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Norma Reed: A Rural Vision of Iowa Photo Essay

posted on January 9, 2008 at 10:13 AM

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Photographer Norma Reed is a down-to-earth Iowan with rural roots that enrich her vision of the state. Through her lens Iowans can enjoy the state’s cherished features in images that nourish the Iowa soul.

My name is Norma Reed. I’m from Altoona, Iowa. I grew up in Northeast Iowa, and I enjoy photographing Iowa fields, barns, anything related to Iowa life.

The thing about photography in Iowa that connect for me is valuing the ordinary. Something that someone thinks is just an old barn or an old corncrib or something like that, to me that's a form of art.

I grew up on the farm, and my best memories are growing up on that farm. It has made me appreciate nature so much more.

The changing of the seasons is just such a part of your life. Each one brings you a different hope, and it gives you time to reflect back to what you just left behind but to look forward to the future.

My husband and I have four children, and they have never lived in a small town. And I feel bad sometimes for them that they didn't have that small-town feeling that they grew up with where somebody was always watching out for you or reporting on you. But I have two little grandsons that are four and one and a half, and I'm hoping that I can pass on my love for the land to them.

Iowa to me is an earthy place.

I think the spirit of Iowa is stability and responsibility with imagination. So we are stable, steady people that people rely on to do our job, but we have such interesting stories to tell, and we have interesting ways of expressing ourselves.

Tags: art artists Iowa photographers rural

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