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A Different View of Keokuk and the Surrounding Region

Keokuk at Sunset - one of Doug Ewing's drone photographs now on display at the Keokuk Art Center.

Artists through the years have used brushes, potter's wheels, and other tools to create their works. Now you can add something new to their toolbox – a drone.

Through the eyes of a skilled photographer, a drone can capture breathtaking images. That’s the case with work of Doug Ewing of Keokuk. 

“I’ve had a great time documenting a different perspective of my hometown and the tri states,” said Ewing. “I was like a little kid in a candy store the first week or so that I got that thing up in the air.”

Ewing’s drone photographs are on display in the Round Room Gallery at the Keokuk Public Library/Keokuk Art Center building, 210 North 5th Street. The exhibit continues through the end of August. A reception is scheduled for Friday, August 13, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Ewing said he has been shooting photos for more than 20 years. But he did not own a drone until last year.

“I pulled the trigger and bought a mid-level drone. It fits in the palm of my hand,” Ewing said.

He said people who see his drone photos often comment on how many trees there are in Keokuk. He said he has noticed the line work in town.

“There is one particular photo – I was actually just sitting on my deck at home and threw that thing up in the air and it got just high enough to where you could see the river bending but still see the direction of all these straight lines just going one way, going this way,” Ewing said.

Art Center Executive Director Tom Seabold said this is the first exhibit in their gallery since March of last year due to the pandemic. He is pleased Ewing’s work was available for the first display.

“He has a shot of Rand Park and a shot of the national cemetery. It’s really interesting to see them from a different perspective,” said Seabold, who also grew up in Keokuk.

He said more exhibits are planned through the end of this year and into next year.

About the Artist

This is from the Keokuk Art Center’s release about the exhibit:

Doug Ewing is a Keokuk native and a 2001 graduate of Keokuk Senior High School.  He studied photography at the Art Institute of Colorado in Denver, and in 2004 moved to Los Angeles where he began a commercial photography career focusing on studio and location portraiture, as well as landscape and architectural photography. 

In 2013, he returned to Keokuk to continue his photographic career with an emphasis on weddings, portraits, and local landscape photos.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.