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June 5, 2014

‘Learning to bend rules’: River City features photographer

River City Art Association and the Vigo County Public Library will showcase the photographic works of Sheila Ter Meer throughout June in the library at Seventh and Poplar streets.

Ter Meer joined RCAA in January 2013 after meeting founding member Rob Robbins through her personal blog and retired art teacher Don Turner through her position as community news editor at the Tribune-Star. Both encouraged her to exhibit her 4-H Champion Award photos and digitally enhanced artwork at area shows and galleries.

Ter Meer said she literally got her feet wet as a River City artist photographing the Wabash River at Fairbanks Park and Big Raccoon Creek at Bridgeton for entries in RCAA’s 2013 Year of the River art show and the TREES Inc. “Trees and the River” 2013 photography competition.

In addition to riverscapes, Ter Meer’s favorite subjects run the gamut: family and pets, old barns and pastoral scenes, wildlife, plant life, sunrises and sunsets, cityscapes, seascapes, statues, landmarks and any tourist attraction.

“I’m the typical tourist … the sore thumb in a crowd,” Ter Meer said. “So what if people stare. Take a picture. It’ll last longer.”

As an artist, “I’m learning to bend rules and think outside the frame,” Ter Meer said. In addition to conventional matte and glossy prints, she has presented images on metallic paper, canvas, aluminum and wood. Her first three-dimensional photo-based piece was juried into a recent exhibition in Halcyon Contemporary Art Gallery and she plans to show more of her digitally manipulated creations.

Within six months of joining RCAA, Ter Meer’s photo on canvas of a small garden statue titled “Under His Wing” received the Paris Bridge Club Choice Award at the 2013 Midwest Photography Contest at the Bicentennial Art Center and Museum in Paris, Ill.

Her color print “Riviere Haute,” documenting the Wabash River cresting at 27.4 feet on April 22, 2013, at Fairbanks Park, was selected by judges for the TREES photography competition exhibit last fall in the Vigo County Public Library.

In March of this year her portrait of her 77-year-old mother, “Rose,” was chosen Overall Winner in the Aging in the Wabash Valley photo competition at Indiana State University. “Rose” is now part of a permanent exhibit in the College of Nursing, Health and Human Services. It also is featured in current issues of Arts Illiana’s Spectrum magazine and STATE, ISU’s online magazine.

Ter Meer’s more recent achievement is on display in The Nature Conservancy of Indiana’s “Indiana, Naturally” exhibit at the Indianapolis International Airport. Her photo “Peach Bandits” also is featured in the wildlife slideshow on TNC’s website.

More of Ter Meer’s photos are featured on her blog, Sheila T Illustrated, at and at She also has work on display at Arts Illiana.

For RCAA membership information, call president Todd Stokes at 812-232-0048 or visit

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