Katie Gingrass Gallery

Ray Hartl

I was born in 1949 in Valparaiso, Indiana, and grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where I attended elementary and secondary school. From 1968 until 1972, I attended the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, majoring in Natural Resources and Geography.

It was in 1971, while a student at the University, that my interest in photography began. In April of that year I traveled to the Soviet Union for a three week study tour sponsored by the University of Wisconsin. I purchased my first camera to record the sights of Russia and returned from the tour with a growing interest in photography and a desire to learn all I could about the media, both technically and as an art form. The following semester I enrolled in the University's two offerings, a basic camera handling and black and white darkroom course, and an evening extended services lecture "Photography as an Art Form" by T.K. Chang of Stevens Point. Those courses, along with a color printing class at Milwaukee Area Technical College are the extent of my formal training in photography and art.

I graduated from the University in December of 1972 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography and was promptly drafted into the army. I served for two years, eighteen months of that time in Germany. Most of my free time was spent traveling through southern Europe taking pictures, developing printing skills in an army darkroom facility, and reading every photography publication that was available at the time.

After discharge from the service in I decided to pursue fine art photography as an occupation. Since 1977 I have traveled and photographed extensively through New England and the Canadian Maritime Provinces, the Southwestern States, Hawaii, Florida, Japan, Europe, Central and South America.

My work has been exhibited throughout the country in art museums, galleries, and at juried art fairs, and are represented in many public, private, and corporate collections. My wife, Nancy Schieferstein, is also a photographer.