Sandy Dyas, The 50 States Project and (what I’m callin’) Americana photography
“American Gothic on Highway 30, near Mount Vernon, Iowa”
Last August I started to write a post about Pieta Brown, Bo Ramsey and the Iowa music scene which led me to the work of Sandy Dyas. She’d published a book that featured black and white portraits of the musicians who work, live and play back there. I used some of her photos in my story and also quoted Grant Alden from ND #71….where he wrote “Good photographers, when fully immersed in a place where life is happening, write both history and fancy with their lenses. Sandra L. Dyas, whose work periodically appears in these pages, is more than a good photographer, and has spent more than the usual amount of time in Iowa City clubs (and environs) capturing images for Down To The River (University of Iowa Press).”
“Joan in Her Turquoise Dress, near Bellevue, Iowa, Winter 2009”
It’s funny how this internet thing works…Sandy and I have emailed back and forth a few times, we became Facebook friends and although she doesn’t know this, her FB links and posts have taken me to a ton of photography sites I would never have visited or known about if it hadn’t been for her. And I’ve found it to be totally enjoyable to view work on the computer monitor. I can discover and look at more art than trying to view it in magazines or museums, and of course it’s free compared to the cost of a book. Makes me wonder if the photography business is going through the same thing the music business has…the loss of “ownership” and devaluation of the product.
“There’s No Place Like Jenna’s Kitchen, Maquoketa, Iowa, April 2009”
A couple of months ago Sandy had a link to The 50 States Project that she has participated in, along with 49 other American photographers. The premise was this: Each photographer lives in one of the 50 States and during the year long project each photographer will represent the State where they currently live. Every two months each photographer will be sent an assignment by e-mail, they then have two months to produce one image in response. The images must represent both their style and their State.
“Steve Roling, near Bellevue, Iowa 2009”
There were six themes that they had to shoot: People, Habitat, Landscape, Industry, Entertainment and the American Dream. I’ve posted Sandy’s entries here for you to view. I’d also encourage you to click on the red 50 States Project link in the previous paragraph and take a look at some of the other work. And there’s a lot to read about each photo as well. It’s an amazing output of art and craft…and I think it’s about as Americana as the music those of us here like to listen to.
“Jamie Ballerina and her Red Tomatoes, Iowa City, Iowa”
“Rene Paine, Pooch Palace Queen, near Solon, Iowa”