Natural Harvest

digital photography, 16 inches by 20 inches (framed)

KAY HERBST HELMS

Mankato, MN
www.mnartists.org

In fifth grade I had a very special teacher who held an after-school, once a week arts program for her students – “The Scribble and Sketch Club”. I read once that what you love to do in fifth grade is what you need to pursue in life. That is certainly true with me since my retirement seven years ago. I am now doing scribbling and sketching (with my camera, computer, and printer) and imagine Miss Garber looking down and smiling.

I have had three exhibits now in my ‘Hands Portraits and Histories’ series – nuns, farmers, and the most recent, musicians and artists. The people who inhabit my photographs are the story. They are mostly extraordinary people living ordinary lives. I hope that my photographs and writings tell stories that will help the viewer to understand the people and landscapes portrayed. I am so pleased to honor them by sharing a small piece of their lives in this way.

I take most of the hands photos candidly, either as I’m talking with the person or as they are working or showing me around their studio, house, or workplace. I shoot digitally, develop in Photoshop, and print with an inkjet printer.

In 2013 I was the recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. My newest exhibit, ‘inner necessities’, was made possible by the voters of MN through a grant from the MN State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. I am forever grateful for this opportunity. I hope I have brought something of value, not only to the viewer, but especially to the people who have partnered with me to make my work possible.