Local photographer Julie Riker Dant is currently displaying a collection of her photographs at the St. Meinrad Archabbey Library Art Gallery. The exhibit, which includes Dant’s photos as well as face and snake jugs by Tom Wintczac of Posey County and quilts from the family collection of Brother Luke Waugh, a monk of St. Meinrad, is titled “Preserving the Past” and will run through Aug. 30.
Dant became interested in photography during the 90s when she stared taking weekend excursions throughout the back roads of Indiana in search of old, abandoned houses.
“I began to feel an almost impulsive needs to document as many of these old relics as I could find before they disappeared forever by severe weather, the ravages of time, or by the property owners themselves,” said Dant.
After spending much time wandering through the path often less traveled, Dant said she began to see the world around her in a different way. Everything to her was now much more detailed and magnified.
“I’ve always had an appreciative eye for nature’s beauty, however, once I began to photograph the beautiful scenes that I would find around the next bend, or over the next hill, I leanred to look beyond just the scene itself.”
It didn’t take long for Dant to discover that lighting plays a key factor in having a successful photograph. “I discovered that certain light on certain days can make an ordinary scene or object look quite extraordinary.
Dant has been an artist most of her life and was more interested in taking the photos to use to later create paintings. “I was planning to use the photographs as the “memory” of the scenes.”
She soon discovered after the purchase of her first digital camera and she could digitally give many of the scenes of things often left forgotten a “painted look” without the use of a brush, paint or canvas. “I began calling these painted-like images “Artography,” Dane said.