Meet Tom Reynen –
A skilled digital photographer residing in Shoreview, Minnesota, Tom boasts an extensive body of work celebrated for its diversity and captivating imagery. His photographs, specializing in nature, close-ups of flowers, landscapes, architectural details, and travel scenes, have graced local galleries, exhibitions, and even the pages of the Minneapolis StarTribune newspaper. Tom’s talent extends beyond his home state; he also maintains a second residence in Vancouver, BC, Canada, enriching his portfolio with the stunning landscapes of the Pacific Northwest.
In addition to his photography, Tom plays a vital role in the local art community. As the President of Gallery 96, a non-profit arts organization in the northern St. Paul MN suburbs, he promotes the work of artists from the region in various media. Tom’s active involvement also includes membership in prestigious galleries like the Dow Gallery and the Art Guild Gallery of Stillwater MN. With thousands of photos in his portfolio, Tom Reynen’s artistry invites viewers to explore a world of vibrant colors and timeless beauty through his lens. In this Q&A, we have the privilege of hearing from Tom himself as he shares his experiences and insights into the world of photography.
What themes or subjects do you commonly explore in your work?
My main areas of interest are nature, travel, and architectural details, such as doors and windows. I also love abandoned buildings. Two of my favorite cities to photograph are Paris and Venice.
How did you start your journey as an artist?
I have traveled a lot during my life and photography started as just a way to document my trips. But film limited the number of photos I could take, there was a delay in seeing the actual photos printed and there were few options to edit the photos. With the birth of digital photography and cameras on iPhones, you can take multiple shots, get instant feedback and edit them to express different moods, colors and themes. This makes me feel much more like an artist.
Can you share a defining moment in your artistic career?
My first exhibit of my photos was in the Wilde Roast Cafe in NE Mpls. There was a small opening reception and during the month the show was up I sold 9 photos (and had one stolen) and that validation made me want to produce more photos and exhibit in more places.
What do you love about working within the Farwell on Water community?
I love that it is a growing community where I can interact with other artists, participate in group events and have a space to hang and display more of my work. My previous studio was 325 sq ft in Lowertown in a building not open to the public and none of the other 3 tenants were artists. So it was a place to work but not a place to thrive.
How has the studio space contributed to your work?
My studio is almost twice the space I had previously so I can store and hang more of my photos and the ability to paint the walls the colors of my choice will enable me to expand the portrait photography side of my business by reducing the need to rely on backdrops.
Do you collaborate with other artists at Farwell on Water? If so, can you describe one of these collaborations?
I have met several of the other artists but have not had a chance to collaborate with them but I am certainly open to doing so in the future. I also have a lot of experience in organizing gallery shows and working on social media marketing so I hope to get involved in those areas in the future.
Do you have any upcoming shows or exhibitions?
I currently have two pieces in the “MSP Creates 2023” art exhibition on the C Concourse at the Minneapolis/St Paul airport. I have two pieces in a Gallery 96 show at the Shoreview Public Library called “White Out” that runs January 20 to March 1. I am a member of the Dow Gallery on University Ave in St. Paul, the House of heART2 AirBnB gallery in the Summit Hill neighborhood of St. Paul and the Art Guild Gallery in Stillwater and have permanent wall space in all three venues. My notecards are for sale in the giftshop of White Bear Center for the Arts. I will be an active participant in the St. Paul Art Crawls in the spring and fall.
What are your aspirations for the next year as an artist?
I am in the process of consolidating all my framed photos from my previous studio and my home and am looking forward to hanging as many as I can so I can use my studio space as a showroom/gallery of my work.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
My photos are available as both framed and unframed/matted prints. I also have a series of notecards made from my photos.