Photography of Paul Harens Coming to MMC’s Bede Art Gallery in February

January 25, 2019

Paul Harens

YANKTON, SD - The Bede Art Gallery on the campus of Mount Marty College (MMC) is excited to welcome the work of local teacher-turned-artist, Paul Harens, to the gallery in February. Harens’ collection of photography entitled “The Untrained Eye” will be featured in the gallery from February 4, 2019, through March 2, 2019.

The collection is the culmination of a life-long dream for Harens who says he’d always wanted to be a photographer but was never able to find the time. “I’ve always wanted to take photographs; unfortunately, being a teacher, I never had the time. I was either teaching, working or going to summer school.” Harens says a whole new life began when he left teaching, “When I retired, it all changed. I’m on my fourth camera in eight years.”

Much of Harens’ work is a tribute to his love for Yankton and the surrounding area. “I have always loved the Yankton area, and ninety-five percent of what I shoot is within ten to fifteen miles of Yankton,” explains Harens. “My favorite to shoot is the Meridian Bridge; I take pictures from dawn to midnight of that two-level walking bridge. I have also branched out to the historic and iconic nature of the city of Yankton.”

Since his retirement, Harens’ has been able to travel, and a camera is his constant companion. He says ‘The Untrained Eye’ includes a combination of his favorite scenes from Yankton along with a collection of images he’s discovered during his travels. “I try to take what can be seen but is a bit different. I try and take the same placement during different seasons of the year. Not all are perfect because no eye is perfect and perception is up to the individual who is looking or taking the picture.”

No matter where he’s shooting, Harens’ always maintains the same objective, “I am taking photographs of the historic, legendary, and unique with my untrained eye.”

“The Untrained Eye” exhibit, which is free and open to the public, will be available for viewing at Bede Art Gallery Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. starting February 4, 2019. The show will conclude with a reception and gallery talk on March 2 from 5 to 7 p.m.

To learn more about the Bede Art Gallery or MMC’s fine arts degree programs and curriculum, please call 605-668-1545 or visit