Mary Farrell


I fell in love with photography as a youth and discovered a liking to being behind the camera. I could be counted on to take photos for family and friends and I looked forward to picking up the photos at the camera or drug store and compiling them into photo albums.

I decided to study photography and attended Winona State University and received a minor in Photographic Arts. I purchased my first 35 mm camera my freshman year and took courses in both black and white and color photography but unlike my peers, I favored color. Developing my own film and working in the darkroom was a wonder and for years after, I had darkrooms in my apartments or homes. I learned of Alfred Steiglitz, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, Joel Meyerowitz, Ernst Haas and Maria Cosindas. I was mostly attracted to abstract.  I participated in art exhibits, worked in a camera store, and sold some of my prints.

My passion for photography did not lead me to pursue it as a livelihood but is something that consumes me day to day. My camera is my companion and it enables me to both use it as a tool for photographing events and activities in the community as well as a way to express what I see in landscape and portraiture as a form of art.

I am a member of the River Arts Alliance and the Winona Arts Center, and have exhibited along with other artists in member exhibits.

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”

—Dorothea Lange

Accomplishments and recognitions:

  • Accepted twice into  MN State Fair fine arts competition
  • 1991: Boston College Exhibit: “Portraits of Catholic Workers”
  • 1992: Windham Hill Records cover: “1992 Sampler”
  • 2001- current: Winona Arts Center Member exhibits
  • 2003: Saint Mary’s University Page Theatre: “Photography Exhibit by Mary Farrell”
  • 2008-current: Winona Visitor Guide
  • 2011: 10 photographs published in the coffee table book: “Winona Minnesota on the Mississippi”
  • 2017-19: River Arts Alliance Member exhibits
  • 2019: Winona Public Library exhibit: The Portrait Project: “Photographs of People and a Cat”
  • 2019: Contributing photographer to the Winona Daily News