Landscape References: Altered Photography by Randy Richmond &
Woodturned Vessels by Robert Wallace

Iowa Artisans Gallery focuses on our natural heritage with a show of altered photography by Randy Richmond and wood turned vessels by Robert Wallace, July 24 – August 23, 2009. Richmond’s digitally altered landscape photography is startling and surreal in its effect. Wallace, a botanist, combines his professional knowledge and love of wood with a keen interest in wood forms, and botanical descriptions will accompany the pieces. 20% of the proceeds from sales of this work in this exhibition will benefit the non-profit Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation ( which has helped protect more than 100,000 acres of Iowa's prairies, wetlands, woodlands, greenways, trails and river corridors.

Richmond terms his body of photographic work as otherography. Although digitally altered photography is becoming widespread, Richmond’s visual perceptions create unusual and provocative results. He explains, “through the use of animals that are usually interacting with man-made objects, my goal is to gently illuminate the absurdities and behaviors that accompany our higher level of evolution. The words ‘magical’ and ‘realism’ denote contrasting worlds. When these two worlds join together, wonderful tensions and unique atmospheres can be created. The contrasts generated through these tensions provide the artist with an opportunity to create a compelling, mysterious world that draws in the viewer. These worlds are all around us, constantly being played out but most often ignored or unrecognized.” A Muscatine artist, in 2007-08 he participated in exhibitions in Fort Collins, Paoli, WI; Portland, OR; Rock Island, IL; Caumnet, MI and the Denver International Airport. He also had a solo exhibit at Copper Country Art Center, Hancock, MI and participated in America’s Biennial, an international traveling juried exhibition.

Robert Wallace combines twin passions for botany and woodworking in his lathe-turned vessels. An Iowa State University Professor of Biology since 1990, Wallace has been working with wood since childhood. The themes and shapes chosen for his pieces are inspired by his knowledge and professional training in biology as well as by classical forms and vessels from throughout history. He describes the native figure and color of the wood has having a “dynamic interaction” with the form, shape and proportion of the piece. “The opportunity to expose grain patterns, subtle color or texture differences and unique features of the wood is an endless source of inspiration.” Additional post-lathe work might include carving, wood-burning, surface texturing and chemical fuming to enhance color and fine-scale surface features. Wallace uses clear finishes that emphasize the natural grain and color characteristics as well as the basic cell structure. Of special interest in this exhibit will be Wallace’s botanical descriptions of the woods used; these will accompany each piece. Wallace is a member of the American Association of Woodturners and has been an officer and active members of the Ames Woodworkers Club for 17 years.

Iowa Artisans Gallery was established by artists in 1984 and will celebrate its 25th anniversary in October, 2009. The gallery features work by American artists and focuses on Midwestern artists wherever possible. Daily hours are Monday-Wednesday 10-6pm; Thursday’s Downtown Shopping Night: 10-7pm; Friday 10-6pm; Saturday 10-5:30 and Sunday 12-4. For more information, please contact the Gallery at 319-351-8686.

Randy Richmond - Digitally Altered Landscape - "Otherology"
Randy Richmond - Digitally Altered Landscape - "Darwin Envy"
Randy Richmond - Digitally Altered Landscape - "Unfinished Prairie Sonata"
Rob Wallace - Woodturned Vessel in Mesquite - "Texana
Rob Wallace - Woodturned Vessel in Dalmata - "Goblet"
Rob Wallace - Woodturned Vessel in Box Elder & African Blackwood - "Columnella"
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