Local photographer to have photo displayed in Rochester airport

Published 1:00 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2022

By Linda Baier

Back in the fall of 2019, on a lonely stretch of highway 105 South in Mower County, photographer Jacob Schlichter captured the Milky Way in beautiful and stunning clarity. Now that photo will be displayed in the Rochester International Airport for the next nine months as part of the Arts Elevated Program.

The program is a partnership between Rochester International Airport (RST) and the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust. Its main purpose is to provide an enhanced airport experience, lift spirits, and provide comfort and care to customers through dynamic showcases of local and regional artists.

Periodically a call for art is released and anyone from Minnesota and the tri-state area can submit artwork. It has to be two-dimensional, original of any type of media, but surveys indicate that people prefer local and Minnesota images.

Jacob Schlichter poses with one of his photos, which will be displayed at the Rochester International Airport. Photo provided

An artist can submit up to three entries, and each one is judged separately. The artwork is for sale and the program receives a commission if it is sold while on display.

Schlichter retains the ownership of the original photo and a giclee print is what will be displayed. He made the print himself with a wide-format printer, and will sign and number it. He plans on marking the special occasion in a unique way for the purchaser.

Schlichter’s photo that was chosen for display is aptly named “Highway 105.” He said that he scouted the area for a couple years before finding the right location. Most people will look at the photo and think that he used a computer program to achieve the end result. But that is not what he does, it is rather like a scientific experiment, and it is referred to as astro photography.

He used a star tracker (you can get a free app for your phone) to find out when the Milky Way would be in that exact location. He used a regular 35mm camera (no wide angle lens), a tripod and a remote shutter release. In its simplest form of explanation, the effect that you see is the result of a longer exposure.

Another of Schlichter’s photos was also selected and if the original photo is sold while on display the second one will take its place. They will be displayed in an area beyond the TSA entry point, so you have to be actually flying in or out of the airport to see it. When asked what the benefit was to having his art displayed, Schlichter said “the foot traffic and potential viewers of my art and just knowing that I’m doing some good for the surrounding area and sharing the natural beauty we’ve got going on down here.”

He is proud of being able to show others the beauty of south-central Minnesota and hopes people will resonate with his work. The two photos that were chosen are some of his favorite pieces from his entire collection of work.

From a young age he had an interest in astronomy, and in high school he started doing photography. When he found out that he could combine both of them he said it was “game over.” That is when he started doing astro photography as well as other techniques like light tracking photography. He is self-taught and doing this type of work is now a part of his business. He also has a clothing line that he markets, and is the Apparel Head for actor/musician Tommy Chong merchandise.

To see more photos from Schlichter visit: https://jacobthefox.com  and his fashion line can be found at GetSlicks.com.