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From the Editor: New Perspectives

The mammoth rock that rests along Highway 25 in Adair County is now familiar to most Iowans. Though transformed each May by artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen, this painted tribute is easily and repeatedly recognized in the many photos in circulation.

Yet I was unable to immediately identify Freedom Rock in Leslie Whippen’s ribbon-winning photograph Let It Be (Portfolio). The perspective was new to me. This slice of known Iowa suddenly looked different.

Each year hundreds of photographers take the time and interest to observe Iowa from uncommon angles and to share their unique vision with the crowds that fill the Iowa State Fair’s Cultural Center. The popular showcase never fails to hold intrigue and surprise for visitors.

That experience — a portion of which we share with readers on the cover and table of contents pages and in this issue’s Portfolio, featuring our favorites from the 72nd Annual Photography Salon — is similar to the phenomenon we seek with each publication of The Iowan.

With every story told — in photos and in words — The Iowan aims to provide readers with a new angle on Iowa, a fresh look, a distinctive encounter with the state:

  • Driving an Iowa back road (or main road, for that matter) becomes an alternative experience in an early 20th-century Model A Ford.
  • The familiar Roseman Bridge in Madison County looks different from a kayak paddled along the Middle River.
  • A worldwide sport dominated by men and money comes into new focus through an Iowa woman who beats long odds with heart, trust, and uncanny instinct.
  • Friendship and tradition both gain a new aspect during a five-day canoe float on the Cedar River.
  • And, boy, do skill, discriminating palate, and dedication earn new found respect when seen through the lens of one of Iowa’s numerous barbeque competitions.

This state is full of surprising angles. Pull back, zoom in, and take a new look at Iowa this summer.




Beth Wilson, Editor

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