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Artist blends photos, drawings, into single form

Artist blends photos, drawings, into single form

NEW ULM — The photography of Dana Rose will be on display at The Grand Center for Art and Culture starting this Saturday.

Rose is an award-winning photographer from Alvord, Iowa. She received many art and photography awards at state and national levels. Her most recent honor was earning a spot on Team USA to represent the USA in the 2021 World Photographic Cup.

Rose has a degree in graphic design. She previously worked with other photographers but needed a creative outlet. She eventually opened a studio in her hometown and has been creating unique art ever since.

Rose’s artwork blends traditional photography and drawings into a single form.

“Everything starts with photography,” Rose said. The photos are then merged with graphic images.

This art form is done digitally, but Rose prefers not to describe it as digital art.

“It implies I just hit a few buttons and it is done,” she said.

In reality, the process is more involved. Using a digital tablet, she will draw in new details, change colors and add different backgrounds. The images she creates are then printed, usually on fine art paper, but some images are printed on acrylic surfaces to enhance certain qualities.

Rose said a benefit from this art style is, when drawing, there is no need to erase. Any mistake is easily transformed. Using a digital tablet also allows Rose to imitate art styles like oil paints or colored pencils.

Rose said with her art she tries to push herself with different challenges. The greatest challenge is getting the idea she has in her head into the work.

“I do a story approach to my work,” she said. “It is hard to get what is in my head.”

In her piece “Just More Bad News” she took a real image of a bird then gave it a newspaper to hold.

“Bird’s don’t hold newspapers,” Rose said. Figuring out how to put a paper in a bird’s wings took trial and error, but she eventually found a way. The image ultimately represented the United States in the World Photographic Cup in the Illustrative category.

Several of Rose’s pieces feature animals. Dogs are the most common animal in the gallery, but birds, cats and fantasy dragons pop up as well.

Rose said color is important in her work because of the emotion it communicates. Her work “Pretty in Pink” began as a photo of a flamingo. She said originally the flamingo was surrounded by sickly green grass but she wanted to put the bird in a pretty environment that matched its coloring.

Another work titled “Circus Runaways” began as an animal photo, but circus clothing was added to the animals. Rose said she chose a faded green color on the circus clothes to give a sense of the past. The animals have run away from that life.

Rose said her favorite part of this art style is, it allows the artist to create something they want to see or wish they could see.

“I like creating something you can’t see every day,” she said.

Rose’s photo exhibit opens to the public Saturday, May 15, at 12 p.m. in The Grand’s 4 Pillars Gallery. Her work will remain on display through 5 p.m. Friday, June 11.

The Grand will host a special virtual gallery opening at 5 p.m. Friday, May 14, on Facebook.

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