Eric Nelson Tintypes and Wet Plate Collodion

Eric Nelson is one of the photographers who will be at the Amherst Opera House Photography Show/Sale on Saturday, September 9th during Celebrate Amherst. Eric creates unique inages using photographic processes dating to before the Civil War. Bring your family and have a truly unique portrait “struck” by Eric on the north lawn of the Amherst Opera House.

Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson’s interest in handmade historic photography began when he was a boy growing up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Nelson remembers how he and his father, a high-school shop teacher, would prepare and ‘rock’ trays of chemistry in the school’s photo lab. Later, while attending UW-Madison, Nelson discovered resources on early photographic processes in the stacks of the technical library, which inspired him to begin experimenting on his own. This led to a life-long exploration of photographic processes including pin-hole photography, Ambrotypes, cyanotypes, Van-Dyke brown prints, and wet-plate collodion. Nelson collects antique cameras and lenses, and he has built a darkroom nearly everywhere he has lived.  When not using a “dark tent” on the road, he works at his home studio, in a forested area near Marshfield, Wisconsin.

Eric Nelson received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he has shown his work locally and nationally. His photographs have been exhibited at Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY; Charles Allis Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI; Mills Pond House Gallery,  St. James, NY; Gallery 101 University of Wisconsin-River Falls, River Falls, WI; The Alexander House, Wisconsin Rapids, WI; Joy Wai Gallery, New York, NY; and others.

Nelson has had solo exhibitions at New Visions Gallery, Marshfield, WI; Lucille Tack Center of the Arts, Spencer, WI; and Gallery 450, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Marshfield, Marshfield, WI. He has worked as a lecturer at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Marshfield, WI, and taught photography at every level from Kindergarten to College.

Trey Foerster Fotos

Trey Foerster is one of the photographers who will be at the Amherst Opera House Photography Show/Sale on Saturday, September 9th during Celebrate Amherst. Plan to stop in to see and enjoy the images he creates.

A December setting sun illuminates the Trout Creek Road Schoolhouse in Portage County, Wisconsin. The heavy snowfalls still carried on tree linbs and braches offers a beautiful contrast to the red building. The red brick chimney is a wonderful touch on the schoolhouse.
This woodland White Oyster fungi is common in Wisconsin and grows on decaying trees. This particular cluster was found about five feet up a tree trunk in the Skunk-Foster State Natural Area in Scandinavia, Wisconsin. The light flowing from the top backlights the gills and creates contrast with the bark’s texture and dark color. Fungi (mushrooms) are one story of decay and the environmental balance at play in wodlands.
The Purple Coneflower is termed a “tall showy flower of the prairies” and is popular for herbal remedies. Butterflies and the Goldfinch are attracted to it. These specimens were blooming in late July at Jorgens Park Preserve’s prairie in Scandinavia, Wisconsin.
The colors of Bud Break in Spring are second to fall’s foliage change in Central Wisconsin. Add in some fog in the hills for a background and a red barn, then you’ve got an epic Wisconsin May photograph. The brick silo is an added spice that fits in with the cornfield stubble in the foreground. This is why people fall in love with the rural backroads of the state and the many gems in holds no matter the season.

After spending 50 years in print publishing and photojournalism, mostly newspapers, Trey Foerster has embarked on a journey to bring out the vibrancy of Wisconsin’s nature, the wonderment of woodlands and prairies through fine art photography and painted photography or “paintography”. He’s attempted to bring out the story of what he sees and has experienced while shooting it. He is a member of the Photographic Society of America, the Wisconsin Professional Photographers Association, and the Focal Point Camera Club. His work – mostly centering on Central Wisconsin – has won numerous art show ribbons and placed in the Top 3 places in camera club competitions. Environment conservation has been a concern of his and works for environmental conservation through Rotary, by co-chairing the Rotary Club of Waupaca’s Environment Committee and Rotary District 6220’s Environmental Sustainability Task Force. His prairie flower photography will be used on educational signage being designed for Jorgens Park Preserve in Scandinavia, Wisconsin.

I will be selling images of various sizes and finishes from cards to frame prints.

1st Annual Amherst Opera House Photography Show/Sale

The mission of the Amherst Opera House Co. Guild is to be a venue for local theater, visual arts, community gatherings, and music. To that end we are making plans for the 1st Annual Photography Show and Sale. This event will offer local photographers the opportunity to show and possibly sell the art they have created. This event will occur during Celebrate Amherst on Saturday, September 9th, 2023. While this is not a juried show, it is open to all who apply and are invited to participate. There is no cost to participate and any sales are 100% given to the photographer who created the image. If you are interested in participating please email for an application form.

Continuing Improvements

Since the Amherst Opera House Co. Guild, Inc. was formed we have worked on maintaining continuous improvements to our unique building. While we replaced the 1938 version of electrical service panel as one of our first projects with a new 200 amp service panel, we were still using the old switch panel. We recently completed the replacement of the old switch panel with all new wiring from the panel to the lights, switches, and soon to be added ceiling fans. There are a lot of improvements made that are not apparent to the general public. All of these capital improvements are accomplished only with the help of volunteers and donations. Stay tuned for news of exciting things coming this fall.

1938 Switch Panel
2023 Switch Panel

We Need Your Help.

The Amherst Opera House is soon to have a new ceiling installed in the main auditorium. The drywall installers need to have room to set up scaffolding so they can work on the 18 foot tall ceilings. So we have to move a lot of stuff from the main floor to the lower level. If you can spare any time to help we would greatly appreciate it. We will be working Saturday the 3rd of June as well as Sunday the 4th, Monday the 5th, & Tuesday the 6th if it takes that long. We will be there each day starting at 10:00AM unless you want to start earlier. If you drive by and the doors are open we are inside working. We are paying an hourly wage or you can count the time as an in kind donation, we appreciate your help either way. Great opportunity if you know a teenager who would like to make some quick cash. If you have questions email, call or text 715-321-0122, or just show up when the doors are open.

Calling All Photographers

I started what became a lifelong career as a photographer in a small darkroom in a closet in Mr. Bremer’s office at Amherst High School. I was very active as a Falcon Flyer newsletter and Yearbook photographer throughout my time in High School. The Amherst Opera House recently received a donation of quite a bit of professional photography equipment. The donation from Walcott Studios in Columbus, WI includes studio lights, numerous backgrounds, portrait props, and educational material. Our intent is to develop a shooting space in our lower level and make it available to students, local photographers, and anyone interested in learning more about photography. This fits well with our mission to provide a space where people can learn, enjoy, and practice their art. Stay tuned for more details as our plans take shape.

A complete professional photo studio in a truck.

Fundraiser Progress

Progress through 1/15/23

Only 17 days left including today, Sunday, 1/15/23. We are doing great! Thanks much to those who have donated so far. We need to raise $5,415.56 more in order to reach our goal of $20,000.00 which will enable us to receive the maximum $10,000.00 donation from Jerome Guyant. Every donation helps regardless of the amount of money. Donations can be mailed to Amherst Opera House, PO Box 277, Amherst, WI 54406,

or made online at

or dropped off in person at the International Bank of Amherst.