Boat Houses, Latch Island, Winona, Minnesota

Drake Hokanson is a photographer, author, and editor. He is the author of two books and coauthor of a third and coeditor of a fourth, both with his wife of thirty-plus years, Carol Kratz.

His primary “field” is the American landscape. His digging tools are photography, literary nonfiction writing, and American Studies. He has taught in Japan, Great Britain, at the University of Iowa, Lakeland College, and is Professor Emeritus at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota.

He exhibited his first photograph in 1970 as a college freshman: a small sepia-tone landscape image that hung in a group show at the East Street Gallery in Grinnell, Iowa. It hangs today in his darkroom in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Since then Hokanson has exhibited from Connecticut to California, with a score of one-man shows in art museums, historical and cultural museums and private galleries.

Selected solo photographic exhibitions

"GRAIN"  2001—ongoing. 37 photographs plus text. Exhibit explores the architecture of grain elevators, the nature of grain, the harvest, and the people who reap and move wheat, soybeans and corn.

            Hometown Perry, Perry, Iowa

            Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa

            Marshall Arts Center, Marshall, Michigan

            Grandview College, Des Moines, Iowa

            Watkins Art Gallery, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota

            Fairfield Gallery, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

"Photographs of a Small Place"  September 1992—January 1998. 36 photographs, text. Photographs appear in Reflecting a Prairie Town: a Year in Peterson, published 1994.

      Partial list of sites:

            Luther College, Decorah, Iowa

            Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, Iowa

            MacNider Museum, Mason City, Iowa

            New Visions Gallery, Marshfield, Wisconsin

            Sioux City Art Center, Iowa

            Muscatine Art Center, Iowa

            West Bend Gallery, West Bend, Wisconsin

"A Few Such Places"  October 1992—ongoing. 25-35 photographs, text.  A selection of recent work from many states.

            Viterbo College, La Crosse, Wisconsin

            Lakeland College, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

            University of Wisconsin Center—Sheboygan County

"Lincoln Highway: Main Street across America"  1989—1991. 80 photographs, text, map, poster. Sponsored by Exhibits USA of Kansas City. Photographs appeared in Lincoln Highway: Main Street across America, published 1988.

      Partial list of sites:

            Colorado State University/Fort Collins Museum, Fort Collins

            University of Nebraska, College of Architecture, Lincoln

            Ohio Historical Society, Columbus

            Kansas State University Department of Art, Manhattan

            Iowa State University College of Design, Ames

            Alfred P. Sloan Museum, Flint, Michigan

            Wyoming State Museum, Cheyenne

"Plain and Prairie, Horizon and Sky"  1988—1990. 20 photographs, text. Sponsored by Project Art, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City. A selection of work from the Midwest and Great Plains. Exhibit purchased by UIHC.

"Lincoln Highway"  1983—1986. 42 photographs, text, map. Sponsored in part by Iowa Arts Council. Was the seed exhibit for the Exhibits USA show.

      Partial list of sites:

            Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, Iowa

            Project Art, University of Iowa, Iowa City

            University of California, Davis

            Octagon Gallery, Ames, Iowa

            Witter Gallery, Storm Lake, Iowa

            Burlington Arts Guild, Iowa

            Muscatine Art Center, Iowa

            Algona Public Library, Iowa

            Scott County Community College, Davenport, Iowa

"Harper, Iowa"  1981. 12 photographs, text. A project combining photographs and         words that brought to light elements of this small town's past. Exhibited at the University of Iowa School of Journalism.

With the love of my life, Carol Kratz, in the Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming, 2009

Selected collections

            University of Nebraska-Lincoln/Center for Great Plains Studies

            Robert Coles, Concord, MA

            David Henry, New York City

            William Lobb, Atlanta, GA

            John Fink, Chicago

            Muscatine Clinic, Muscatine, IA

            University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA

            Marsho Family Medical Group, Sheboygan, WI

            Ralph T. Brotz, Kohler, WI

            Plastics Engineering Company, Sheboygan, WI

            Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA

            Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Selected group exhibitions and commissions

2010          "Vanishing Roadside," Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans

2006          "Scanning the Horizon," Hot Shops Art Center, Midwest Society for Photographic Education, Omaha, Nebraska

2004          Along the Lincoln Highway, Westmorland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA

2002          "Beyond the Perimeter," Minnesota Center for Photography, Minneapolis

2001          Presentation: "Preserving the Road," Preservation Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh

2000-01     Winter Solstice Exhibition, Summit Street Gallery, Iowa City

2000          New Art: New Directions, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

2000          Photography Invitational, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

2000          Faculty art show, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

1999          Faculty art show, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

1999          Commission from Plastics Engineering Company, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

1998          Faculty art show, Winona State University

1996-97     Commission from State Historical Society of Wisconsin for rephotographic project

1995-96     "Wisconsin Visual Arts Award Winners Exhibition"

1995          Faculty art show, Lakeland College

1994          "Land of the Fragile Giants: Landscapes, Environments, and Peoples of the Loess Hills," Iowa State University, Ames

1994          "Six Counties," J.M. Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

1993          "Wisconsin Triennial,"  Madison Art Center

Selected presentations and events

2011          "The Sky and I: A Love Story," Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona, Minnesota.

2010          "Watching for the Ferris Wheel," with Carol Kratz, keynote for Illinois Association of Fairs, Springfield, Illinois.

2010          "Watching for the Ferris Wheel," with Carol Kratz, keynote for Nebraska Association of Fair Managers, Kearney, Nebraska.

2009          "Watching for the Ferris Wheel," with Carol Kratz, keynote for Western Fairs Association annual conference, Reno, Nevada.

2008          “Grounded in Flyover Country: Photographing the Plains and the Prairie,” Prairie Heritage Center, Peterson, Iowa.

2007          "An Evening on Photography and the Art of the Book," Celebration of the Book, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota

2007          "The Sublime Horizon: Photographing the Great Plains," Athenaeum, Winona State University

2006          "The Sublime Horizon: Photographing the Great Plains," Midwest Society for Photographic Education, Omaha, Nebraska

2006          Co-moderator and presentation: "Environmental Education: Models and Partnerships for the Future," International Conference on Rivers and Civilization, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

2006          "Road Trips and Travel Stories: The Nature of the 'Path' in the American Imagination," National Lincoln Highway Association conference, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

2006          "Flying the Mississippi: The Aerial View and the Secrets of Landscape," Athenaeum, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota

2005          Co-juror for University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student art exhibition

2004          "Photographing a Small Town," Clay County Historical Society annual meeting, Spencer, Iowa

2003          "Decline and Renewal in a Small Iowa Town," Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa

2001          "Stories from the Road," keynote slide lecture at "Routes of Heritage" conference, Preservation Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania

2001          "Looking for the Ferris Wheel," with co-author Carol Kratz, for "Fairtime" at Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing

2000          "Stories from the Road," closing plenary speaker at "Preserving the Historic Road in America 2000," National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morristown, New Jersey

1998          "The Lincoln Highway: The Open Road and the Flying Wheel," Lincoln Museum, Fort Wayne, Indiana

1997          "Seasoned Words and Fresh Photographs: A Visual Literature of the Great Plains," Center for Great Plains Studies conference, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

1994          "The Photographer and the Place: Two Views of Two Places," Muscatine Art Center, Muscatine, Iowa.

1996          "Photographing a Small Town," University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City.

Activities and awards

Invited to membership in the Society of Midland Authors, 2010.

Photography judge, Fine Arts Festival, Waupaca, Wisconsin, 2003 and 2007.

Nominated as Associate Fellow, Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska. September 1997.

Arts grant: Wisconsin Arts Board individual artist grant for support for Great Plains project, 1996.

Photography workshop: New Visions Gallery, Marshfield, Wisconsin. September 1996. Conducted a hands-on workshop with 20 fourth and fifth grade students to photograph their lives and community. The project culminated in an exhibit for the New Visions Gallery.

Photography workshop: University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. October 1994. Conducted two-day field and lab workshop with students to photograph landscape and people of the region.  Did extensive portfolio review.

Writing workshop:  Elderhostel, University of Iowa. July 1990. Taught two-week session on memoir writing.

Award:  Outstanding Faculty Member, University of Iowa Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi. 1988.

Arts grant: Iowa Arts Council individual artist grant for Lincoln Highway, 1986.

Guest editor: Goldfinch (Iowa Historical Society), numerous book manuscripts.

Guest lectures: University of California, Davis; University of  Iowa Museum of Art; University of Wisconsin;  Madison Art Center,  Madison, Wisconsin; Iowa Wesleyan College; Herbert Hoover Presidential Library; Iowa State University; Iowa Council of Teachers of English.

Informal talks: Wisconsin Regional Writers Association, numerous gallery talks.

Listed in Contemporary Authors.

Listed on Iowa Sesquicentennial Reading List.