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The 2021 results are in…

We are excited to announce the 2021 Dig the Dunes calendar photography winners! Above is a preview of the photos chosen for the calendar, which you can purchase in our online shop right now for the pre-order sale price of $18. 10% of all calendar proceeds go to Save the Dunes!

This year our cover will feature 3X calendar winner Susan Kirt. Susan is a photographer and biologist who grew up exploring midwestern natural areas. She enjoys taking and sharing photos of the wonderful natural areas found in Northwest Indiana, often surprising viewers with the rare plants and habitats found in our region. One of Susan’s favorite subjects to photograph are arthopods (insects) and she is very excited that this monarch caterpillar is the front cover of the 2021 Dig the Dunes calendar. Susan gives back to the natural community through donating photographs to local nature organizations and serving on the Save the Dunes board.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support Dig the Dunes and all who submitted photos this year!

We now introduce to you the 2021 calendar winners…

January – Larry A Brechner Northwest Indiana based photographic artist, Larry A Brechner, produces gallery-quality images that feature a wide range of subjects mostly in landscapes, scenic, nature, still life, buildings, nautical themes, and aerial work. His work has been exhibited in galleries throughout Northwest Indiana and Suburban Chicago, also appearing in several private collections plus several regional calendars and coffee table books. Larry is also the co-host of the weekly radio show ART ON THE AIR, and host for Lakeshore PBS television program, EYE ON THE ARTS. Check out his Website for more!

February – Jamie Hogan Having enjoyed a wonderful duality spanning more than 30 years in both the Indiana Dunes and Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois, Jamie lives today in the artistic, vibrant, and notably eccentric enclave of Porter Beach affectionately called the looney dunes. The Dunes, Jamie says, are deep in every memory, milestone, and important event in her adult life and she honestly doesn’t have a recollection of life without the Dunes as a backdrop. She makes her living in real estate and makes her life as a writer, artful cook, and hobby photographer. Her favored region-centric themes are sunsets and beaches, rural landscapes, leaning barns, and the grit and grace of our industrial heart. She’s pretty sure if we want to know what someone fears losing, watch what they photograph.

March – Steve Bensing Steve first became interested in photography at 5 years old. He is naturally visually oriented and uses his art to express his vision to others. Many people have influenced him over the years, starting with his grandfather. He is the president of the Duneland Photography Club and loves to encourage others in their photographic quest. He believes learning and teaching is a never-ending process! The photo was taken at Brincka-Cross Gardens in Furnessville. To Steve, a camera is merely a tool for the artist to create. You can find more about Steve and his photos here.

April – Karen Feczko Karen is the mother to 3 great kids and works as an instructional assistant for Portage Township Schools. She captures the majority of her photos during her running adventures. She aspires to one day turn her love of photography into more than just a hobby. This photo was taken a few years back just off the West Beach main entrance where the stairs and ramp connect. Follow her “On the Run in Northwest Indiana” where she posts about her adventures.

May – Cindy Conley Cindy is a Hospital Pharmacist currently working for Comprehensive Pharmacy Services at the Methodist Hospitals Gary/ Merrillville as a Clinical Pharmacy Manager.  She has lived in Northwest Indiana all of her life, with the last 30 plus years in Ogden Dunes. She loves to garden, hike, and bird watch either locally or on vacation with her husband. Her favorite bird to see in the Spring is the Indigo Bunting and this one she captured in her own backyard on her blooming redbud tree.

June – Peggy Carter Peggy started getting into photography about 10 years ago. She enjoys mostly taking landscapes and nature settings. She is an active member of the Duneland Photography Club, and currently the PR coordinator for the club. Her goal is to share with the world what she sees through her eyes. Check out her portfolio here.

July – Jan Parr Jan is an editor for Crain’s Chicago Business and has been living in Beverly Shores full time for the past 16 months. She and her husband are rehabbing a midcentury modern ranch in the dunes they bought three years ago. Follow their updates on Instagram @mid.centurytreehouse

August – Chad Howell Chad was born and raised in Northwest Indiana. He works and resides in the area with his wife, kids, and three dogs. They spend as much time hiking around the Dunes as they can. Chad can often be found with a camera in his hand wherever they travel. @cjhbeeman

September – Scott Hale Scott was born and raised in Northern Indiana. After a fairly long hiatus, he has recently gotten back into photography. He works as a full-time electrician but enjoys doing photography on the side professionally and as a hobby. Follow his work @hale_foto

October – Michael Sandoval Michael is a resident of Schererville, Indiana. In his free time, he enjoys taking photos and flying his drone to explore unknown scenery within the Dunes and surrounding areas. A graduate of Indiana University and currently work as the Design Manager for SEAATS Dynamic Furniture Solutions. He enjoys going on weekly adventures exploring nature, local restaurants, and breweries with his girlfriend. Follow his adventures on Instagram @Sandy_Rozay

November – Alexis Dines Alexis is a graphic designer at Family Express and lives in Chesterton, Indiana. Taking pictures is just a sliver of her creativity! She also enjoys painting, drawing, making crafts, and hiking the dunes with her husband. The Indiana Dunes is her favorite place to explore and calm down. @alexis_dines1

December – Terry Fairchild Terry has been interested in nature photography since he was about 13 years old. His parents supported his photography hobby and his mom let him use her camera at a very young age. He received his first camera when he was 12 and has had one on him ever since. He feels very lucky to have a wife that understands and supports his passion, and the need to travel throughout America.


Thank you to our 2021 sponsors!

Calendar printed by Datagraphic Chesterton

Calendars can be purchased in our online shop. Ship for $8 or choose local pick-up and grab them at Trail Stop (Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk) in early December. Pre-order price of $18 runs through December 3, 2020 and then the cost will go up to $22. As always, 10% of proceeds will go to Save the Dunes. Order your 2021 calendar now!


Want to stay up to date on all things “Dig the Dunes”? Be sure to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter, right here!

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