The Pines, Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt, near Iowa City, Iowa

The Pines, Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt, near Iowa City, Iowa, gelatin silver print, 11" x 14", 2004

Sandy's new book, Down to the River: Portraits of Iowa Musicians was published in June 2007 by the Iowa Press. Sandy moved to Iowa City in 1987 and began documenting the area's vibrant live music scene, with its distinctive combination of folk, blues, roots/Americana, and rock sounds. The sixty photos in Down to the River capture her twenty years of photographing live music venues and shooting portraits of musicians in and around the city, resulting in a collection of images as compassionate and honest as the music itself.

Of her work, Dyas writes, "I am a visual artist and I work primarily in photography, mixed media and video.  I have enjoyed using a camera since I was a child. Photography is a wonderful medium for interacting with the world. It helps satisfy my intrigue with people and relationships in my life. It is a way to get closer…to get inside. When "Meet the Beatles" came out, I thought to myself…. wouldn't it be cool to photograph musicians and have my pictures on album covers? I was a sixth grader. Life is funny that way. The photographs I have taken of my favorite musicians in the world are more than documents. The photographs are not absolute truth. They are a collaborative effort between the person in front of my lens and myself.

The photographs hold memories. Great memories. I feel very fortunate that I have had the luck of knowing the musicians who make this particular kind of music. I did not set out to record a historical account of all of the musicians in and around Iowa City. Down to the River is about a certain community of artists and their music. I hope the images together will tell a story. I hope they contain some of the electrifying energy that I have experienced on the dance floor via the music…via the musicians."

Sandra Louise Dyas's website

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on January 16, 2008

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