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Meet the 2021 Artists
Ann Bishop McGregor
Ann tries to emulate the artistic styles of the Old European Masters such as Vermeer, Rembrandt, Gerome, and Bouguereau. She is also quite partial to Hudson River School artists Church, Bierstadt, Kensett, and Gifford, among others, who were considered some of the first "light" painters. She loves seeing works from all these artists whenever there is an opportunity. Working primarily in soft pastel on sanded surfaces, Ann enjoys capturing all kinds of beauty here in the Midwest. She has worked in series of the Iowa landscape, flowers from her garden, as well as other rural scenes including rapidly disappearing barns. Her goal is to show the beauty and wonder of God's creation so others may see that beauty as well.
My name is Anna Gilbert. I was born and raised in Russia. I began to express my artistic talents and attraction to natural stones when I was a child. While other kids were playing hide-and-seek, I was busy arranging small river stones into piles of various shapes and colors. As a child, I also enjoyed mastering my painting skills. I was practicing with my father’s brushes while he was repainting wooden shed in our back yard. Now, I paint thick textured small oil paintings using palette knives. Most of my paintings are images of the cats and flowers. I make various matted framed prints of my original paintings, sizes 8x10 and 11x14. I also create one of a kind jewelry: necklaces, bracelets, pendants and earrings. I use only high-quality natural stones and crystals for my creations. I enjoy sharing with everyone my passionate love for natural stones, crystals, cats and nature. I express this passion in my paintings and jewelry creations. Respectfully, Anna Gilbert
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 an 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.
I was a self-employed Forestry Contractor/Consultant for 30+ years working with woodland owners across the state of Iowa. I wrote timber management plans and then carried out timber practices to achieve the landowner goals. These included: crop tree selection and release, sustainable logging of their current timber and/or tree planting. All wood used in my shop was salvaged from sustainable harvest operations I conducted in Iowa woodlands. When cutting trees for high-value logs, the tree forks are rejected by lumber mills and discarded. Although the forked section captures the tree’s intense and unique grain pattern, the wood is not marketable as veneer lumber, cabinet building, etc. The “Natural Flats” journey began when I decided to transform this natural beauty into functional furniture items for the home.I selectively reclaimed discarded forks, cut them into slabs, and carefully dried them over a three year period. After retirement, I was able to work the slabbed flats to create small accessory tables, coffee tables, benches, and small work-space desks. Unique cribbage boards and service trays have been made from smaller end pieces. Using wood that would have been left behind, I continue to work with each piece to reveal the intense and art-like characteristics within the wood and create a one-of-a-kind heirloom to be enjoyed for generations.
Bruce W. Litterer
Self-taught award winning artist from Shell Rock, Iowa who finds wonder in rural Iowa through realistic farm life and wildlife in colored pencil. Bruce's goal is to never lose the memories of the past, as he grew up on a dairy farm with his family and pets.
I took my first art class between 3rd and 4th grade and I fell in in love with all things color and design. Many college classes later I’m still learning - now mostly self taught which gives me great freedom to create my own way. I am an Iowa master gardener and get much inspiration from my extensive gardens. I share a home with 11 cats and the love of my life, my husband Dave, who travels the world with me collecting small vintage treasures to create wearable works of art.
Chris J Falkavage
A native of North Central Wisconsin, Chris " C. J." Falkavage is A self- taught artist who paints mainly in oil ,acrylic, and watercolor and his Subjects include wildlife, old barns, florals, landscapes ,nature scenes, and some commissions. He now resides in Iowa Falls ,Iowa
I started making fused glass jewelry 10 years ago. I soon realized I love putting colors together. I could not wait to open the kiln and see what I had made. Hope you like it also!
I retired in 2006 and now spend winters in Arizona, where I previously worked in a silver shop. I started making jewelry form silver and silver plated cutlery. It has been fun working with people to create unique keepsakes out of their family silverware.
Became interested in barn quilt design a couple of years ago but really jumped in with it when the pandemic came about. I really enjoy the precision and color. It has evolved into more reclaimed wood pieces but I occasionally paint yet for a little variety. I was inspired by my wife as she is a avid quilter with several ideas coming from her work. Being a Charles City native, my family has long been involved with Art A Fest since its inception and I thought it would be a challenge to actually exhibit some of my work !
Stoneware and Porcelain artist.
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.
Judy Sebern Beachy
Judy has been pursuing her passion for art for 25 years. In mid-life, Judy started classes with Des Moines artist Mary Muller with a series of classes over 10 years 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 the last 10 years. During the pandemic, Judy turned her interest to watercolors. "Pandemic Creations" is a series of watercolor and ink pen collage paintings created during 2020-2021 “stay at home” time as art therapy for herself. "Spending evenings in my art room "doodling" became routine for expressing my emotions on paper. "I’ve enjoyed participating in my hometown Art-A-Fest a few times over the years and am hopeful this event will happen in 2021.
Kathi is a fiber artist from Clutier, IA. She specializes in handmade woven rugs, made with up-cycled materials.
Katie's Kreations are handmade beaded and crystal jewelry pieces made by me, Katie Syhlman. I have been making jewelry for over 10 years now. It is definitely my creative outlet from my career as a public safety dispatcher. What started as a hobby to do with my best friend, has become a fun way to share beautiful, unique creations. And I could not love it more!
I make one of a kind functional woodworking art. Every item I make is one of a kind, made by hand, not manufactured. I try and capture the beauty of natural wood grains and the awesome imperfections as well.
Madalyn (Loring) Vorrie
I am a ceramic artist and art educator from Des Moines, IA. I'm a High School Art teacher in Webster City , Iowa. I received my BFA in ceramics and BA in art education from the University of Northern Iowa. I create abstract ceramic sculptures often take on imaginative alien plant forms, which derive from nature. I am inspired by nature, my imagination, organic forms, abstract art, and artists like Georgia O'Keefe, Erin Furimsky, Marc Chagall, Linda Lopez, and JoAnn Schnabel. I have been working in clay for 14 years and my favorite part is the process of creating my sculptures and pottery. I use earthenware low-fire clay in the electric kiln and Raku fired methods to fire my creations.
Hi, my name is Malayne Meyer. I grew up in Charles City and have always been a crafter. I love putting things together in a neat way to create something fun. While in college I started to greatly expand in making hand-made cards (like mother, like daughter). As I graduated college my close friends moved in different directions and we now enjoy sending cards to one another. The cards are based on several occasions: birthday, sympathy, thank you, thinking of you, notecard, holiday, and more. I am very meticulous on clean edges, correct angles, proper spacing, and a crisp look.
I am a ceramic artist, originally from the east coast. My art is highly influenced by the sea and the balance it brings to my life.
I have been sewing since I was 10 years old. I love to repurpose old clothing, curtains, table clothes, sweaters, doilies, seed corn sacks, feed sacks, you name it—into aprons, bags, pillows, toys, home décor, wall hangings, clothes pin bags, birds, quilts, and mittens to name a few items. Formalwear has become doll clothes, children’s clothes, or costumes. My husband and I have a home quilting business, Empty Nest Quilters. Tim runs a Longarm quilting machine and I make custom quilts or T-shirt quilts.
Dan & Mickey Johnson
Lost Loon Studio
Lost Loon Studio is celebrating 13 years of creativity. Our Bead Fountains range in size from 4" to 8' tall. Designed for "bridging" the colors in your garden or creating a colorful accent in your home. Inspiration came from the bright colors and kinetic energy in the slightest of breezes. Our gemstone jewelry reflects the earth tones found in Nature and instills contentment.
I'm an Iowa girl! I grew up in Charles City. I’m realizing, albeit later in life, what an important part of life those formative years are. There are community members in Charles City who've known me longer than I've known myself...it seemed like. 😁 As a lifelong artist and student of life, I'm I understanding myself better and to show my work in my hometown feels like it would bring me great joy.
I have been fascinated by pottery since I was very young and it is my goal to eventually open my own art studio.
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.
My name is Yoshiko Johnson and I am a clay artist. I was born and raised in Japan, and settled in Floyd County after marrying an Iowa farmer 50 some years ago. My first interests were two-dimensional art, batik, and watercolor painting. My second interest was gardening. In the summer of 1991, I took an art course at the Iowa State University, and my interests became refocused entirely on pottery.
All of my pottery is functional, in the small - mid size range. I strive to create bowls, teapots, and cups that are comforting and soothing when held. After all these years, I've yet to create a piece entirely to my own personal satisfaction.