Photographic artist Gina Dabrowski has a soft spot for trash - big piles of it.
When she travels, her fascination leads her to the local dump or transfer station. This is where she does some of her finest work.
Dabrowski's exhibit, "Refuse Reimaged," will open Tuesday and run through Dec. 14 at the Central Lakes College Gallery in Brainerd. The exhibit includes 30-inch-by-40-inch trash portraits from the Crow Wing County Landfill east of Brainerd.
In an e-mail, Dabrowski said, "As a child my dad took me to the dumps and we would help him scavenge. I remember pulling things out at the age of 5, looking for metal he could sell. My dad made extra money for the family that way."
Dabrowski knows that such scavenging is now illegal here, but in Mexico she encountered many such "independent contractors."
Her images also show the people who work in landfills. With her exhibit, Dabrowski hopes to bring the landfills and the people who work in them to the public conscience in a way they might not be now.
Dabrowski earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota, a master of fine art degree from California Institute of the Arts and a master of art degree from the University of Rochester.
She has been an instructor at colleges in Minnesota, Indiana and New York, most recently as an instructional designer in videography, digital imaging and web authoring at St. Catherine University, St. Paul.
The gallery at CLC is open during regular college hours and is free for the public. It is located across from the Jon Hassler Library.