MPW66 - The Helge Hummelvoll Scholarship

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I was awarded the Helge Hummelvoll Scholarship for MPW66, the Missouri Photo Workshop. “Your experience at the workshop was intense and special because that is most what you needed...You will continue to grow.” Melissa Farlow.

Platte City threw its doors wide open and 44 photographers from all corners of the U.S. and 14 foreign lands walked through, exploring and documenting the stories they found. While the mayor handed out ceremonial keys to the city, community members not only opened their doors but also their hearts and lives. In doing so Platte City becomes the 46th town to grant MPW the privilege and responsibility of telling its story.

I was on Team Chapnick, led by Melissa Farlow & Scott Sines. My story is The House on the Hill

Janet Renz’s grandparents originally settled in Platte City in the mid-1800’s. Using horse and mule teams, they farmed soybeans and tobacco and raised cattle and hogs. In 1922 they built a big white house where her father and uncle were raised. Today the farm is leased to a hard working and industrious farmer and the house is home to a dog trainer. Jake, Janet’s eldest son, keeps the family connected to the land by raising cattle here.

A cowgirl at heart, horses have always been a big part of Janet’s life; growing up the family had as many as twenty and Sunday afternoons were always spent riding across Platte County with family and friends. Her grandfather on her mother’s side rode horseback every day at the stockyards sorting cattle and was proud of his winning team of sorrel mules at the State Fair. Back then, the horses were used to check the cattle. These days Janet rides mainly for pleasure, though she still takes business calls on horseback.

On a rise just South of town, in the house that Janet designed and built, she has watched the property boom and development around Platte City. “Proximity to Kansas City and great schools with rural atmosphere are appealing to most!” she says. Her home is her museum including many Western paintings, trophy animals, ornate saddles, a horseless carriage, and many books including the "Life styles of educated women."

A stately woman with impeccable taste she collects and wears fun jewelry and cowboy boots - many, many cowboy boots. Her two sons are the fifth generation to walk their family farm. Snapshots of the boys decorate the file cabinets of her home office where she runs her real estate business. She is the matriarch of an old, established Platte City family with a passion for horses and cows.

A lady, single mother, businesswoman, and cowgirl at heart, she lives in the house on the hill.