Highland Yost Gallery to Feature ‘Hero City,’ Work by Meghan Kirkwood


HIGHLAND, KS – Yost Gallery, located on the main campus of Highland Community College in Highland, KS, will show photography by Meghan Kirkwood from November 8 until December 9.

Works include silver gelatin photographs and are part of a documentary project begun in 2007 and continued again in 2017 about modern Mongolia and its capital city, Ulaanbaatar. The series title “Hero City,” makes reference to the chosen name for the urban center before pressure from soviet activists led to the renaming of the city as it is known today, Ulaanbaatar (city of the Red Hero).

Kirkwood writes, “my images seek to capture these tensions, while at the same time drawing attention to the rich and thriving culture that animates this young Asian nation. As an outsider, I aimed to photograph places of interaction, crossroads in the city, and individuals at work at a key period in the nation’s history, rather than attempt to relay comprehensive narrative.”

Meghan Kirkwood is an assistant professor of art at North Dakota State. She earned a B.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design in photography in 2006 before completing her M.F.A. in studio art at Tulane University in 2009. She has received numerous fellowships, including funding to participate in artist residencies through the National Parks Service, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Lakeside Lab (Iowa). Kirkwood’s photography has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, and South Africa.

In tandem with her studio practice, Kirkwood also researches in the fields of African art and the history of photography. She holds an MA in Art History from the University of Kansas, where she researched African monuments designed and built by North Koreans, and a PhD in Art History from the University of Florida. Her dissertation examines the uses of landscape imagery by contemporary South African photographers.

The Yost Gallery on the Highland campus is open to the community Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with no admission fee.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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