Jim Brandenburg is well known for his photography of wolves and National Geographic stories, as well as of Minnesota’s North Woods, where he makes his home. This award-winning photographer is a former farm boy, who grew up near Luverne and graduated from Luverne High School in 1963.

While he lives up north, he never forgot his hometown and he wanted to give back to it. In May 1999, Brandenburg, in cooperation with the Luverne Chamber of Commerce, opened Brandenburg Gallery in downtown Luverne. Over 100 of his popular and famous photographs line the walls. One area is called “Seasonal Prints.” Another has “Images of Blue Mounds State Park.” There are wolf photos, of course, but the focus in on the prairie.

Brandenburg once stated that he thinks the prairie, in its own way, is as beautiful as the North Woods. He obviously still feels an attachment to it, for the Brandenburg Gallery houses more than breathtaking photographs. It is also the headquarters of the Brandenburg Prairie Foundation.

Jim and Judy Brandenburg established the Foundation to preserve and expand prairie in southwest Minnesota. The Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have purchased more than 800 acres of untilled prairie northwest of Luverne, adjacent to the farm where Brandenburg grew up. Named “Touch the Sky Prairie,” it is open for the public to enjoy.

What makes an artist an artist is the ability to see what our oft-times jaded vision ignores. Viewing the photos in the Brandenburg Gallery is like taking a walk on the prairie, seeing wildlife and unexpected beauty through the eyes of an artist. Seeing what our eyes often overlook. Inviting us to open our eyes to the world around us.

Brandenburg Gallery is at 211 East Main Street in Luverne, and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prints are for viewing and for sale. Viewers can also watch videos made by Brandenburg, and videos about him and his work. Driving directions to Touch the Sky Prairie are available.

For more information, call (507) 283-1884 or log on to Brandenburg’s official website at www.jimbrandenburg.com.