A Grand Island photographer is showing her photography as part of an exhibit on display at Stuhr Museum.
Tammy Howell said she has 29 photographs in the exhibit titled “Newly Discovered: Tammy Howell,” on display in the museum’s Stuhr Building through Feb. 2. The photos were shot between 2014 and 2019 and all but two were taken in the Tri-Cities area.
Howell said she began taking photos seven years ago when her husband, a truck driver, got her a “point-and-shoot camera” for her to use to shoot photos while traveling with him on the road.
“I took photos out the window going 75 mph. It turned out really good and that is when I found I really liked photography,” she said. “I thought I would get into taking family photos and I just did not excel at that. But I really like the landscapes and water reflections.”
As part of her photography, Howell said, she takes several hundred photos and goes through each one. She will decide which ones she likes and then start playing with the color, contrast and textures of the photos to create her artwork.
Assistant Curator Robb Nelson said he likes how Howell can take a photograph and make it look like it is not a photograph.
“If you look around here, there are a lot of pieces that look like paintings that she was able to (make) look like different pieces of artistic creations,” Nelson said. “There are photos that look like paintings, sketches and oils.”
Nelson said the “Newly Discovered” exhibit is a way to give local artists, including Howell, a platform and a space for them to display their artwork in the community.
“There are so few opportunities that are not very costly or open to newcomers and people who want to express themselves and get their foot in the door of that world,” he said. “Stuhr Museum likes to be a stepping stone for that kind of prominence.”
Howell said she has always wanted to display her photography in an exhibit, so when she saw that Stuhr Museum featured local artists, she decided to reach out to curator Kari Stofer about displaying her work there. She showed Stofer her work and from there, agreed to feature it in the “Newly Discovered” exhibit.
“It is very surreal and very exciting to know that other people like it, too. I also get to get the feedback,” Howell said. “I hope my photos spark a memory or your imagination or make you want to be there.”
In addition to the “Newly Discovered” exhibit, Stuhr Museum is also taking part in a statewide celebration of textiles with an exhibit the museum has named “The Fabric of the Community,” also on display through Feb. 2.
According to a Stuhr Museum press release, the statewide exhibit, known as “Fiber Fest,” is being shown in multiple institutions throughout the state, such as the Lux Center for the Arts, the Nebraska History Museum and the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln.
This exhibit celebrates the artwork created by textile artists in this region of Nebraska, featuring textiles from Stuhr Museum’s collections that demonstrate “a unique aspect of civic, community, and social life during the late 19th and early 20th century in Hall County.”
Both shows are are available for viewing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for kids and free for Stuhr Museum members.