CHARLIE WARNER/NEWS LEADER
One of Tyler Anderson’s photos mounted on a piece of barn wood.
CHARLIE WARNER/NEWS LEADER One of Tyler Anderson’s photos mounted on a piece of barn wood.
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“It’s real cool to be recognized alongside of so many very creative people who have received this honor. I’ve only been doing this as a semi pro photographer for less than a year. So to be selected as this year’s emerging artist by the tour is quite an honor,” said Tyler Anderson.

Anderson was encouraged to apply for the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour’s Emerging Artist of the Year earlier this year by tour coordinator Sue Pariseau. After reviewing the stunning color photos that Anderson has produced, the selection committee bestowed the honor on Anderson.

“Many of the artists participating in the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour have decades of experience creating, displaying and selling their art,” explained Pariseau. “To encourage, foster and promote new area artists, we’ve developed our Emerging Artist program which provides one promising new artist, having little experience showing their work professionally, with mentorship by our more experienced artists.”

“I’ve always had a camera in my hands,” Anderson noted. “My mother used to let me use her 35mm Vivitar and shoot a roll of film. I couldn’t wait to get the prints back to see just what I captured.”

Anderson moved into the digital photography world when he and his wife, Amanda, welcomed their son, Nolan, into the world in 2002. “It was one of those point and shoot digitals. But it was a step up from the old film cameras. I was able to shoot a photo and see what I had right away.”

Anderson continued to hone his photography skills, shooting countless photos of his son and daughter, Ellie, who was born four years later. Taking photos of his children and all the outdoor activities the family enjoyed, like hiking, camping and being out in nature, exploring the back roads, really increased his interest in outdoor photography.

“When I got my first iPhone in 2010, that was a real game changer,” Anderson recalled. “The quality of the photos was so much better and instead of the fixed lens of a point and shoot digital camera, I was able to do so much more.”

Persons viewing Anderson’s landscape and nature photos were quite impressed with his eye for capturing the moment. He decided to take the next step and purchased his first 35mm digital camera, a Cannon, last July. He also purchased a new computer with all of the state of the art photo-editing software. Since then, the Lanesboro resident’s work has continued to grow by leaps and bounds.

“I try to shoot something every day,” Anderson said. “It might be walking around Lanesboro or touring the countryside. This part of the state is so beautiful and provides for so many incredible views. I love to explore both Fillmore and Houston counties. This is really an amazing place to live.”

Anderson grew up in Fargo, N.D., and graduated from Fargo South High School in 1996. While in school he worked on the school’s newspaper and yearbook. He was a political science major at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. He got into retail management, and worked at a liquor store and also at a Caribou Coffee establishment.

Both Anderson and his wife love the outdoors and started traveling to southeast Minnesota for weekend sojourns. While on a weekend trip, they happened on Lanesboro and instantly fell in love with the Root River valley and Lanesboro. A red frame house right on the Root River in “The Flats” caught their eye.

“We talked about, ‘what ifs,’” Anderson said. “We were living in St. Louis Park at the time and really didn’t know if we could swing it. We kept checking on the house. It hadn’t sold in over a year and the price had been reduced. So we asked a realtor friend of ours to check it out. He felt it would be a good deal. So three years ago we bought the house and have been living here ever since.”

Anderson works as a coffee barista in Rochester and Amanda is a nurse at the Mayo Clinic. Their children love the Lanesboro school system and easily made the transition from Twin Cities suburbia, to life in a small, friendly town on the Root River.

So far, Anderson has promoted his young, but growing photo business through social media and word of mouth. He has done a number of photo shoots for family portraits, senior class pictures and even several family farms taken at sunset.

“No newborn sittings or weddings…yet,” he said with a smile. “But that may be something down the road.”

Anderson will be displaying his work in a rustic garage, located right on the Root River on the back of their property, during the upcoming art tour. He will be displaying many of his nature photos on barn boards and also in photo books. All of his photos are for sale.

“This is something new to me,” Anderson admitted. “I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m looking forward to meeting people on the tour.”

The 17th Annual Bluff Country Studio Art Tour will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 28 to 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Besides viewing Anderson’s work at his home, persons can also see his work on Instragram @driftless.visuals.

Visit http://bluffcountrystudioarttour.com for more details on the tour and to find a map of other participating artists and their locations. One may also call 651-307-6373 for more information.