In honor of the upcoming 21st Annual Northeast Artists' Studio Tour, we've interviewed our super talented artists to share how they got where they are and why they make the work that they do.
Up first is photographer Joyce Meyer. Joyce's studio is at 113 Dvorak Drive in Spillville, IA. This year's tour is Friday through Sunday, October 12th to the 14th, with all locations on the tour open from 10am to 5pm each day.
Who are you and what kind of art do you make?
I’m an award winning photographer with work that has been on covers of national magazines, in various other magazines, websites, on television photography shows, and my commercial work can be seen all over Iowa, on canvases, billboards and websites. Besides my work as a fine art photographer, I’m also a photojournalist for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and freelance writer and photographer for local newspapers in the area. I also teach photography classes and have my work on exhibit in Iowa art galleries, with various stores including Inspire+d in downtown Decorah that sell my work and line of nature-inspired cards.
What’s your background? Briefly describe your path of becoming an artist.
I discovered the art of photography in mid-life and changed careers from a high school librarian to a writer, photojournalist, and nature photographer. I never imagined someday I would be seeing my work in national magazines; I was just driven to record and share the everyday beauty that surrounds us.
The last ten years I have also been a photojournalist and written weekly features for my hometown paper, blog for an Iowa tourism site, teach photography, besides being a freelance writer and photojournalist for the Cedar Rapids Gazette. I also have had nine national magazine covers and work in other magazines and websites, commercial work all over Iowa, television programs and even on a billboard.
What do you enjoy most about being an artist? What part of your process do you most enjoying doing?
As a nature photographer, I use my work to tell the story of the beauty in nature and its many moods and invite people to walk with me on my journey as I see it through the camera canvas. I'm particularly drawn to light and water.
What inspires you?
Nature inspires me. It is good for the soul. To be immersed in the quiet of the woods or sitting by the lake reflecting rejuvenates me. And I hope by capturing that feeling and putting it on canvas that others can take that feeling with them, hang it in their office, home or a spa-like place to release their tension as they look up into that "window" and imagine being there and help calm themselves from the hectic life many of us lead.
I see beauty everywhere in nature, from the tiniest butterfly to the majestic mountains. Then add the changing of the seasons and it's like turning the page on a great book, exciting to see how the light will transform the next chapter. This also reminds me of my life and my many changing seasons, as each new chapter unfolds.
Describe what we’ll see when we come to your studio. How do we get to your studio/Tour location?
As you wander up and down the hills and valleys looking at amazing scenery on your way to the quaint little Czech town of Spillville, our home is on the outskirts of town on 113 Dvorak Drive. Our lovely lane has fields on both sides with a few homes about a fourth of a mile in. We are the second place on the right with a farm field on one side and Wonder Creek on the other. You'll likely see deer, turkey, songbirds and other wild animals around.
My "treehouse" gazebo on the second floor of our house is where spend much of my time when home photographing birds or reading books. Every inch of wall space in my office is filled with my framed published work which gives me inspiration to edit photos when I really rather be outside enjoying nature. Downstairs is where we set up my gallery each year and also is where I take studio photos. We look forward to showing you around and sharing my work with you!
More about the Northeast Iowa Artists' Studio Tour:
The Northeast Iowa Artists' Studio Tour is a unique opportunity to explore artists studios for an intimate look into their creative process and a chance to purchase their newest works right out of the kiln, hot off the presses, paint freshly cured...you get the point! This year, you can experience 51 artists at 37 locations while also taking in the charm of Northeast Iowa's small communities, local fare, and the breathtaking scenery of the Driftless. Each artist is different, but they all share a passion for imagination and each one welcomes their guests with gusto. Visit the Tour's website to download a brochure, map, or GPS coordinates for each location.
Image credit: Joyce Meyer