Sandra Louise Dyas Photography


Monday, December 28, 2009

The 50 States Project Goes to Italy

Rene Paine - Queen of the Pooch Palace, near Solon, Iowa -- is one of the featured photographs from Italy's D Magazine. The 50 States Project is being featured on pages 104-115.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Italy's D Magazine is OUT!

The 50 States Project has gotten the attention of the Italians! Three of my photographs from this year long project were chosen to be printed in D Magazine. I cannot translate the pages... wish I could! The magazine is online and will be on the news stands in Italy for three weeks. Leonora Sartori is the editor of this fine write-up on pages 104- 115.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ONWARD '10 - Philadelphia, PA

40 photographers' works were selected for the up-coming exhibition in Philadelphia, PA at Project Basho. Two of my gelatin silver prints were selected. Read more....Onward '10.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Originally uploaded by Yoko Ono official

Monday, December 7, 2009

ONWARD '10 - Philadelphia, PA

Debbie Caffery Fleming, juror for the up-coming exhibition of photography at Project Basho in Philadelphia, PA chose two of my gelatin silver prints for Onward '10. Opening Reception is February 6th, 2010.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Rose Franzen - Queen of Maquoketa, Iowa!

Rose Franzen is from Maquoketa, Iowa...not very far from where I grew up. In fact, my daughter Jenna and her daughter Caroline Louise live in Maquoketa, where Jenna has been working at the library for over ten years. A few years ago, Rose decided to paint as many people's portraits in Maquoketa as she could. The Iowa Arts Council wisely gave her a project grant. The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC is currently exhibiting Rose's "Portrait of Maquoketa", a collection of 180 paintings. The exhibition can be seen until July 2010. I know Rose Franzen and she is a talented and deserving artist. Calling national attention to her small home town of Maquoketa is making people feel very proud they are from Maquoketa. This project also is helping the town move forward - as the community has been struggling with economic and cultural problems. Rose's portraits are a reminder of the power of the people in a community.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Farnham Galleries - Simpson College

This exhibition will be shown in two galleries. One gallery will have a large body of older work entitled "The Lost Nation Photographs". The second gallery will be a monumental photo installation of new work entitled "Heaven and Earth". There will be an Opening Reception and Gallery Presentation on Monday, January 11th, 2010 in the Farnham Galleries at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. The exhibitions run from January 11th through February 5th, 2010.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

More Photos

Originally uploaded by playbsides

The Mill, Iowa City - Art in the Back Room

Originally uploaded by playbsides
Pieta Brown invited three artists to show some of their work at the Mill during her three night residency "This Land is Your Music". The music each night was really special - great evenings! My installation was a mix of old and new. Thanks Pieta for inviting me.

Danny Wilcox Frazier Wins an Aftermath Grant!

Congratulations Danny! I knew you when....(we went to U of Iowa together) Danny is one amazing talented photographer. His first book of black and white photography "Driftless: Stories from Iowa" won the Honickman First Book Prize a few years ago. A few days ago, he was awarded a $20,000 grant for his newest project "Wounded Knee: Generations Endure a Massacre".

Sunday, November 22, 2009


DIRTY BIRDIES UNIQUE BOUTIQUE -my daughters are flying in high profile. Check out their brand new blog!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Talia Leman - HERO in United Airlines Hemispheres

I drove to Des Moines one pretty gloomy and chilly fall day to photograph Talia Leman. Talia is a very special young woman. When she was only 10 years old, she started a project called TLC to help the people who were hit by hurricanes, Katrina & Rita. She raised ten million dollars. She then founded Talia is featured in United Airlines Inflight Magazine - Hemispheres-- in a section they call HERO.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Joan in Her Turquoise Dress

Joan in Her Turquoise Dress, near Bellevue, Iowa was selected by Aline Smithson, the juror for an On-Line Gallery of the PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont. BLUE: An Exhibition of Photographs About a Color will be shown in their On-Line Gallery Annex and also included in a forthcoming exhibition catalog.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Minneapolis Photo Center - PORTRAITS

Susan and the Red Tomato, near Andrew, Iowa was chosen by David Little, MIA Curator of Photography and juror for the Portraits exhibition to be held from January 2nd through February 14th, 2010 at the Minneapolis Photo Center. The reception will be held January 8th, 2010 from 6-9 pm. There were over 1,500 entries submitted and David Little chose 79 images.

Bo Ramsey In the Weeds

Video featuring Bo Ramsey - made in 2000.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Iowa City People

Katie Roche, creator and director of "Iowa City People" interviewed me for a brand new program on our local government channel 4. You can see it in pieces on youtube. Katie Roche is a musician and friend of mine - an artist I admire. You can watch the interview on youtube in three parts or go to the government channel for local time schedules on TV. Iowa City People - Sandy Dyas part one, two and three all on

The 50 States Project

NEW WORK - SEE the latest edition of the fabulous 50 States Project. My contribution is a photograph of Jamie Elizabeth - my youngest daughter.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Heaven & Earth - a photo installation

Some photo documentation of my installation at Luce Gallery, Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Jenna & Jamie (daughters of mine) have one of the coolest vintage clothing sites ever - have you seen it? Have you shopped? Check it out - it is getting international attention - Dirty Birdies Vintage - on ebay, facebook and myspace. By the way --- this is Jamie Elizabeth, very blue, in her garden with red tomatoes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Living with Music -- Thisbe Nissen

Thisbe Nissen's newest novel (she is presently writing this) is set in Iowa. She is featured in the New York Times blog about books called Paper Cut. In this interview Thisbe shares 11 of her favorite music memories...songs and music, musicians and writers - it is lovely, heart-felt and you can tell....Thisbe is a little homesick for Iowa....We miss you dear Thisbe! Turn up the tunes, listen to the music and dance to your heart's content dear friend.

America's Coolest Small Towns - Budget Travel

America's Coolest Small Towns - Mount Vernon, Iowa

The "American Gothic" painting was recreated on a barn near Mount Vernon, Iowa by Iowan Mark Benesh. It was my chosen landscape contribution to the 50 States Project. Mount Vernon, Iowa was chosen as one of the "10 coolest towns in America". Thisbe Nissen, good friend and writer, wrote the short essay describing why Mount Vernon is a very cool town.

Shared via AddThis

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I recently traveled from Prague to Berlin by train. I love trains! Wish the USA had public transportation that compared with Europe. Sadly it does not. I met Anna Henson, a former art student and graduate of Cornell College, at the Berlin Hauptbahhof, the new train station. We spent nearly six days discovering and enjoying Berlin! Anna and I also went to "Set it Up and Go", her MFA group show opening in a Berlin art gallery. Wow! Anna's work is something else...powerful, beautiful and full of pathos - a video piece she created while at The Glasgow School of Art. Anna and I took many photos and went to some amazing photo shows while there - what a wonderful trip to Berlin... I want to go back.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Million Little Pictures

Originally uploaded by arthousecoop
I am part of the Million Little Pictures project!
A Million Little Pictures is currently up in Atlanta at the ART HOUSE. You can tune into and see it live tonight -- or view it in San Francisco on January 8th, 2010 at the Minna Gallery. What a cool idea to be involved in....! Click HERE to see photos!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


You can download a video program from this website and see all of the artwork in this tremendous show - From Our Perspective, National Women's Exhibition. Kathleen McShane was the 2009 Juror. Best of Show was "Katie in Her Wedding Dress, Iowa City, Iowa".

Coolest Small Town--Mount Vernon, Iowa

This summer Thisbe Nissen and I worked for the Budget Travel magazine. Thisbe wrote an excellent guide to the coolest places to visit and things to do in Mount Vernon, Iowa and I shot the photographs. My American Gothic photograph was just one photograph of the bunch but it was chosen to reside in an article published online. Mark Benesh painted Grant Wood's well-known American Gothic on the side of barn on Highway 30, right between Mount Vernon and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The 50 States Project

Tell me please...what do people in Iowa do for entertainment? This is our new assignment for The 50 States Project. Email me especially if you would like to be photographed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Easy Ed, No Depression and Down to the River

A few weeks ago I got an e from Ed; he is a writer/blogger near San Diego. Ed is a music fan of Pieta Brown, Bo Ramsey, Greg Brown and many others in that circle. He also said he really liked my work and noted Down to the River in his blog. This blog appears on Ed's blog and also on the No Depression site:

"Pieta Brown, Bo Ramsey and this thing about a four-letter state of mind called Iowa thats been on my mind lately"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Top Secret Rosies

My good friend LeAnn Erickson sent me a link to her TOP SECRET ROSIES site. You can view her trailer of Top Secret ‘Rosies’: The Female ‘Computers’ of WWII, a one hour HD documentary. This trailer is utterly wonderful! It is about an untold story of the women and technology that helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age. I LOVE it! When it is completed...LeAnn is thinking of touring --- Cornell College? U of I ? YES!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


It is hard to believe but I just received an e from the National Women's Art Exhibition ...From Our Perspective show in Farmington, MI (near Detroit) - and... My photo of Katie Roche entitled "Katie in Her Wedding Dress, Iowa City, Iowa" was chosen by the juror as BEST in SHOW! Not only is this a fabulous honor, it also means a bit of money! I want to make more portraits of people I know.... (The photo of Katie is below and also on my website).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cornell College Art Faculty Exhibition

MOUNT VERNON – The Cornell College department of art and art history will celebrate Homecoming 2009 with an exhibition featuring works by current studio art faculty in the Peter Paul Luce Gallery, McWethy Hall. Cornell Studio Art Faculty 2009 runs Sept. 13 – Oct. 18. A Homecoming reception will be held Saturday, Oct. 10, 3-5 p.m.

Featured artists include Doug Hanson, Sandy Dyas, Tony Plaut, Susan Coleman and Maria Schutt, with works in a variety of media, including: ceramics, assemblage, drawing, painting, photography and installation art.

Doug Hanson’s functional clay pieces meld Western and Eastern influences to create objects both beautiful and useful. Among his most stunning works are his large-scale platters, which incorporate form and color reminiscent of water, earth and sky.

Sandy Dyas uses collage and juxtaposition to form hybrid thematic relationships, incorporating both traditional and digital photographic techniques in a monumental two- dimensional installation spanning two walls.

Tony Plaut’s assemblages and drawings employ diverse materials and fabrication processes, with thematic strands that point to the very act of perception, prompting the viewer to “look and listen.”

Sue Coleman’s intimate landscapes are based on her immediate environment, and draw from an awareness of nature as a living presence. Her works for this exhibition are primarily in pastel, but featured are a select group of new oils on canvas.

Maria Schutt’s current work is inspired by puppetry and informed by the observation of a young child, RJ, as he plays without interruption. Using drawing and assemblage, the figures are crafted in a posture of doing, implying the potential for action, but the nature of the action is not revealed.Gallery hours are Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sundays: 2 – 4 p.m.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


As hard as it is to get myself to send out my work for photo competitions, this summer I made it a priority. Three friends of mine convinced me it was worth it. I mean I have done it before and had a tiny bit of luck but usually it was the rejection email or letter not the 'congratulations-you-are-in' note. I want to give mucho credit to Laurel Snyder, author of many new books including her latest fabulous book - Any Which Wall. Laurel and Sonya Naumann and I had an inspiring lunch one day this summer. Sonya had just mailed out a gigantic print of one her famous Thousand Dollar Dress photos. (If you have not seen the photos from this on-going project you are missing out!) One of the images had been accepted to a show down in New Orleans by the juror Sylvia Plachy. I took a workshop with Sylvia in 2001 in Maine. I cannot say enough about her...her work is beautiful and very poetic, as is Sylvia. She also wrote a wonderful little blurb for the back of my Down to the River book.

I am meandering... all of these women artists have inspired me deeply. As Laurel told me that day..."throw your work out there every week and see what sticks to the wall" not exactly her words but close enough. I got the point. Chris Offutt, another very good friend of mine told me the same thing a long time ago. I figure if Chris still gets a few rejection letters, I can bear getting them too...

Finally I am to the point of saying I got accepted to two shows this week!!!! (yes I did get some rejection letters too but who cares!) A photo of Katie Roche is being sent out today to the 2009 "From Our Perspective" National Women’s Art Exhibition. This show runs from September 17th - October 9th at Oakland Community College. The title of this photograph is Katie in Her Wedding Dress, Iowa City, 2009.

Last night I received word two pieces were accepted into the Midwest Biennial in Wausau, Wisconsin. The Blue Chair and Blue Birds! are both going to be shipped out....soon! Both can be found in my Heaven & Earth gallery. It pays to have good friends in your life who continue to inspire you. Love to my friends.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Heaven & Earth - a photo installation

Sue Coleman (our Cornell Gallery Director) and I spent two solid days installing my new body of work entitled Heaven & Earth. This is a relatively new way of working for me although years ago I did many installations involving lights, sound, dresses, etc.

Lots of challenges hit me as I began to hang the photographs by pins to two large gallery walls. I hung a similar body of work (albeit very differently) at Wartburg College in Waverly this past February. I really like the way spontaneous way of working - it is similar to how I have made photographic collages on paper. The installing gives me a great amount of freedom in responding to the space at hand.

This is strictly photographs - they are pinned to the walls of the gallery creating a map-like space. Radoslav calls it modern hieroglyphics. The images combine in numerous ways - repeating themselves, juxtapositions, various sizes, color, etc.

Challenging to do this on-the-spot but I like how I can respond to the space in front of me. The work reminds me of my past work, especially the otherworldly aspects of The Lost Nation Photographs. I have re-worked many of the black and white photos from that body of work and they appear in Heaven & Earth as visitors from the past.

Kate Greenstreet, my poet friend, says we continue to say the same things over and over again in our work - we just say it in different ways. True.

The Cornell Faculty show will open on September 13th but the reception will be held on October 10th, a Saturday from 3 - 5pm in the Luce Gallery, Cornell College. Maybe I will see you there!

Friday, August 14, 2009

AFTER STAFF A Closer Look - Bill Owens, the distiller, published a book of art photography once

AFTER STAFF A Closer Look - Bill Owens, the distiller, published a book of art photography once…

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Bill Owens, Whiskey and Pictures

One of my favorite photo books is Suburbia by Bill Owens. Read this interview - note his great advice to photographers...well to anyone yourself. Shoot what is in front of you, "take pictures because you want too".