Exhibit focuses on NE Michigan outdoors

ROGERS CITY – Onaway photographer Dawn Thompson’s photographic art is on display at the Presque Isle District Library in Rogers City until July 5.

The Woods and Waters Exhibit features Thompson’s abstract images of nature, library Director of Programming Anne Belanger said. Thompson takes pictures of the outdoor environment in Northeast Michigan and manipulates them, some taking on a painting- or drawing-like quality as a result. She has her own studio, and at some point during the exhibit she’ll give a presentation on her process.

“I think what I liked about her style is that she really covers a broad spectrum of interests,” she said. “There’s abstract art, woods and water and nature, and she does architectural work as well.”

There’s no telling what objects will catch Thompson’s eye, she said, although she does prefer old objects, especially Art Deco-style and rusty ones. One of her photographs features an old farm truck with added rust, and another is a morphed photograph of the Mackinac Bridge.

Thompson also creates montages by combining more than one image, sometimes as many as six, she said. She has no set plan for the finished product when she begins her process of manipulating them by distorting colors.

“I like to play with my photographs and see what I come up with when I’m playing with them,” she said. “I enjoy that process because the end result is always a surprise what I’m going to come up with.”

With a background in television production, Thompson said her work takes on a brighter quality. She became a professional photographer after looking unsuccessfully for work around three years ago. Since then, she’s been selling her work at arts and crafts shows.

Many of Thompson’s photos are taken in Northeast Michigan, she said. There’s one in the current library exhibit called “Woods and river” that was taken in the Herman Vogler Conservation Area just outside Rogers City.

Thompson also will gives a presentation on her inspirations and process on a date to be announced by the library, Belanger said.

“I think the fact that she’s local is another really cool thing,” she said. “We need to celebrate our local artists, and she is a digital photo artist.”

Speaking after teaching a course on digital photography at the library’s Grand Lake branch, Belanger said she’s seeing more interest in taking digital photos. With more people both old and young taking photos on phones, tablets and digital cameras, they’re seeking new ways to share their photos. Seeing Thompson’s exhibit up close could inspire people to take their hobby to the next step.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.