Tracker Pixel for Entry

​A Lot on Her (Wet) Plate: Kary Janousek’s Photography

Arts | January 20th, 2022

By John Showalter

john.d.showalter@gmail.com

It seems like technological advancement accelerates more and more. There’s something newer, quicker, and sleeker every year, every month, every week. But even in this society where smartphones are ubiquitous and virtually everyone has a camera in their pocket, there are still people who hearken back to the analog methods. Kary Janousek is one of those people.

Janousek, a 17-year resident of Fargo, is one of four active wet plate photography practitioners in the state of North Dakota. Prior to her pursuit of photography, she ran an online millinery and hat restoration business called High Hat Couture for 13 years, which boasted a worldwide customer base. Her interest in wet plate photography was first piqued while reading books on the subject. This, coupled with her drive to cross-market and self-promote, eventually led her to commission wet plate photographs with another well-known North Dakota wet plate photographer, Shane Balkowitsch, where she acted as a model. This developed into shadowing under him until she was ready to strike out on her own as a photographer.

From there, Janousek opened a studio at the old schoolhouse in Mapleton. She made her first ambrotype (black glass) plate in September 2019. Of course, everyone is familiar with what happened in the early months of 2020 with the COVID pandemic. This didn’t stop Janousek, however. “I started focusing on photography,” she said. “It accelerated my progress as a photographer.” An art grant from the Arts Partnership helped her purchase more equipment and plates in order to pursue this rapidly blooming passion turned career.

Janousek’s first solo reception, titled “Duality,” opened at the Spirit Room in December. Those who were unable to attend that exhibition need not worry, however, as select pieces will be on display at the Artist in the Valley Showcase at Bonanzaville Cass County Historical Museum in West Fargo. This exhibition will be on display from January 17th to March 14th. It will also feature pieces from her new short series “Femininity,” featuring female models on blue, red, and clear glass plates instead of her usual usage of tin types and black-stained glass.

In July Janousek moved her studio to the top floor of the Historical Dakota Business College. There she hosts walk-in days for portraits twice a month or as announced on her social media, as well as taking commissions. She also hopes to host non-photography related events at the studio as well.

“I plan to keep going forward with collaborative events,” said Janousek. “My goal is to continue to work with local artists.”

____________________________

YOU SHOULD KNOW

Website: HighHatPortraiture.com

Instagram: @oldschoolcollodion

Recently in:

By Vanessa Jugarap Clarkvanessajugarapclark@gmail.com "I lived in Gaza, Palestine from 2003 to 2017 and 2020 to 2021. From water cuts, to the electricity schedule of 6-on/12-off (on a good day), every day was a reminder of the…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com As an elementary school kid in the early 2000s, Kristy Tran didn’t start her day the way most kids do. Instead of rolling out of bed to go straight to school, Tran and her parents went…

March 19-23Fargo Theatre314 Broadway N, FargoCheck out luncheon panel discussions, pre-parties, a 2-minute movie contest, local, international and award-winning films for your viewing pleasure. Producer Will Greenfield will be…

By John Strandjas@hpr1.com What’s that you just said? “Tell somebody who gives a shit”? Stop reading this now if you don’t care about anyone else. Don’t waste your time. You’ll only get mad. Vocal. Obstinate.…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comThe Catacombs under Paris Contain the Bones of Millions of FeudalistsSixty-five feet below the Paris streets are about 170 miles of tunnels that go through stone quarries, galleries, and ossuaries…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com Holiday wine shopping shouldn’t have to be complicated. But unfortunately it can cause unneeded anxiety due to an overabundance of choices. Don’t fret my friends, we once again have you covered…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com In this land of hotdish and ham, the knoephla soup of German-Russian heritage seems to reign supreme. In my opinion though, the French have the superior soup. With a cheesy top layer, toasted baguette…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.com It is not unheard of for bands to go on hiatus. However, as the old saying goes, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” That is why when a local group like STILL comes back to…

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.By Greg Carlson gregcarlson1@gmail.comPalme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and…

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the pursuit of knowledge has directed humankind to new horizons – the ocean depths, the infinite reach of space, and the hidden secrets of cells and microbes…or to Artificial Intelligence, which…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader had the opportunity to interview two mysterious new game show hosts named Milt and Bradley Barker about an upcoming event they will be putting on at Brewhalla. What…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By William Cooperwcooper11@gmail.com When people look at political questions through a partisan lens, they apply their own personal gloss to the world. They reflexively interpret events in favor of their own tribe and against the…