Nature’s Ever-Changing Moments

Local photographer Julie Dodge focuses on nature’s hidden beauty in central Illinois.

by Mae Gilliland Wright
various bird species
Photography by Julie Dodge

Two series of photographs from artist Julie Dodge are on display at Time Gallery in East Peoria. The exhibit, entitled “Illinois Riverscapes & Raptors,” will run through March 31, 2020. 

Throughout her work, the photographer focuses on nature’s hidden beauty in our region. “What I enjoy about focusing on local scenery is how it resonates with the people who live here,” she explains. “I’m a visual storyteller, so when an image tells a story and invokes a story in return, I’m thrilled that it has touched someone.”

In her explorations of the Illinois River, Dodge says her photographs quickly became an adventure in discovery. “I observed that the trees that line the river’s shore mysteriously reflect its flow. Wildlife is abundant—I saw migrating birds and waterfowl I had never seen before.”

Her photography also celebrates the majestic birds of prey that live in central Illinois. “They are masters of camouflage and require a lot of time and patience to capture in the wild,” she remarks. Dodge had the opportunity to photograph more than 15 species at a raptor center—and learn more about the struggles birds face in our modern world. 

“I learned about the environmental concerns that challenge their ability to survive and thrive in habitats shared with humans,” she notes. “At the top of the food chain, predator birds are dramatically impacted by ecological threats like habitat loss, pesticides, rodenticides and climate change.”

Dodge, a lifelong native of central Illinois, suggests that you need not travel far to find natural beauty. “Get out the map, get off the beaten path, and get ready for nature’s ever-changing moments,” she urges. 

Time Gallery is located on the second floor of Clock Tower Place, 201 Clock Tower Drive in East Peoria. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 9am to noon. juliedodgephotography.squarespace.com PM

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