Photographs by John Deason are on view from August 17 through October 29, 2023 on the second floor of the historic house.

Artist Statement - John Deason

The beginning of my love for photography occurred in 1955, when I was seven years old and our family moved to Sioux City, Iowa. I became friends with a neighbor boy whose father was a talented photographer. Grant Jensen was a man who would eventually change my whole life. He became my mentor at an early age. He gave me a 35-millimeter camera, and I began taking photos. I wanted to take serious photos for people to view and discuss. I was very lucky to have this adult friend who would take the time and effort to teach me how to develop film and then print photographs. Years later he gave me a wooden view camera with bellows, a sharp lens and slide-in film holders.

As I grew older, I started to go into the world outside of the city, and found beauty, and searched for unique scenery. Grant taught me how to observe interesting aspects within each view in every new situation, whether it be downtown or in the woods. Sioux City was surrounded by various creeks, lakes, and woods, and beautiful landscapes like the rows of hills and valleys created by the Missouri River that cut through the ever-changing regions in western Iowa.

I spent my free time finding areas to explore. I often rode my bicycle south of the city along the bluffs, searching within a huge quarry near Sergeant Bluff to find unusual terrain. I always found scenes or strange collections of oddities to capture on my little 35-millimeter camera.

Many years later I used my skills when I taught art classes at Muscatine High School, and later at Augustana College, to help students create their own photographic styles. I really enjoyed teaching photography, developing film and photos in the old-fashioned dark room from which the students created astonishing beauty.

I hope that visitors to my show enjoy some of my own views of our world.

John Deason Image

Join John Deason and Cory Christiansen for a public reception on Sunday, August 20 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Free Admission.