For local artist Dee Ann Sibley, the lens of her camera captures images of creative expression.
Photographs rich in color and emotion, and some showcasing a sense of unexpected humor, will be displayed at the Cambridge Center for the Arts starting Sept. 6 through Oct. 11.
Sibley will show her collection “A Unique Visual Experience.”
“I love photographing people and old, rundown, abandoned buildings,” Sibley said. “Things often overlooked and not exceptionally beautiful are my favorite subjects.”
Sibley’s unique collection will feature up to 39 photos that will be available for sale ranging from $75 to $250. Community members are invited to view the collection and enjoy free refreshments and music during the opening reception from 4-7 p.m. Sept. 6.
“As an artist, I see a greater need for creative expression in our community,” Sibley said. “I believe the arts are an avenue that draws us together, generates conversation and builds personal and community partnerships.”
Sibley’s interest in art and the creative process was apparent from a young age. After she graduated from Tartan High School, Sibley obtained an Associate in Liberal Arts degree from Lakewood Community College. Later she obtained a Bachelors of Arts degree in studio arts, education and psychology from Augsburg College. Sibley also obtained master’s degrees in art therapy and school counseling from UW-Superior and now is employed as a high school guidance counselor at Centennial.
“I am lucky to have a profession that gives me time off,” Sibley said. “Over the last seven years, I have been able to spend several weeks a year traveling the United States by car, either alone or with my dog, Willie Nelson.”
Sibley often camps along the way to destinations that have brought her from coast to coast and into Canada and Mexico to capture photographs and subjects full of personality but that are not necessarily ordinary.
“Each trip is an opportunity to get away and think creatively the entire time,” Sibley said. “I love to explore new places, and as a result of my curiosities, I have found some uniquely interesting things to photograph.”
Photographs from these adventures will be displayed during her exhibition. Titles of her pieces like “Norm,” “The Broken Church” and “Yesterday’s Coffee” are perplexing in themselves.
Her sense for adventure and inquisitiveness enables Sibley to view the often overlooked or underappreciated as something with great expression and character. This perspective has fueled Sibley’s passion as a dedicated photographer for the past 25 years. She enjoys capturing images that others can apply their own special meaning to.
“I have been in several art shows and have pieces hanging around the United States,” Sibley said. “One of my favorite pieces, ‘Ritchie’s Retirement Dream,’ was bought by Amanda Thompson Rundal who works at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and hangs in her office.”
Sibley founded a camera club called Click that meets the third Thursday of every month from 7-9 p.m. at the Cambridge Center for the Arts. Anyone with an interest in photography is welcome to attend to learn about things like technique, history and processing photography.
“The need to create, be creative and make things beautiful in our surroundings are a significant part of human development,” Sibley said. “The creative spirit draws the community forward and leaves a legacy for our children, whether it is music, dance or fine arts.”
The Cambridge Center for the Arts, located at 144 Second Ave. SE, is a place where community members can enjoy various forms of artistic expression like dance, music, writing and theater.
The nonprofit’s vice president, Patty Wagner, is looking forward to more community involvement and encourages volunteers to play a part in supporting the several entertainments and exhibitions hosted by the organization throughout the year. All volunteers are trained to fulfill their respective roles. As a nonprofit, the center is always looking for donations as it provides its service to the community and offers a creative outlet for people of all ages and backgrounds.
“We want to make the arts available to all in the community,” Wagner said.
Following Sibley’s exhibition, the center will feature fiber art and glass blowing beginning Oct. 22. The center will start its regular hours on Tuesday and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. after Sept. 6.