Meet the 2020 Artists
A retired teacher, Anne lives in Shell Rock with her husband, Derril. When she retired, Anne learned how to weave baskets before turning to jewelry. She has taken classes in Kumihimo (the art of Japanese beading) and wire wrapping. This year she has concentrated on beading Christmas ornaments in a variety of sizes, and making beaded bead earrings.
Ashley Koebrick Schmidt
I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. My artwork reflects how I interpret the world around me. After years of exploring different styles, techniques, and mediums I found that I'm drawn to realism, surrealism, and oil paints. I have trained my eye to notice the subtle details and color variation in a scene, and as an artist I emphasize these nuances on canvas in intense, vivid colors and applied texture. Before painting a portrait, I get a thorough sense of the subject in order to capture their personality and inner light in the artwork. My goal is to create depth, perspective, and personality in each painting, and then let viewers interpret the works based on their own personal experiences.
I selectively reclaimed discarded forks of hardwood trees while conducting sustainable timber harvests in Iowa. As tree limbs grow together and form the fork, the wood cells interlock. This interlocking is considered a defect and therefore rejected for board lumber use by sawmills. The wood within the tree fork is beautiful and tells the story of living within the forest community. As an art medium, it provides the striking characteristics and grain pattern within the wood that makes each piece unique. The metal table legs are manufactured locally; a few of the smaller tables are designed on up-cycled metal bases.
Bruce W. Litterer
Self taught artist who finds wonder in rural Iowa through realistic farm life in colored pencil.
Chris J Falkavage
A native of North Central Wisconsin, born March 1969, I was always doodling with crayons, pencil, colored pencils, and ink pens as a young kid in grade school. Then in my sophomore and junior years, I started painting with watercolor and acrylics and oils. I painted and drew a lot of farm and nature scenes. My high school years I had advanced art classes and received art awards from 1986- 1988. After graduating in 1988, I didn’t do much art work after 1990. I did not go to college or get any formal art training, although I listened to my art teacher from high school on techniques that I still remember to this day. My art had died for 24 years due to work in the field of agriculture and other pursuits of travel in the continental divide of the U.S. In October of 2012, after deciding to get out of over-the-road trucking, I started purchasing art supplies and getting in the swing of things and getting my “rusty” art hand in practice. Today, I am doing wild life art and entering contests with Pheasants Forever in Des Moines, IA. and the REAP contests as well at the State House. I’ve also been doing some commissions out of state and I show my art at the local Farmer’s Market in Iowa Falls, Iowa. I also have a copyright on one of my pieces, “Christmas in the Country,” an oil. Along with the business and commerce side of art, my painting and sketching are a hobby and meditation for body and soul. Every painting is a learning experience and it teaches me to open my mind and open my eyes wide. It’s just who I am!!
After receiving my bachelor's degree I had the opportunity to live in Japan. While there I had the good fortune to be instructed in the Japanese tradition of making pots. This was my most formative training. My Sensei is a third generation production potter and was generous enough to teach me some of his craft. The training was rigorous. Often, a day would consist of forming a single shape hundreds of times over. Each was recycled until a perfect item was created.
The techniques I learned are over 2000 years old which includes making my own tools for each piece in my repertoire. One of these is a "tombo" which is made from bamboo. It is used like a caliper and measures the depth and width of the pot to keep the size consistent. Tombo means dragonfly in Japanese. This is the inspiration for my business name.
I fire in a gas kiln to 2350º F (about 1250º C) which makes my pots and glazes strong and waterproof. My work is made to be used in the home so I use no lead or other harmful metals. All my work is completely food safe.
A signature member of the Iowa Watercolor Society, Bergland's paintings range from landscapes to portraits. The spontaneity and energy offered by the medium suit her well.
I really strive to make truly one of a kind pieces, although there may be some similarities in my work. I do not use patterns for any of my work, they are simply thoughts in my mind that I bring to life. I find inspiration in many different places, but I really love to see something that seems difficult or impossible come to life. I try and make my pieces eye catching and unique through either design, colors, or both. Another factor with most of my work is that it is fully functional, I love seeing my work being used and displayed. Whether it is a turned bowl, cutting board, painting or even a rocking motorcycle, it is just a great feeling creating something that others find beautiful and just have to have.
Mickey & Dan Johnson
Lost Loon Studio
Lost Loon Studio creates Bead Fountains of colorful glass beads, copper and steel that are suitable for outdoor and indoor decoration. Bead Fountains are made in five sizes: the “Fairy” is 6” tall and is designed for Fairy gardens, the “Mini” is ideal for container gardens and houseplants, stands 14 inches tall, the “Midi” is 44 inches tall, the “Inbetweenie” is 5 ½ feet tall and the “Mega” creates a statement at nearly 8 ft. tall. All Bead Fountains contain a full range of color enhanced by bright light and are designed to gently move in the wind.
I have been fascinated by pottery since I was very young and it is my goal to eventually open my own art studio. This is my first art show and I intend to put any profits I make from it towards buying my first pottery wheel.
Deer Creek Ceramics
My fascination with nature is a major influence in my work. My aim is to create pieces that inspire a smile. It was in 2005 that I came in contact with clay for the first time, at the Irvine Fine Arts Center in California where I learned wheel throwing. The hand building part of my work is a self-taught process.
My work is made with porcelain or stoneware clay. I wheel throw most of my pieces and then either alter them, add texture, and/or create sculptural details. Each piece is individually glazed and then fired in a reduction atmosphere at a temperature above 2100 degrees.
Schiller Fine Art, Photography, & Framing
I have been taking photos for about 15 years now. I am self taught and enjoy doing fine art photography. I love it when a photo will capture someone's attention and draw them into the moment.
I love a good picture, especially when it provides a memory or feeling. With my business, Freedom Photography by Susan Schrodt, I hope to capture God's creations in a way that'll mean something to somebody. I am just starting out and I am excited to be a part of Art-A-Fest 2020!
Kathi is a fiber artist from Clutier, IA. She specializes in handmade woven rugs, made with up-cycled materials.