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Through the Lens

Local rural scenes fuel creativity
for local photographer Sparks

Her artwork is displayed
Whimsey in La Grange

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

LA GRANGE, Ky. (July 2011) – Keri Sparks likes to have fun with her photography. There is definitely nothing boring about her black and white photographs; the subject matter usually speaks for itself.
“I have always been interested in photography,” said Sparks, 37, of the hobby she is passionate about. “I enjoy taking pictures of outdoor scenes.”

Keri Sparks Photo

Photo provided

Keri Sparks’ black and white
photography focuses on landscapes. She
sells her work in La Grange, Ky.

Having been raised in rural Shelby County, it’s only natural that many of her landscapes include old barns, abandoned buildings and farms. Sparks had many friends who grew up on diary farms, fueling her inspiration for this subject matter.
Her local scenes are eye-catching and something she has wanted to do for years. She chooses to work in black and white photography because it “gives more history to a picture. It tells a story,” she said.
Sparks said she likes to “go for a dramatic feel” when searching for landscapes to snap. She also does commissioned work and will visit a client’s property to take pictures if necessary. She likes making her work “personal to someone.” Sparks does not do portraits.
Sparks, her husband and two young children, have lived in Oldham County for the last year. They had previously lived in Cincinnati for 10 years but moved to Oldham County to be closer to family. “I love being back,” she said.
Sparks trained as an occupational therapist, a position she has held for the last 13 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University and has been employed by Gentiva Home Health for the last year and a half.
Her position with Gentiva allows her to travel quite a bit throughout the surrounding counties among the beautiful countryside. She usually packs her camera with her as traveling provides her “the opportunity to get pictures a lot easier,” she said. She has snapped many pictures of the Smokey Mountain areas as well.

Keri Sparks

Keri Sparks

But she is not ready to give up her full-time day job yet to make a career out of photography. “I have fun with it and want to explore my options in the future,” she said. “I enjoy it and get a lot of satisfaction out of photography.”
She is mostly self-taught, but did take a beginners photography class. Sparks also “played around with a camera quite a bit,” to gain more experience. She can custom matte and frame any size picture of her work.
Sparks displays her photography at Whimsey, a shop that opened in January 2011 in La Grange. Her work is very unique, said owner Palea Cedar.
There is a theme of natural things at Whimsey, which Sparks’ work fits into nicely. Cedar said many of the gifts and items are “made out of wood. There is work by different artists and crafters on display that relate to the natural theme.” The store is transitioning into a wellness center to offer gifts, classes and yoga teacher training.
On June 4-5, Sparks participated in the Arts on the Green juried fine art show for the first time. She said of the experience that it was “a very well run show with friendly people.” This positive experience has encouraged her to try more art exhibitions in the future.
Sparks liked being able to meet new people at Arts on the Green. She liked the comments she received from the public on her work and said she “learned a lot from other artists.”

• Contact Keri Sparksr at (513) 550-1524 or visit her website at: www.krsphotography1.com.

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