John Gehl is a photographer and metal sculptor who was born and grew up in Wisconsin. After high
school at Marmion Academy in Aurora, Illinois, he attended Marquette University in Milwaukee and
then Harvard Graduate School of Business.
“I worked in the family business for my whole career,” reports John, then quipping, “No one else
in town would hire me. It was the farm equipment business—manure spreaders—and later, the
construction equipment business. But I’ve never been imprisoned.” (Another John quip.)
When he retired in 1998, John split his time over the next ten years—summer in Wisconsin,
winter in New Zealand. Then, in 2009, he moved to Brookings.
Shortly after that move, his first wife passed away. Later, at Manley Art Center, he met his
current wife, Mary Heflin, then the gallery’s art director. They have been married for almost seven years.
About his interest in photography, John says, “It began in high school and ended pretty much
shortly thereafter. But it resumed after my move to Brookings. Today I primarily do fine art
photography, along with landscape and still life. And I shoot lots of photos when I travel.”
As for equipment, John says he uses Fujifilm cameras—all mirrorless, one crop-sensor and two
medium-format. He also does film photography using a Mamiya 645.
For his post processing, John uses Capture One raw converter and Photoshop and says his
primary motivation is “to make ordinary things look good” in his photos.
Adds John, “This is my third featured artist show in Brookings, and I’m hoping to get it right
He also participates in regional shows both here and in Wisconsin, says he has “won numerous
awards, but nothing big yet.” And he adds that he has “sold a few pieces here and there.” Of course.