Cheryl Dean works with Polaroid films, image transfers and manipulations to create her photographs. Immediately after the film emerges from the camera, Cheryl uses blunt instruments, preferably a stylus (as used in ceramics) directly on the film to move the still wet emulsion around, creating swirls and distorting the image. This process must be done within 24 hours or the emulsion hardens and is not pliable. She is not aided by a computer or Photoshop to create the image. Photoshop is fine for many people, but she prefers the hands on technique. The result is that the images have a painterly and dreamy effect.
Originally from Pontiac, Michigan, Cheryl moved to the Peoria area when she was 5 years old. Her Grandmother got her interested in photography early on by giving her an old Brownie box camera. In high school, she moved on to instant film and Polaroid land cameras. Cheryl has been shooting with the instant film manipulation process for 10 years where she has been featured in a one-page article in a photography magazine. As of 2 years ago, Polaroid discontinued making the Time Zero film. However she purchased 20 boxes of film and has stored them in the refrigerator, taking them out only to shoot when traveling.
Combining her love of photography with her love of travel has led to several one-woman shows and numerous awards for her photography. Cheryl has traveled to 45 states, Mexico, Europe and Japan. She shot her last box of Polaroid film in June 2008, when she traveled to the Greek Islands.
Since 2001, Cheryl has been the owner of Picture This Galleries in Peoria Heights. She works as a custom framer for many artists in the area as well as exhibiting their original work. Cheryl recently moved across the street to a new location that doubles her space. You can view Cheryl's work at her gallery.