I was born in Deming, NM during WWII while my father was a cadet in the Army Air Corps. After the war we moved to the Minneapolis area where I lived until I graduated from college, with excursions to more Western locations for horse shows and rodeos.
In the 1970’s I bought into a farm in Western Wisconsin and married one of the partners. We raised beef cattle and horses, and had two children, Luke and Katey Bellville. Also during that time I was a freelance editorial photographer in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
In 1980 I was invited by a Minneapolis publishing house to submit ideas for non-fiction books for young readers that turned into a long association and fourteen children’s books. Initially these books were about farming and ranching, but later covered a range of subjects. Two books documented Ojibway and Lakota families, and were written with members of those tribes.
Powwow Summer, a Family Celebrates the Circle of Life, co-authored with writer Marcie Rendon, was republished recently by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. The final book, Farmer’s Market, Families Working Together, also co-authored with Marcie Rendon, described a year in the life of a German family that came to Minnesota at the turn of the 20th Century, and a Hmong family that immigrated to Minnesota from Laos almost a hundred years later.
My lifelong interest in photography began as a student in Fine Arts at the University of Minnesota studying under the late Jerome Liebling. I combined working in fine art photography with free-lance assignments, a pattern that continued for over forty years.
Today I divide my time between rural Wisconsin and the mountains of Western New Mexico with Don, my husband of twenty-five years, not far from the town I was born in.