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Meet the 2023 Artists

Bruce W. Litterer

Bruce is a self-trained artist living in Shell Rock, Iowa. Bruce has been working with colored pencils for the past 8 years and his art has developed into detailed creative drawings of rural Iowa farm life and wildlife, and scenes from the Waverly horse sales - groups of saddles, old gas and oil signs, old washing machines, etc. Bruce blends his colored pencil drawings with odorless turpentine to create a watercolor look to his artwork.

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Bill Haywood

Bill Haywood, a native Iowan, had lived near Janesville for over 40 years.  Following 10 years of employment by Black Hawk County Conservation Board, he became self-employed as a Management Forester for 25 years.  He consulted/contracted with private landowners across the entire state of Iowa.  Beginning with an individualized timber management plan, the work entailed crop tree selection and release, sustainable logging, and/or tree planting.  The end result instilled the value of preserving woodland communities and native prairies.  
While conducting sustainable logging, he looked at tree forks

 rejected by lumber mills and pushed into waste piles from a different perspective.  Knowing this wood held intense character and beauty, he decided to salvage the forks and find a way to give them new life.  Bill selected discarded forks of the hardwoods and brought them to his acreage in Janesville for preservation during the last seven years of his career.  Since retiring, he has been able to stay connected to the woodlands as he transforms what was “waste wood” into functional pieces for the home.

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James Kerns

Stoneware & Porcelain since 1968.
Artist Statement:
   The process for making of urns.
   Clay wet, clay dry, clay burns.
   Is it Art? Is it not? Is it only a Pot?
   You be judge.
Jim Kerns

Mickey Johnson

I graduated from UNI in 1998 and have taken classes in glass fusing, stained glass and horticulture. I produce "Bead Fountains" in five sizes. These are mixed media incorporating glass, copper, and steel to enhance sunlight and movement in the breeze. The glass reflects the colors found in my garden. In addition, I have been creating gemstone and art glass jewelry for the past 20 years. My jewelry is a blend of whimsical glass and earth tones of natural gemstone.

Brittany Wheeler

Charles City native living in the Cedar Valley after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa, I have been a full-time polymer clay artist since May, 2022. I make lightweight polymer clay earrings that can easily be worn all day. Made consciously for those with sensitive ears, each pair is just as unique as the wearer! While my personal style is boho, I like to provide carefully curated styles for those who love modern, floral, classic, camp, and festive earrings to go with every holiday. Each set is handmade one-of-a-kind works of art for people to wear and express their individual style.

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Cheryl DeBower

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and meeting new people. My husband says that I can carry on a conversation with anyone, even a brick wall. I love people and enjoy listening to their stories. Oil painting is a way for me to relax and put on canvas the world I see through my eyes. 

I graduated from High School in 1967 at the age of 17. I was accepted at the Minneapolis School of Art and was very excited at doing something I loved. Art was not considered a good career choice for women that grew up in that era. If you wanted a career your choices were becoming a Nurse, a

teacher or a secretary. I chose to go to school to become a secretary. At the age of 50 I went back to college and got my AA in Networking. I was in the work force for 53 years, and finally retired at the age of 70. I realized I had no purpose and quickly became bored. Christmas of 2020, my children decided I needed a hobby and presented me with some canvas, brushes and paints to show me that it is never too late to follow your dream. I am enjoying my new venture in life. I love painting nature, sunsets/sunrises, oceans and pictures I capture on a whim. I also take commissions if anyone wants to put that picture on canvas.

In October of 2018, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After intense chemo and radiation, I am cancer free and realized that life is not promised so do what makes you feel good each day. I have noticed that I look at the world differently since I started painting, thinking, how that would look on a canvas and could I paint it and do it justice. For me, painting is trying to show others what I see through my eyes, maybe they will stop and enjoy the beauty of the world around us before it goes away. Never forget to hug, love one another, laugh along the way, as we are only here for a short while, and make your journey the best that it can be.

Kurt Wedeking

I create items using mainly wood, but sometimes I include materials like metal and epoxy. All of my items are one of a kind.


I hand stitch quality leather goods from Buffalo, Elk & Deer hides and add beautiful stones to them. The indigenous tribes are my inspiration and nature herself. All items are one of a kind.

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Annette Olesen

Watercolor has always been my love. And the critters have been my favorites.

Mike Stevens

I started making wooden beads then I bought a bigger lathe and started making wine bottle toppers and bowls. I saw Cutting Boards on YouTube so I started making cutting boards after that. I also do some custom Laser engraving.

Anna Gilbert

I create one-of-a-kind jewelry using high-quality natural stones and crystals: necklaces, pendants and earrings. I paint small oil paintings using palette knives. Paintings have thick layers of oil paint; they have a lot of character, full of life and color. Most of them are images of cats. In addition, I do mat framed color prints of my original paintings: size 8 x 10 and 11 x 14. I enjoy sharing my passionate love for nature, natural stones, crystals and cats. I express this passion in my oil paintings and jewelry creations.

Douglas Cole

Doug Cole received his art education at UNI and was a secondary art instructor for 33 years.  In 2000 he retired and established call art pottery in Sumner, Iowa.  Cole specializes in one of a kind wheel thrown, electric fired, cone six functional, and decorative stoneware pottery.

Troy Thomas

I have been painting and creating since 1978. Nature always remains the key to my paintings.

Alisa L Engelhardt Smith

I enjoy making functional pottery using the potter's wheel. I love knowing people can and will use the pieces I am making. I have really been focused on coffee mugs the last several years. I enjoy finding different ways to embellish and decorate them. My most popular mugs are the ones with Gnomes on them. I create a Gnome with a tall pointy hat, a big nose, and a long beard, and attach it to the mugs. Other mugs are decorated with a variety of themes, such as paw prints, outdoor scenes, Iowa shapes, cat silhouettes, and funny or inspirational quotes.

Shelby Levendusky

I’ve been creating gemstone jewerly since 2020. I started off making only sterling silver, and now I make silver plated and gold plated jewerly as well. One of a kind wire wrapped rings, as well as necklaces and earrings.

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Amy and Lisa Chatfield, LisAmy LLC

LisAmy started last fall, but artists Amy Malene and Lisa Shappell Chatfield have been working in the arts for several years. They take inspirations from their pets, family, and nature. We sell stickers, postcards, prints, and clothing with our original art. 

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Judy Sebern Beachy

Twenty-six years ago, Judy started art classes with Des Moines artist Mary Muller learning the skills of drawing and experimenting with different mediums such as charcoal and pastels over a 10 year period. After mastering realistic subjects, Judy became interested in abstract acrylic painting.  Judy's favorite subject to paint is nature, especially flowers and landscapes. 
Always wanting to explore new things, Judy then turned her interest to watercolor paintings during the pandemic.  Many evenings she spent time in her art room escaping into a world of circles and strange shapes, experimenting and practicing with 

 watercolor. What evolved during that period, Judy describes as whimsical watercolors and named them her “pandemic doodles”. 
Retired now from a career in cancer research through the University of Iowa, Judy gets to spend all her time creating art. Judy grew up in Charles City and now makes her home in Beaverdale with her husband Greg.  She helps curate art shows for Westminster Church’s gallery space. Judy‘s work can be found displayed in several offices and coffee shops around the Des Moines area, and found on FB and Instagram.

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Cynthia Zelenak

I do paint pouring on wood and canvas and also on tile. I also take pictures of my finished products and have them made into totes, tops, shoes, cell phone covers, etc.

Kathi Fehr

After taking a course on weaving I decided to purchase a used loom. It's a great way to recycle unused items and to use creativity with colors and textures.

Darlene Shultz

I have always enjoyed making things, and enjoy doing new things. Putting colors together is great fun. When you melt glass sometimes it a surprise what you get. Good, or bad, or try again!

Janiece Bergland

A signature member of the Iowa Watercolor Society, painting all subjects, including landscapes, figures and portraits.  Her work has received awards and is owned by numerous businesses and individuals around the country.

Mariah Piippo

I'm a textural painter from Mason City, Iowa. I developed my textural process when I was at UNI for art history, art studio, and mathematics. After graduating in 2020, I've worked in the arts and been growing my art practice every year.

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Lori Nyberg

I am a watercolor artist who started creating small watercolors while traveling, then continued to paint in my home community. Inspiration for my artwork often comes from places or nature or people in my world. I have also found joy in sharing my artwork on greeting cards, tote bags, magnets and Fine Art prints. Sometimes it brings someone back to a place they have visited. Or maybe it 

brings them peace. Either way, the art has created a connection between us. Art is very personal, so I never know which pieces will find their way into someone's heart. I invite you to wander through my artwork - at my etsy shop and on Instagram.

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Madalyn Vorrie

Madalyn (Loring) Vorrie is a ceramic artist and art educator from Des Moines, IA. She is currently a High School Art teacher at Clarion-Goldfield-Dows High School. Madalyn received her BFA in ceramics and BA in art education from the University of Northern Iowa. She was an artist in residence at the Iowa Ceramic Center and Glass Studio in 2018-2019. Madalyn was an emerging artist at the Marion Arts Festival in 2019, Des Moines Arts Festival in 2017, and her work has been in many exhibitions, most recently her solo exhibition: Regain at the Chidima Gallery, the Octagonal: The All Media Exhibit at the Octagon Center for

the Arts, Topeka Competition 33 at the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery and Fresh Work at the Arts Center of Saint Peter. Madalyn's abstract ceramic sculptures often take on imaginative alien plant forms which derive from nature.

My ceramic sculptures consist of abstracted forms and alien flowers. They feature my imaginative take on nature and the unknown. The creating process is very important in my work and it allows my pieces to express their unique characteristics. My intricate sculptures represent my identity and my relationship with myself and others. By creating these alien plants/flowers, I can express my physical and metal successes and struggles. I enjoy the process of creating intricate textures and meticulous repetition. This obsession drives me to create these whimsical forms, while it personifies my personal experiences.
I create my work using coil, slab, and pinch hand building techniques. I use a terra-cotta deep red clay body to form my sculptures. The red and colorful terra sigillata, underglazes, oxides, and gold luster I used create a variety of layers on my pieces. I intend to create depth and interest in these abstract forms because my motto is “more is more”.
I consider the idea of dangerous beauty fascinating. Dangerous beauty is the term I use to describe contrasts between dangerous and protective elements in my sculptures, such as spikes or sharp forms. The more elegant areas of my sculptures usually include ruffles, seedpods and flower forms. I enjoy discovering the contrasts between soft and dangerous forms in my work to create a unique and unknown identity derived from nature.

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Anne Boerschel

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 am a fine art oil painter and commissioned artist based in Iowa. My paintings range from portraiture to landscape, mostly in realism and photo-realism styles. My technique employs clean lines and layered texture for intense, vivid color and depth.  I started drawing and painting as a young child. Encouraged by my family, I spent much of my free time as a child sketching scenes from around my home. I was primarily self-taught, and my professional training was limited to a few local community college classes.

Melissa Nelson

Melissa Nelson has a very eclectic experience of art, and all of its media and techniques. Originally from Union, IA, she’s been an artist for over twenty years, and has been a  high school art teacher in New Hampton for ten. Melissa has a BA in Sculpture, a BA in Art Education, and a Master’s in Art Education, all from the University of Northern Iowa.
She is immersed in many different art media on a daily basis. She believes art can bridge the gap between people, and it is a tool that is absolutely essential today.
Melissa’s artwork reflects that philosophy as she moves from media to media as her inspiration follows students and the world. Melissa has a love for monsters and creatures in her work because there is an inherent freedom of thought that allows for creative expression without the fear of making it look realistic. This theme flows through 

 nearly all of her media, including bookmaking, ceramics, drawing, and printmaking. 
She has had solo art shows at the Ray Frederick Gallery in Marshalltown Community College, The Charles City Art Center, University of Northern Iowa, and the Fisher Community Center in Marshalltown.

Shana Rainey

Unable to attend - 

Meredith Hamm

Meredith Hamm is a local artist, that works in multiple mediums, ranging from ceramics to painting. Her work is mostly inspired by her interaction and relationship with nature, books, and health.

Stephen Schiller

​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.

Ted Scheidel

In Feb 2022 we were cleaning out my Mom's house because we had moved her into Assisted living and when we came to her wedding china none of my family wanted it.  I didn't have the heart to donate it away and I decided to keep it.  My sister had the idea that we should turn it into yard art for each of our siblings.  We talked to other artists about what we wanted to do and completed enough for my siblings and my kids.  I found doing this very enjoyable and decided to continue making yard art and it has evolved and developed since then. We have attended several shows this spring and now have product in several retail locations.    We are retired (kinda).  Have lived in Northeast Iowa all our lives, both born and raised on farms.

Andreas Soemadi

I am a physicist by formal training.  A graduate of Texas Tech University and The University of Iowa.  I work as a full time physics instructor at NIACC, Mason City, IA.  Have produced some artwork, with colored ink on paper as the preferred medium, as part time activities at the 2022 and 2023 art market of Charles Mac Nider Art Museum, Mason City,  and at 2022 Fall Gallery

Walk in Iowa City (sponsoring store being Glassando, Old Capitol Mall, Iowa City).

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Ann Bishop McGregor

Presently working in soft pastel, I enjoy capturing the beauty of God's wonderful creation. The immediacy of soft pastel and different paint supports has been exciting to explore. Favorite subjects are Iowa landscape, florals, still life, and Iowa barns. Past training in oil and watercolor have aided me in my newest pursuits. I have originals as well as reproductions and cards, all at affordable prices.

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Audrey Mae Schlei

Hello, I am from Mason City IA. I work in Charles City as an HR Manager so I commute here 5 days a week and love it! I started creating my art as an outlet of peace and positivity in a world with such turmoil and sadness.  I create because I love seeing peoples faces light up and smile when they see my work.  My businesses slogan is  "Inspire a sense of wonder and enchantment" and,  my art does just that.  I create zero maintenance Terrariums and Fairy Dust Art. I find inspiration in the forest, lakes, rivers and area wilderness. With my art you can literally hold magic in your hand. I create with much intent, love and appreciation for mother nature. If you would like to see more check out Tiny World Terrariums By Audrey Mae on FB. Thanks.

Candida Deree

I was born and raised in Marion, Iowa and currently reside in Waterloo, Iowa. I earned my BFA at Iowa State, where my emphasis was Fiber Arts and Textiles. There I also experimented with Photography, Metals, Wood and Ceramics.  A few years ago I came across Fused Glass, a medium I had never worked with. I dove right in, doing a lot of reading and experimenting teaching myself this art form. I wanted to share my passion for this Art Form and started selling in 2020. Currently I am also teaching others this Art Form at the Waterloo Center of the Arts as their Fused Glass instructor. When I’m working with Fused Glass I create handmade pieces of Art inspired by nature, patterns and everyday objects. I work in layers, textures 

 and patterns to create beautiful calming pieces. A glimpse into time where one can escape.

Ryan Halbur

My creations come from giving new life and meaning to discarded objects such as scrap metal, reclaimed wood, glass insulators, and much more.  My sculptures cover a wide variety of themes and sizes and are meant to bring life and inspiration to any space they fill.

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Dale O'Connell

I was a pastor for 50 years. Retired in 2016. Decided in Jan 2019 to be an artist. Started with pencil then in July was introduced to alcohol ink which has been my predominant medium ever since.  I am a member of Iowa Artists, have my own little gallery in Humeston IA, have had 3 solo private exhibitions.

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Deb Stockberger

Jophiel  Arts Studio was founded in 2017 after a 40+ year career in the health care field. My stained glass journey started 20 years previous to retirement when my focus was creating glass panels. Since then I have incorporated fused glass as well as other techniques into my work such as silk screening, enamel paint, and sandblasting. My primary inspiration is found in nature, light, and color.

Mike Hassig

I’m a Paper Collage Artist. Studied Intaglio printmaking, paper making and drawing in collage. Since retiring 8 years ago I have turned back to my interest in collage. My imagery is abstract with the design itself the subject.

Eddie Hesalroad

Raised on a farm in the rolling hills and lush woodlands of Greene, Iowa, Eddie grew up fascinated by the wildlife surrounding him. Following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, he carries on a tradition of conservation and respect for the natural world - one of many themes present in his unique stained glass masterworks.

After opening The Olde Glass Factory in 1978, Eddie quickly gained a reputation as a meticulous artisan. He brings his original patterns and designs to life using traditional stained glass techniques refined and adapted over the years. He draws his inspiration from nature, Native American culture, and contemporary artistic themes. 

Dennis Helmers

I've been doing this for 17 years. I enjoy creating jewelry from common things.

Tracy Ingham

I was once told, "It's an artist's job to record history or at least, tell a story." My inspiration comes from the Renaissance masters. I studied their work in books through a magnifying glass and since they knew oils, that's the medium I started in.

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Yoshiko Johnson

I'm originally from Japan and I know that Japanese ceramics are an integral part of the culture. I am continuously working for my most satisfactory piece with shape and color in a light weight since I took a class at Iowa State University in 1991.

Ruben Ruiz

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.

Michelle Juhl

I've been sewing since the age of 10. I started designing and sewing my own clothes in Junior High School. I've turned to making new things from cloth - recycled and vintage items - since retiring. 

Julie A Hughes

Growing up on a farm in Northeast Iowa, I was always surrounded by fields - ever changing in color and pattern. Land, light and sky continue to inspire and guide my work. My process relies on intuition - through the exploration of materials - painted on canvas or wood panel. Personal experiences weave into my work. Stories can be found throughout the paintings as line, shape or texture connects to a place, space, or moment.

I began painting in high school and continued to pursue art in college, B.A. an UNI and M.A. at Iowa. I worked several years as an art teacher and currently am a coordinator of Gifted Education as well as teach online Art History & Art 

Appreciation. Most importantly, I am a member of an amazing, supportive, and creative family. 

CCHS Student Artists
Sponsored by Prologue Books & Wine

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Addison Tracey
Class of 2025

"I make art because it gives me a way to express myself, and creating is a very relaxing process.

Ellie Gassman
Class of 2025

My name is Ellie Gassman and I am 16 years old. I will be a junior at the start of this school year. The reason I make art is because I love the idea of being able to create something beautiful.

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