhibition, Southeastern, MN.
2009 - 2010 Art in East Park, group juried, Zumbrota, MN.
2009 Senior Art Exhibition, group exhibition, Zumbrota Covered Bridge, Zumbrota, MN.
2009 Past & Present, solo exhibition, University of Minnesota—Rochester, MN.
2008 Poetography IV, group juried, Crossings, Zumbrota, MN.
Publications and Collections:
2015 Capturing Zumbro’s Changes, Janet Kubat Willette, Agri-News, Minnesota Edition, March 12, 2015.
2014 Bridget Rostad, Bridget’s Café, Title: Ramshackle Barn.
2014 Photo Essay to Focus on Changes to Zumbro River, Brian Todd, Post-Bulletin, September 8th Edition.
2011 SELCO, The Storytellers.
2007 University of Minnesota—Rochester, Title: Montmartre, France.
2012 It’s All One Water catalog, published by Crossings, funded in part by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
2010 Easel catalog, published by SELCO, funded in part by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Professional Memberships & Activities:
2014 (SMNPPA) Southern Minnesota Professional Photographers Association. 2012 - Present (MIA) Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
2012 - Present Rochester Friends of MIA.
2008 - Present (ZAAC) Zumbrota Area Arts Council.
2005 - 2006 Digital Arts Club, Rochester Community & Technical College, Vice President.
2005 - 2007 Zumbrota Sesquicentennial Committee, photography, video production, web design, and promotional broadcasting.
2006 - 2013 Mazeppa Area Historical Society, photography and video services.