Beyond Whiteness: BSU Professor Showcases Winter Life in the Northwoods

Monika Lawrence, adjunct professor
Monika Lawrence, adjunct professor

Photographs by Bemidji State University’s Monika Lawrence, adjunct professor in the Department of Integrated Media, were recently on display at the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids, Minn. The collection “Beyond Whiteness” showcases winter life in the Minnesota north woods.

Moving from Germany to Northern Minnesota in 2008, Lawrence was quickly inspired by the region’s snowscapes. Her photos display a ten-year journey of making peace with Minnesota’s bitter winters.

“Coming from Germany, I was not familiar with such long, extremely cold winters,” she said. “At some point, I grabbed my camera and started to explore the subtle beauty of winter in daily life around me. Muted colors become vibrant while the world grows quieter beneath a thick white blanket. The snow hides the dead remnants of last summer as well as the new beginnings of the coming spring.”

The photos represent both the challenges and joys of winter ranging from ice fishing and sledding to ice rescues and open water. The pieces were on display at the MacRostie Art Center throughout February and remain available online at, an online photography magazine.

“Being out on a frozen lake in thick snowfall with my camera, when everything dissolves into the stillness of a whiteout and all senses sharpen, this is when I find my peace with the Midwest winter,” she said.




MN State logoBemidji State University, located amid the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling around 5,000 students, Bemidji State offers 70 undergraduate areas of study and eight graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select pre-professional programs. At Bemidji State University, we educate people to lead inspired lives. BSU’s Shared Fundamental Values include civic engagement and leadership, international and multicultural understanding, belief in the power of liberal arts, and environmental stewardship. BSU is a Minnesota State university. For more, visit or find us at BemidjiState on your favorite social media networks.