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Meet the 2024 Artists

Bruce is an award winning and self taught colored pencil artist from Shell Rock Iowa. Working with colored pencils for the past nine years, he has seen the wonder of his artwork grow from his childhood dreams to be artist in Iowa. Bruce's work is inspired by rural Iowa and his experience of growing up on a dairy farm. He's done drawings of cows, farm cats, wildlife, tractors, roosters, rocks, old washer machines, shells, and automobiles.

Bruce W. Litterer
Shell Rock, IA

Amy and Lisa Chatfield, LisAmy LLC
Floyd, Iowa

LisAmy LLC is a company created by artist Amy Malene and Lisa Shappell Chatfield.  We sell original artwork as prints, stickers and postcards in synthwave and traditional styles with digital art medium.  Inspirations comes from pets, mythology and nature, and recreating them in brilliant colors and whimsical styles.

Learn more: https://linktr.ee/amymaleneart

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Cheryl DeBower
Charles City, IA

I have been painting since I retired at the age of 70.  Every year I try something new, this last year it was painting with acrylics.  My son and his husband got me a class to take through the Boston Fine Arts Museum.  It is always interesting to see how painting with different mediums challenges and tries to expand your knowledge of art.

Wayne & Karen Ruff
Bennington, NE

We have been creating sculptures for about 20 years.  We love working with our hands & creating works of art for our home so it was an easy process to start a business selling the work we love to make.  Our hand created work is made from various steel, stone, granite & pottery. We hand cut the steel, form & weld it to a specific shape then incorporate stones/granite to make each sculpture unique.

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Bill Haywood
Janesville, IA

For over 30 years of his professional career, Bill managed woodland and prairie projects as a self-employed Management Forester. This work took him across the state of Iowa planting trees and conducting all aspects of timber management for private landowners. While logging in the winters, he envisioned ways to use the waste-wood from the sustainable logging projects and began to salvage fork pieces discarded by the lumber mills. Upon retirement, Bill taught himself how to preserve and work with this wood. He now creates one-of-a-kind furniture pieces in his small shop near Janesville, Iowa.

Learn more: https://www.naturalflats.com

Alisa L Engelhardt Smith
Waterloo, IA

Alisa creates small, functional ceramic pieces on the potter's wheel. Coffee mugs are what she makes the most of, and they are also her favorite thing to make. After throwing the mugs, they are decorated with a variety of images and designs, such as garden gnome faces, dog paw prints, bigfoot silhouettes, and humorous quotes. Alisa use a variety of stamps and cookie cutters to achieve the various images represented on her work. In addition to mugs, she also make wine glasses, small tumblers, garlic roasters, spoon rests, and bowls that hold chopsticks.

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I am primarily a linoleum printmaker living in Osage, IA. Many of my pieces encourage interpretation and have symbolic images such as keys, birds, or doors that help to tell a story. Crows, ravens, and other birds are often included if not the main characters in my work. I find them inspiring and eerily humanlike. I also give great thought to my titles. In fact, most of the time I know the title before I create the image. Random words or phrases from books, music, quotes, or just general conversation tend to haunt me until I jot them down in my journal to later inspire a piece of art.
 
Learn more: https://loribiwerstewart.etsy.com

Lori Biwer-Stewart
Osage, IA

I create one-of-a-kind jewelry using high-quality natural stones and crystals: necklaces, pendants and earrings. I also 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 or flowers. 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.

Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063584917640&sk=photos_albums

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Anna V Gilbert
Bondurant, IA

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Charles City native living in the Cedar Valley! I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2012, was a jewelry designer for 11 years, and 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.

Learn more: https://brittanymaesclay.etsy.com

Brittany Wheeler
Waterloo, IA

Mariah Piippo
Mason City, IA

Mariah Piippo is an artist based in Mason City, Iowa. Piippo creates mixed media works of acrylic, sand, mica powder, and more that are textural and colorful. Their pieces often offer a glimpse into the world around us and the happiness that can be found within it. Piippo's work is a blend of color, texture, and shape creating a joyous atmosphere in each piece while inviting the viewer to look into the artwork from a new perspective. They hope to bring a few moments of happiness and peace to any space that her work occupies.

Learn more: https://www.piippoworks.com

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Susan Kennicott
Jesup, IA

I was raised on a farm in west central Illinois. After living many years in the south we moved back to the midwest and made Jesup our home which is where I have my studio. I started painting my 3D mixed media pieces 10 years ago and have participated in many of the top shows in the country. I start my process by pouring a thin layer of resin and letting it dry. Then I stack layers of resin and paint to achieve a 3 D fish. Each fish can be up to 10 layers of resin and paint. I compare the process to 3D printing only with a paint brush! Along with my 3D painting I enjoy painting 2D canvas in acrylics and oils! These can be seen on my website.

Learn more: https://www.susankennicott.com

Ryan Halbur
Independence, IA

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. I take my greatest pride in helping others bring their imagination to life through my creations.

Learn more: https://www.iowacreations.com

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Andreas Soemadi
Iowa City, IA

My professional life, in the last 32 years, is focused on facilitating students learning in physics and in mathematics.
Since 2018, I've been at NIACC - Mason City, IA.  I am a Texas Tech Univ. and Univ. of Iowa alumnus.
I use Mathematica programming not only in teaching  but also in creating my artworks.

Mathematics and coding in Mathematica are the materials used in creating my images. More precisely, inspired by Weierstrass Appoximation Theorem in mathematics, Bezier curves (whose basis is Bernstein polynomials) coded in Mathematica are used extensively.  If one scans the QR code in the artwork, the mathematical codes I composed to create some portions of the artwork can be seen in YouTube.Once the math and codes "agree" in producing the output I imagined, then a computer printer is used to print the artwork and thus the artwork can be classified in the medium category of graphics arts.

Learn more: https://www.artemmathematica.art

Mickey Johnson
Waterloo, IA

Bead Fountains are mixed media pieces incorporating glass, copper and steel that add color and motion to their environment.  The glass reflects the beauty found in my garden. In addition, I have been creating and selling gemstone, art glass and chain maille jewelry for the past 22 years.  My jewelry is whimsical art glass and earth tones of natural gemstone.

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Family Fancies
Alpharetta, GA

My Dad, sister, and I all have been creative throughout our lives. We enjoy creating fanciful artistic items for others and ourselves. We create a combination of beaded jewelry, metal sculptures, and fabric & leather purses & bags.

My sister and I grew up in Charles City and my dad still lives there. My daughter and her family now make CC home. We love Art-A-Fest and the active arts community.

Meredith Hamm
Charles City, IA

Meredith Hamm is an artist and educator from Charles City, IA. Meredith most commonly works in ceramics, but had a wide variety of interests that include photography, painting, and most recently, drawing. 
Meredith finds most of her inspiration from nature. Her most current interests are octopus, mushrooms and pumpkins!
She teaches K-7 art in town, and runs an after school arts program at the Charles City Arts Center on Fridays, and more frequently during the summer.
She spends her free time practicing taekwondo, reading, and creating. 

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Yoshiko Johnson
Charles City, IA

My clay work is mainly functional. My inspiration came from Japanese pottery and my goal for my work is for it to be comfortable to hold with good glaze that matches the pot. I’ve been working with this medium for about 30 years.

Cynthia Zelenak
Floyd, IA

I do all kinds of things in my art room! I paint pour coaster sets and lazy Susans, I also take photos of my art and have them made into clothing!! I do paint pour canvases as well.

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Ann Bishop McGregor
Charles City, IA

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, flowers from my garden, still life, and Iowa barns. Past training in oil and watercolor have aided me in my newest pursuits. I offer originals as well as reproductions and cards, all at affordable prices.

Learn more at https://www.annsfineartandframing.com/

Judy Sebern Beachy
Des Moines, IA

Now retired from a 34 year career in cancer research at the University of Iowa, Judy spends a great deal of time creating art. Born and raised in Charles City, Judy splits her time between Des Moines and Charles City.  In midlife, Judy started studying with Des Moines artist Mary Mueller with a series of classes in drawing, charcoal, and pastels.  Judy’s favorite subject to paint is nature, especially flowers and landscapes. After mastering realistic subjects, Judy became interested in abstract acrylic painting for 10 years, then during the pandemic, Judy turned her interest to watercolors. Currently, on yet another new tangent, Judy has been experimenting with collage. This year, Judy will 

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showing her multifaceted body of work at Art- A- Fest.      Judy has been a member of the Visual Arts Committee at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines where she helps curate shows for the church's gallery. She also participates in spiritual themed art shows annually. She has participated in Charles City Art- A- Fest several times and is a strong supporter of the CC Art Center. Judy's art work was selected as the 2023 Art- A- Fest logo and T-shirt design.      Judy’s work can be found displayed in several offices and coffee shops in the Des Moines area. Judy’s art also can be seen on Facebook and Instagram under: “Judy Sebern Beachy Art “

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Lisa L. Glaser
Des Moines, IA

Lisa Glaser's  silversmithing work began in high school where she was recommended for and completed advanced silver classes at Iowa State.  Lisa founded "Trinkets for you" in 2007 as a way to help with college costs for her children. Early work was focused on necklaces strung from natural stone beads and artifacts. With ongoing education and experimentation in her shop, Lisa has been faceting gemstones and cutting stones to reveal the story within. All cut stones and gemstones are set in individualized, hand-fabricated settings which are sold under under the exclusive "Willow Jade Designs" section of the business. Lisa believes the greatest compliment comes from repeat customers earned through outstanding service and value. Lisa brings new designs to each show and strives to have an outstanding booth presentation where people are comfortable browsing and enjoying the work.

Learn more: https://trinkets4u.com/

Kurt Wedeking
Charles City, IA

I am a woodworking artist that creates one of a kind art pieces that may be functional or simply decoration. All items are designed and created straight out of my mind.

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Janiece Bergland
Floyd, IA

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.

Bob Kling

Indianola, IA

I’ve been exhibiting my paintings, pottery, drawings, sculptures and photographs throughout the United States and my work may be found in many public and private collections. From my studio in Indianola, Iowa, I love to create art in a variety of media with a range of subjects that reflects my varied interests in life. Whether exploring the subject of reflections, the produce of the local grocery store, my love of hot-air ballooning, travels throughout Europe, or travels in my garden, I paint people, places and things with an eye to make the ordinary extraordinary! 

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Originally from Shenandoah, Iowa, I have an M.A. in painting and a B.A. in art education from the University of Northern Iowa. I have been an educator for 50 years, first as an art teacher at Mormon Trail Community Schools in Humeston, Iowa for 12 years. I was head of the art department at Indianola High School for 21 years and have been an adjunct professor at Simpson College for the last 18 years and college supervisor for student teaching at Simpson and Graceland University.  I was also selected as Walmart Teacher of the Year, Indianola Community Schools Teacher of the Year and one of five finalists for Iowa Teacher of the Year. 

Many of my paintings have been published in several books and magazines. I am also a writer and photographer and was a newspaper columnist for 29 years. I served on the Indianola City Council; am president of the Indianola Public Arts Commission, Vice President of the North River Arts Council, was the announcer for years at the National Balloon Classic Nite Glow; the Emcee for Bike Down to I-Town; and was the announcer and King of the Iowa Wine Festival. 

Visit my studio at 905 N. Buxton St., Indianola, IA or browse through my website at https://www.bobklingart.com

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Collette Lorentzen
Clear Lake, IA

Collette is a Fine artist, Author & Illustrator based in Clear Lake, IA, who is inspired by the beauty of nature and wildlife. With a strong focus on Realism, Collette’s artwork reflects her passion for capturing the essence of life it self. Her preferred mediums are colored pencils and acrylics but uses other mediums to create the realism she desires. She strives to challenge the eye with her detailed and delicate works and creates pieces that embraced a realism aesthetic combined with many colors. Collette hopes to touch people’s souls and engage the viewer with her pieces, bringing beauty, peace, and joy. With her distinctive style, she intends to achieve the realism her viewers seek and the rich colors to captivate their eyes.

Learn more: https://Wilberbooks.com

Annette Olesen
Charles City, IA

I started watercolors again while being treated for cancer again. I do mostly animals but venture out to landscapes occasionally. Inspiration comes from life!

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Stephen Schiller
Charles City, IA

​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.

Kathi Fehr
Clutier, IA

After taking a course on weaving at a local community college I decided to purchase a used loom. What started out as a hobby grew into a part time business. It's a great way to recycle old items into new and useful items, and use some creativity in the process with colors and textures.

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Ron Kahler
New Ulm, MN

I grew up in Waverly, Iowa and graduated from W-SR the spring of 1969. I threw my first pot at the age of 14. I graduated from UNI in 1973 with a BA in Art Education, and my emphasis was in pottery.  I am a juried member of the artists' guild, "The Artists of the Superstitions." I produce functional wheel thrown stoneware and pottery.

We live in Searles, Minnesota May - October, and in Gold Canyon, Arizona November - April. We own Village Arts & Pottery Studio in both states.

Mike Hassig

Iowa Falls, IA

My medium of choice is Paper Collage. Pieces of colored paper are cut/torn into various shapes deconstructing the original image. These pieces function as the pictorial elements of shape, color, and patterns of light and dark. I use scissors, x-acto knives and glue sticks to create my artwork.

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Wendy Ebbers
Rockwell, IA

Hello!  Born and raised in Iowa, I spent many, many hours exploring the woods next to my home.  I marked the seasons by the flowers I found there--hepaticas, blood root, dutchmen's britches were my favorites, as they meant spring to me.  I took great joy in the warming soil, spending many hours in my Grandma Hattie's gardens, among the plethora of flowers I found there.  Grandma loved poppies, and I loved them right along with her.  The flowers in Grandma's gardens are a key inspiration in much of my art, and the hours spent with her in her gardens were key in shaping the person I am.

As an adult, I found myself living and raising a family in Florida.  When I retired, I knew I was headed back home to Iowa.  I missed the changing of the seasons and the flowers I loved as a child.  It was time to come home.  

And so my journey as an artist officially began.  The first room I set up in my 1894 craftsman home was my art studio.  It has become a place of peace, calm, and inspiration as I watch the seasons come and go.  I have been painting  with acrylic regularly for approximately four years.  I also paint in watercolor, and enjoy collage.  I love texture and color, and try to instill a sense of joy in all my work.

Annie Survis
Mankato, MN

As an artist, I try to help people remember the child-like wonder we all felt for the world. I think it's still in us, and it's important to live in that sense of wonder, sometimes, so we can still see the magic in the world around us. I come back to this thought not just in working up ideas for my more fantastical paintings, but also for my detailed natural illustrations.

Learn more: https://annienoodle.com/portfolio/

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Ashley Koebrick Schmidt
Charles City, IA

I am a fine art oil painter and commissioned artist based in Iowa. My paintings range from portraiture to landscape, 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.

Douglas E Cole
Sumner, IA

Cole Art Pottery was established in 2000. He is a twenty five year member of the Northeast Iowa Artists Studio Tour, and creates wheel-thrown stoneware pottery specializing in vases, bowls, and a variety of lidded forms. Much of his art is embellished by found objects that are attached. This includes wood, metal, sculptural objects, and fossils. Many of the fossils are collected at the Rockford, IA Fossil & Prairie Park. Glazes are applied by spraying, dipping, and squirting. Cole pottery is displayed and sold at galleries in Iowa and Minnesota, and in art shows in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

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Mike Leedom
Waverly, IA

In 2006 I was requested by my dear wife to make a Halloween pumpkin out of an old telephone pole we had on our acreage. Having done that, we decided to use smaller fence posts to make similar funny characters. We've used all sorts of parts from the past, that may have been in your Grandparents barn, garage or the kitchen junk drawer. Now made from cedar, we make them all smile, creating a happy garden, deck, or anyplace fun creation. We also make dogs, cats, and deer. All for fun!

Melissa Nelson
New Hampton, IA

My name is Melissa Nelson, and I am a high school art teacher in New Hampton. I’m surrounded by art and artists in my job so I’m immersed in creativity almost all the time. I am neurodivergent, so I tend to bounce around with my media. I love making weird creatures as they have no wrong or right. I make one of a kind jewelry that shifts colors as you wear them. Recently I’ve been inspired to make stained glass flowers. I love that a traditionally flat media can be 3D and be so beautiful.

Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/ArtBlazeMelissa

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Steve Hosch
Gilbert, IA

I’m an Ames-area artist. In the past I’ve dabbled in collage and assemblage—but since 2016 I’ve been a printmaker. All of my work is designed/drawn by me, transferred onto lino, hand-carved, and then hand-printed/-pulled. Much of my work is inspired by nature. However, I occasionally venture into stranger subject matter; as a 50+ year old kid who grew up loving monster movies and schlocky TV shows like ‘In Search Of,’ I’ve been known to print creatures from time to time. I simply want to create art that will perhaps warm hearts, bring smiles to faces, and—every once in a while—make people think deeper.

Madalyn Vorrie
Dows, IA

I am a ceramic artist and art educator from Des Moines, IA. I currently teach High School Art and pottery at Clarion-Goldfield-Dows. I received my BFA in ceramics and BA in art education from the University of Northern Iowa in 2017. I was an artist in residence at the Iowa Ceramic Center and Glass Studio in 2018-2019. My work has been in many exhibitions, most recently my solo exhibition: Intuition at the Clear Lake Arts Center and at Charles City Arts Center in 2023.

I create ceramic sculpture, pottery, and jewelry. 

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I sculpt using coil, slab, and pinch techniques. I create with terra-cotta clay, while I use terra sigillata, underglaze, oxide, and gold luster to create layers on the intricate ceramic surfaces.

My ceramic sculptures consist of abstracted forms and alien flowers. They feature my imaginative take on nature and the unknown. I create abstract ceramic sculptures that often personify my emotions and my life experiences.

Learn more: https://madalynvorrie.com

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April Singewald
Lawler, IA

I am a busy k-12 art teacher at Turkey Valley Schools, Jackson Junction, IA. I recently earned my Masters of Art Ed from the University of Northern Iowa. I enjoy the variety of artwork that I am lucky to experience with my students. For my own work, I like to explore and experiment with mixed media. Lately, I have done a number of printmaking projects, including Lino-cuts, intaglio, and Cyanotype. I have been using mixed media with my prints to add embellishment to them to create unique pieces. The subjects of my work are often inspired by the little things around me, things that may often be overlooked, but I find beauty within. I recently discovered the Norwegian term “Koselig”which is used to describe feeling cozy and finding joy in the little things. I want my art to give this feeling with just a hint of whimsy.

Dennis Helmers
Charles City, IA

I am a retired plumbing and heating owner, and I do this in Arizona during the winter.

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CCHS Student Artists
Sponsored by Prologue Books & Wine

Taylor Mhyre
Ava Thompson
Ellie Gassman
Nyssa Salinas

More info coming soon!

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