Shutterbugs on display at FMAAA in June

FMAAA Director

FORT MADISON – The Summer at FMAAA gallery always is ushered in with a flash with the Annual Photography Exhibition.  This year features Martha Milligan and Ann Larsen of Montrose, Chris Swed of Ft. Madison, and Kyle Blankenship of Sioux City. Connections Bank is the sponsor for the exhibition.   Lunch-ala-Art program will occur on June 29th at noon. 

The photography annual is a fan favorite due to it’s group show format.  With four artists submitting 8-12 pieces of their style, then merging them together for a snapping mosaic of documentation.  The show is really a home run when the photographers have differing styles in subject matter.  And in the case of this year’s edition, get ready for a dinger!

Martha Milligan of Montrose will carry a camera with her at all times.  She has been taking photos just shy of 20 years, remembering the days of Kodak glory. She relies on her PentaxK5 digital for capturing the moment.  She has been shooting weddings for the last 6 years, looking to capture “just the right moment” to document the event.  She utilizes photography for stress relief from mandatory OT at her Pinnacle workplace, as advent of Hurricane season always increases orders. 

Ann Larsen was born in Ft. Madison but now resides along the Mighty Mississippi in Montrose.  Her magnificent view provides daily access to beautiful sunrises and amazing wildlife of all kinds.  Ann comments, “I consider myself a novice of Photography with a never ending desire to continue to learn more, see more, and capture more.  After I realized the camera actually fits my hand like a glove and it had stole my heart, it is basically with me at all times.”  Her camera of choice is a Canon ES 7D Mark 11 with a telephoto lens she calls “My Magic Lens”.  She credits her mentors:  Joe Morgan&Jay Scott of Mississippi Valley Photography in Keokuk and Don Weiss of Burlington.  “I am forever grateful for that opportunity.  I hope my photos in some small way will inspire you to stop and see the beauty around us and to follow your heart like my teachers have inspired me.  As Ansel Adams proclaimed, “Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter.”

Chris Swed relates,” I moved to Ft. Madison just over a year ago and immediately fell in love with the town.  My wife and I run the Fox Theatre and also started a coffee roasting company called Swed&Co.  Photography gas always been something that I have enjoyed, I bring my camera with me almost everywhere I go and try to photography what I see.  I love shooting architecture, but more than that I enjoy photographing good design:  where form meets function.”

Kyle Blankenship of Sioux City found FMAAA by geographic location.  He was working on behalf of State Senator Rich Taylor ahead of the 2016 election.  He describes, “Having just started learning and playing with photography, I would often browse the store (FMAAA) to see some great local artist’s work.  I showed some of my photographs and received positive feedback.  My wife first introduced me to travel, when I was 25, to visit family living in the middle east.  After walking the streets of Jerusalem and floating in the Dead See, we decided to try to see every continent before we turned 30.  I bought my first camera a few months before our first trip to the 7th continent Antarctica.”  FMAAA gallery located at 825 Avenue G is open for viewing all month with this show from Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm.  Catch all the updated action at FMAAA’s new website at


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