Urbandale Public Library/About the Artist

Art Up Close resident Artist Larry Mendenhall


A former newspaper photographer and editor, Larry Mendenhall began concentrating on landscape photography in the late 90s and began Quiet Places Photography in 2003. Since then, his work has appeared in numerous juried art shows and exhibitions.

His interest in photographing botanical forms is a natural extension of his landscape photography. In both types of photography, he looks for lighting that emphasizes form, texture, and movement. For that reason, he prefers to photograph mostly in black and white unless adding color serves a specific purpose in the photograph.

In 2009, he took a break from landscape photography to begin a different project called “Places of Spirit and Light,” a study of churches in rural Iowa.  The project has been exhibited at Grand View University (2018, Des Moines, Iowa) and The Octagon Center for the Arts (2016, Ames, IA).  LensWork magazine published part of the “Places of Spirit and Light” portfolio in its Issue #109 (2013).

Other honors include: a second place award and part of a group exhibit in the New York Center for Photographic Art’s Wandering Curves contest; selected for Urbandale Public Library’s Art UP Close residency program; Best of Show in the Octagon Art Center (Ames, IA) Snapshot photo contest; selection of two photos for the Vet’s Auditorium renovation (Des Moines, IA); and an appearance in Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Outdoors segment on Iowa State Fair’s Photography Salon.

His photographs are in the permanent collections at Mary Greeley Hospital; the Municipal Fire and Police Retirement System of Iowa, The University of Iowa Library, and are on display in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Kansas City office. The Iowa Farm Bureau Association of Iowa selected Mendenhall’s Summer Storm to represent the state at the Farm Bureau National Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

He lives in Altoona, IA, with his wife, Nancy Eichmann.

Artist’s Statement

Being out in nature is the best remedy when the hectic, fast-paced culture of everyday life gets to be overwhelming. Being in the midst of the landscape — especially if the phone is shut off — truly restores our souls. Photographs in the Quiet Places collection attempt to share that feeling and provide a moment or two of peace and quiet. 

The beneficial effects of nature can be recreated in photography by carefully working with light to emphasize the form, texture, mood, and implied movement that inspires a sense of serenity. I choose to photograph primarily in black and white to bring out those features. I photograph in color only when I can identify specific benefits it brings to an image.

Technically speaking, everything I use in creating photographs contributes to attaining the highest possible quality using high resolution digital cameras. Prints are made on archival quality, heavy-weight photo paper with fade resistant pigment inks that can be enjoyed for many generations. No elements are added and post-processing is limited to adjustments for brightness and contrast.

– Larry Mendenhall