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Artist Bios

Cecile Houel

Cecile Houël born in Brest ( Brittany ) in 1963.  Self made painter, vice president of Bueil Unions Artists, member of "Art du pastel en France" and "Pastel Society of America" societies.

Art history studies at the Louvres school.
Speciality : Islamics arts
Drawing studies of nude at the Ateliers de la ville de Paris ( ink, acrylic, pencil )

Takes part of many group exhibitions most in France where she often received awards

"My artistic thought process take the form of an intuitive quest allowing me, each day, the chase of the mystic call I feel, since my tender childhood.  Beyond dogma and intolerance reign all over our materialistic world, could we find a spiritual space where each one will express, in his difference, his certitudes and his doubts ? Of those exchanges, the clarification, the brightness and finally the light could appear ?  Using pastels technical for this philosophical message, I find my self on a Golden  way where its outcome is the Shared Heart.  The portrait allowed me the fascinating exploration of the human depth . It's a subtle mirror of the insight beauty, a reflect of  the timelessness of our soul and a witness, without cheating of the marks of our non hazardous destiny… 
I want to carry in triumph the Beauty, and without a break carry it, so that Its magical energy brings us a spontaneous amazement "

Danielle L. Shier

"I have been an artist for last twenty-five years. I began working with colored pencils in 1980 and had several posters of my colored pencil work published and successfully sold nationwide in 1992. I was also commissioned for several portraits in colored pencil during the early 1990s. After seeing one of my portraits, the owner of Bovard Studio hired me as an artist where I was trained in stained glass painting. I worked at Bovard Studio painting figures, biblical scenes and landscapes on glass as well as screening and designing stained glass windows from 1992 to 1997."

You can find Danielle Shier's work in oil pastel at Catiri's Art Oasis Gallery in Main Amana, Iowa. She blends and draws beautiful landscapes with brightly colorful skies. Her landscapes and skylines provide the viewer with a vivid, beautiful and majestic place of pure serenity and tranquility.

David Luck

Enter David Luck's studio and you immediately confront his fascination with metalworking. Every available inch is packed with work spaces, older yet well maintained tools, scraps of sheet metal, shipping crates, files, and books. IN a studio that could easily enter a state of chaos, David's is ordered and layered.

Like the modular quality of his work, a series of small intensely used spaces is ordered into an entity known as the Metalworks in Iowa City, Iowa. With an undergraduate degree in photojournalism, it was graduate work in metals with Chunghi Choo at the University of Iowa that brought David closer to his present sculptural involvement with metal. "As I designed and made functional metal objects, I became interested in the expressive qualities of the metalworking craft. Metal is part of our visual culture and seems to express a certain subject matter and content by inself."

The mainstay of David's work is his jewelry: handmade link bracelets, pendants, bangles, and earrings for the most part, in sterling silver. However, he also makes sculptural pieces and metal wall quilts. When working in sculptural forms, David's preference is for sheet metal and casting. IN investigating these techniques, he explored structural systems used to fabricate metal items in everyday life. Ductwork is an example of this. As he describes, "Iadapted structural systems to make forms on a larger scale. The patterns of the structural components and joints broke up the surface of my forms, becoming part of the decorative system. This led to the use of hammered surface patterns and relief. I composed the rhythmic patterns, trying to make compositions with internal harmony."

Some of David's pieces employ colored surface patinas, which he achieves chemically in the studio. In addition to jewelry, David Luck has executed commissions of large hammered metal wall quilts for public building such as Iowa State University's Horticulture Building and Carver-Haweye Arena and the University of Iowa.

Gordon Kellenberger

Gordon G. Kellenberger is a painter and a potter living in the Historic Amana Colonies. Founder of the Amana Arts Guild and the Iowa Arts Workshops for artists and art educators. Kellenberger has lived in the Amanas all his life, a fourth generation native, leaving only to earn his degree in art education. Gordon and his wife DeAnna, who is an artist and teacher work out of their Wasch Haus Studio where they also make their home in a restored High Amana house built in 1863.

Artist Statement:
Art is a combination of nature and the human spirit; God gave us nature for inspiration, our spirit provides the emotion and passion. My inspiration comes from what I know best, the land of the Midwest. My passion is not merely to record that land but to push further, to ponder, to sift the sensations, to sense color, to explore the possibilities, the qualities and the relationships. I want to share not only what’s there but what ought to be there. 
My paintings are simple and common to all of us: landscapes, skies, buildings, and sometimes people. I like to do things in a series, it creates momentum and encourages things to happen. I am inspired by, simple yet interesting shapes, ever changing light and of course color. I enjoy the affects of color relationships, light - dark, bright- dull and warm- cool. The medium of pastel provides me with the immediacy and intensity I need for my work.......others who view my work may experience things in a new way!”


Hans Eric Olson

"I paint because I cannot not paint, if that makes any sense. It is my spiritual path, one that delivers me from the stress of this crazy world. Since returning to Iowa I have become increasingly interested in plein air painting. Painting 'en plein air' (in the open air) is a pursuit unlike any other painting technique. It challenges me to concentrate every sensory nerve on the information in front of me. I love the experience–from sight to sound, from temperature to atmosphere, and then channeling all those feelings from head to hand, re-creating the vision in front of me on canvas. It is truly a spiritual experience for me. Painting en plein air takes me out of my mind and into peace and happiness. The message of my paintings is a simple one: "feel peace." Let the combinations of light, color, atmosphere and the beautiful landscape, wash over you and take you to a place where you can hear the sounds of the birds around you; where you can feel the warmth of a setting sun and smell the freshly cut hay. Just sit back and feel love for the perfection of this creation and remember to take a moment to stop and watch a beautiful sunset. I seek peace–in the world and within myself. Painting helps me to experience that, and I hope that my work will have the same effect on you."

Judith Eastburn

"I believe we are profoundly affected by the landscape of our childhood. It establishes our sense of space and how we fit into it, and we recognize as familiar those places encountered later in life which resemble it. I was born in Iowa, and grew up in the southeast corner near the Mississippi River in an area of limestone bluffs and wooded ravines. Visits to my grandparents meant drives to central Iowa through gently rising and falling open fields. These are the landscapes which serve as my point of reference when I photograph in other parts of the world. I think Iowa and its openness made me aware of the horizon and sensitive to smaller variations in the land's surface."

Judith Eastburn holds an MFA in Photography from The University of Iowa. She has taught photography courses at levels ranging from children to university students for the past twenty years. Her work has appeared in twenty four juried shows, and she has presented eight one-person shows.

Laura Lee Junge

Laura Lee Junge has been hailed as an intoxicating new talent on the American artistic front. Taking her inspiration from life experiences, Junge firmly believes that the most honest painting is what one knows. This is clearly a philosophy she transfers to both her canvas and sculpted works. Junge’s childhood years were split between Minnesota & Oklahoma, before attending university at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, initially concentration on figure painting. With time, her paintings became more eclectic, in a style that critics have described as ‘surrealistic expressionism’. Junge, herself, remains a bit skeptical of any attempt to label her in a specific category. A self-declared fascination with movement typifies almost all of Junge’s artwork, which ranges dramatically from floral and inanimate renditions, to the worlds of musical expression or evocative, often jaded bar scenes. In these, a dark world seems to emerge from the soul of the canvas. No matter what the depiction, the fluidity of her work channels an energy that seems to defy the very nature of a one-dimensional canvas.

Lori Bonz

Lori Bonz has been a school teacher for years and has kept her art alive! She displays the beauty of the art of Raku in her pieces. She creates a variety of elegant vases, pots, and votive with both the lustrous shiny finish and the exquisite matte finish of Raku, showing its wonderful array of color. She also uses a low fire glaze that gives a beautifully textured finish with the brilliant color of purple and turquoise peeking through. Her lids and handles are quite unique, some with ornate clay sculpted handles, others with large brass coins and some with Brazilian Agates as well as some other minerals. This would be a beautiful piece to add to any pottery collection!

Maggie Vandewalle


Maggie Vandewalle was born and raised in Iowa City Iowa. She attended the University of Iowa on an art scholarship where she worked towards a BFA in printmaking. After six years and still no graduation, she took a break and moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she began experimenting with watercolors. While working part-time at various jobs, she played around with different paints and papers and brushes until she found a combination that allowed her the creativity and control she was looking for.Maggie was fortunate to have grown up in a diverse physical environment, which included a forest, fields, a couple of creeks and a lake. She was fascinated with the trees and weeds and grass and water and all the things that live in such places, especially the stuff that she knew was there, but that only came out if one had the patience to sit still, something she wasn't particularly good at. As a result of this fascination, she now feels compelled to paint all the things she knew were there but sometimes didn't see, and occasionally the things she knew weren't there but imagined might be.She currently resides in Tennessee, with her husband, son and several dogs and cats.

Marcia Wegman

Marcia Wegman's magnificant pastel paintings are favorites with customers, and she has currently found a way to offer limited edition archival prints as well. A resident of Iowa City, many of her pastels come from scenes in Johnson County.

"The Midwest landscape has surrounded me all of my life. Having spent most of my childhood in Ohio and my entire adult life in Iowa, it is the images of these vistas which periodically inspire me to try a new way of expressing this subtly beautiful landscape. I enjoy hiking in some wilder parts of the country so I am also challenged by the unique forms of beauty found in each of these places. In the past I have worked in acrylic and collage. Now I am using the medium of soft pastel to capture the qualities of undulating hills, overlapping rhythmic forms, textures of trees and vegetation, rich colors, dynamic patterns, changing light, and always the sky. The land remains constant, the colors transform subtlety from season to season, but the sky is an ever-shifting panorama of light, color, and form. The possibilities are limitless.

The immediacy and directness of pastel is the quality I most value in this medium. I feel I am able to best approximate and express the ephemeral and very magical essence of light as it moves across the land through pastel painting."

Marsha Myers

Pottery is an art as old as humanity. Clay vessels have been used for cooking and decorative purposes by people worldwide throughout history.

"For over 30 years, I have been making pottery and mixing my own glazes for a variety of clays and selected minerals. Each piece is wheel-thrown, hand decorated, and gas-fired twice--the second time to more than 2300 F. The result is pottery with a range of rich, warm glazes and individualized decoration with the unmistakable print of the maker's hand."

This stoneware is lead-free, oven-proof up to 450 F, dishwasher and microwave safe. However, stoneware pottery will not tolerate sudden temperature changes. It is best to put the prepared dish into a cold oven and allow it to heat slowly as the oven heats. Never place a hot dish in cold water or onto a cold surface. Stoneware is not designed for use on stove tops. This should insure years of easy care, constant use and aesthetic enjoyment.

Mary Weisgram

I am a Minnesota native educated at the College of St. Benedict and Mankato State University, and have lived and worked professionally in Iowa since 1969. My current body of work is influenced by my years of rambling the woods of southern Minnesota. These pieces reflect my love of organic textures and the colors of the woodland floor, fossils and stones. Trained first as a painter, I use vessel forms layered with engobes, stains, and glazes as a canvas for translating these ceramic media. While I work with vessel forms and with functional considerations, still  a valid orientation in contemporary crafts, I relate most closely to natural forms and finishes than pure utilitarianism. My intention is for the work to be integrated in all aspects, not technique, form or decoration becoming the main emphasis of the work. I like repeat throwing both for the natural rhythm of work style and for the way it enables me to unconsciously personalize the forms. For these same reasons I work with limited color palette and with relatively few forms at a time. I like the challenge and freedom in working within these limits. One group of pots leads to another, changing subtly with mood and experience, exposing the richness of variety possible while working within a theme.

Mary Zeran

  Mary Zeran is a third generation American artist who makes abstract collage bursting with joyous color, luscious surfaces, and layered abstract forms.   Undulating brushstrokes capture her emotional connection to the land.  Her work has exhibited and collected nationally and internationally.  She holds a MA and MFA in metalworking, drawing, and sculpture from University of Iowa, where she studied with Chunghi Choo, David Dunlap, and David Jokinen.  Her awards include a 2% for the Arts Award from the Cedar Rapids Visual Arts Commission, a studio residency at Oregon College of Art in Portland, Oregon,  and numerous corporate and private collections including, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and The University of Iowa.  She maintains a home and studio in the rolling hills of Central Iowa.

"My paintings are a group that evolves over time.  I paint on acetate, cut out shapes, and arrange them on a painted surface.  This is a spontaneous and collaborative process that gives me the chance to be responsive to the cutting and gluing.  Everyday, I seal the current piece in a layer of glaze.  I fix the image in time, one layer after another.  My process repeats itself.  It is cumulative.  My life like my artwork is a story of always coming back, spurts of moving out and then returning to the source, a circular migration pattern.  Each time I return to Iowa, I am reminded of the fertility of the land.  Although, I have lived in many cities, Iowa is the land of my heart.  It is a soothing landscape of undulating hills, large puffed clouds, fields of one color, and the Mississippi River.  Stepping back and taking the long view, the aesthetic is minimal, but up close it is an active abstract filled with millions of living organisms and small worlds surviving together within the larger whole.    My work captures all of these varied worlds into joyful color, and luscious surfaces assembled into abstract collage.  This is my way of interpreting the land, tapping into those internal rhythms and ways of being that are natural and spontaneous."  -Mary Zeran

Michael S Ryan

Michael S. Ryan is a Cedar Rapids artist has painted for over 40 years. His subjects often reflect the upper Mississippi River Valley. Ryan trained as an abstract painter at the University of Iowa, Old Dominion University and Drake University. Self-described as an expressionist with colorist tendencies, Ryan works in oil, acrylic, and pastel. "I am influenced by the methods and ideas found in such diverse groups as the West Coast "plein aire" movement, the 1960s Bay Area figurative painters, Wolf Kahn's colorist theories, as well as a number of my contemporaries. One thing all these groups and artists have in common is that the "hand of the artist" is always present in their work. This is important to me because the surfaces, color choices, design and composition are all the artist's personal calligraphy.

Nancy Lindsay

  "Creating art has been a life-long journey for me. Growing up in Nebraska, my father's (Emil Fahrlander) drawings and my grandfather's (Hermann Fahrlander) woodcarvings inspired me. My mother (Mernie Gustafson Fahrlander) always encouraged me to be creative and provided me with plenty of art supplies. As a teacher, she had many creative interests. Together we experimented with pottery, mosaics, batik and weaving.
   After many years of painting, the landscape has become my inspiration, whether it is the endless Nebraska horizon, the deep woodlands and river valleys of Iowa or the rugged Mediterranean coastline. I prefer to paint on location (en plein air) and complete a painting in one session (alla prima). Wherever I set up my easel, I always make friends. People, especially children are immediately drawn to watch me.  Painting outside gives me the opportunity to inspire those who have never seen an artist at work."  Nancy Lindsay lives in Stone City, Iowa.

Scott Simmons - Sunrise Glass

Scott mostly works alone in his studio, creating functional, sculptural, and decorative pieces offhand at the furnace.Color is applied to pieces in several ways. Often he will blend bits of molten colored glasses into a small globule on the end of the blowpipe, using as many as 5 or 6 colors, some as gentle washes of color, others in strong, contrasting patterns. A quantity of clear glass is gathered over the colored bit, and the piece is blown out and shaped by traditional methods and tools. Other times a color pattern is created by more standard techniques; picking up colored canes, murrini, or shards of colored glass on the side of the hot bubble as it is blown. His forms range from traditional vases and bowls with tightly controlled shapes to stretched, playful versions of traditional vessels which exploit the fluid nature of the hot glass as they are created. Scott's botanical training and experience shows up in his work in the earthy colors and decorative designs on the pieces and in the soft, organic nature of some of the forms.

Sharon Burns-Knutson

The fanciful, vividly colored imagery of Sharon Burns-Knutson hovers between naturalism and a whimsical strain of cubism. A working artist since the 70's when she toured the stage with the Artists in the Schools Program, Sharon is a well known for her duel role as artist and teacher. That the artist's work varies stylistically, has likely been a strong factor in her ability to keep her drawings and paintings fresh and engaging. Documenting the visual variety of Iowa neighborhoods, sites of her vacation travels, and stream-of-conciousness thoughts, Knutson's imagery uses a black background in combination with saturated colors. The resulting "stained glass" appearance of her oil pastel and paintings is a highly recognizable hallmark of her work. Sharon completed her undergraduate work at the University of Northern Iowa, and did her graduate work at the Univeristy of Iowa where she also earned a degree in Art Education. She is now retired from her public school teaching career.

Sue Kluber

Sue Kluber, an artist from a farm near Guernsey, Iowa. She worked at Grinnell Fiber Works until it closed and has since been working from her home. Sue was an artist before she was a quilter and developed her techniques because she couldn't fine the fabrics she wanted. She is self-taught and credits her skills to unique and fortunate exposure to drawing and art all during her childhood, including a Grand Wood trained high school art teacher.

She challenged and amazed us with her beautifully detailed array of art quilts! She creates fabric from what most of us throw away-threads and snippets of fabric. Many of her pieces feature painted animals, faces, landscape, and abstract designs. Her fiber art is a wonderment and delightful piece of art work!