Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 Artsans Road Trip Artist Judy Thompson

 "Distant Harvest"
watercolor - © Judy Thompson
Today we get to meet another artist from the 2012 Artisans Road Trip - Judy Thompson.  This will be Judy's first year participating in A.R.T.; she will be exhibiting at the Pearson Lakes Art Center during A.R.T. this fall.  Welcome Judy!

Artist Judy Thompson celebrates the prairie through her Homestead Series.

"Taking Root"
watercolor - © Judy Thompson

 Inspired by an artist's residency at the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, NE, Judy Thompson has created a series of 12 watercolor paintings depicting the fabric of the land and the people during this revolutionary time in history.

"When I arrived at the Homestead National Monument and stepped out of the car, I was struck with the vast, empty landscape that spread before me.  At first, a sense of panic came over me since there was only a long flat horizon line wherever I looked."  Fortunately, after two weeks of sketching the native tallgrass prairie, reading the journals of homesteaders and researching photos at the Nebraska State Historical society, inspiration started to flow.   "I wanted to capture the pioneering spirit of these pioneers and how their efforts changed the landscape of the Midwest forever.

"Trails End"
watercolor © Judy Thompson

The Homestead Series will be on tour throughout 2012 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Homestead Act by President Abraham Lincoln as follows:

January-February:  Pearson Lakes Art Center, Okoboji, IA

March:  The Great Plains Museum, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

April-July:  The Cultural Heritage Center, Pierre, SD

October - March, 2013:  The Homestead National Monument, Beatrice, NE

In addition to the exhibition, Judy will present an electronic poster at the Great Plains Symposium on March 29th, 2012 which describes her process and inspiration.  See link:


Be sure and stop back again for more great artists of the 2012 Artisans Road Trip!

Monday, February 20, 2012

 Our first artisan's spotlight of the 2012 season will be of Glenda Drennen, one of the Artisans Road Trip artists for 2012!

Glenda Drennen’s usual painting surface is watercolor paper, but this last year she added 6 -foot fiberglass ice cream cone sculptures to her repertoire. In a cooperative effort the LeMars Chamber of Commerce, LeMars Art Center, and City of LeMars Convention Center and Visitor Bureau planned and implemented a public art project to highlight the importance of the production of  ice cream by local industry, Well’s Blue Bunny.

Sponsoring business First National Bank, LeMars, chose Drennen, a resident of the “Ice Cream Capital of the World,” to apply her creative talents to one of the cone sculptures. The single dip ice cream cone now on display at the downtown bank entrance features 133 detailed coins. The coins, enlarged about 400%, cover the large dip of ice cream.  Many of the coins have special relevance to the region, such as coins commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition that camped in the area during the Corps of Discovery. State quarters for Iowa and all bordering states are also represented. A number of Lincoln pennies old and new are represented, as are two different versions of buffalo nickels.

One unusual coin features a portrait of Drennen herself among those of John F. Kennedy, Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. “My first thought was to invent a coin with a likeness of the bank President,” Drennen said, “but during the time I’ve lived in LeMars there have been several people in that position, and I will always be the artist of this cone.”

 Glenda is currently painting a second sculpture to be installed in a LeMars park this spring. Parents who have lost children to disease donated funds for this cone as a memorial. The design committee wanted to stress parents’ wish to provide both roots and wings for their children, so one aspect of the design will be many butterflies and dragonflies against a sunset sky, symbolizing the gift of “wings” for their children.

Ultimately Drennen will paint five of the 41 painted sculptures projected.  Themes for the three remaining cones Drennen will be painting will be Noah’s Ark, the LeMars Rotary Club, and something dramatic for the Postal Playhouse Community Theater.

Be sure and come back soon for more from the 2012 Artisans Road Trip!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Artisans for 2012 A.R.T.!

This will be the 9th year for A.R.T. and will once again take stage the first weekend in October (October 6 - 7, 2012 Saturday 9 AM - 5 PM * Sunday NOON - 5 PM) for their open studio tour!

The 2012 Artisans Road Trip names are in! The 2012 participants, their medium(s), and where they are from are as follows - 

1. Marisa Sidles - Painting, Terril
2. Ron Netten - Potter, Storm Lake
3. Judy Hemphill - Photography, Spencer
4. Beth Cathcart - Pottery - Linn Grove
5. Timothy Arand McIlrath - Abstract Compositions, Okoboji
6. Barb McGee - Painting, Peterson
7. Linda Fries - Watercolor, Peterson
8. Judy Thompson - Watercolor, Orange City
9. Mary Mello - Painting/Mixed Media, Spencer
10. Diane King - Jewelry, Dickens
11. Wendell King - Stone Top Tables, Dickens
12. Danielle Clouse - Painting, Okoboji
13. Mel Meyer - Pottery, Spencer
14. Hank Hall - Pottery, Spirit Lake
15. Dennis Dykema - Painting, Spirit Lake
16. Holly Kellogg - Painting/Mixed Media, Spencer
17. Diane Noll - Jewelry, Linn Grove
18. Karess Knudtson - Photography, Milford
19. Bill Leib - Abstract Sculpture, Spirit Lake
20. Joleen Dentlinger - Pen & Ink Drawing, Storm Lake
21. Bruce Morrison - Painting/Drawing/Photography, Hartley
22. Martha Thien - Jewelry, Des Moines
23. Perry Polson - Woodturning, Spencer
24. Mitch Eveleth - Pen & Ink, Estherville
25. Glenda Drennen - Watercolor, LeMars 
26. Anita (Katie) Baedke-Plucker - Watercolor, Terril

Watch for updates (in the near future) on the A.R.T. web site for more information on each of the 2012 participating artists - and for future exhibition notices, as these take place throughout the year! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Just Wait'n!

 "Riffles, First Light"
oil painting - © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)

Please excuse the title's slang, but that about sums up this moment for the 2012 Artisans Road Trip. The entries are in and the names of the 2012 participating artists is in the process of being drawn up.

This is also that time of year when artists of the Road Trip are busy with studio time and other work needing to be tended to during the winter "lull". I don't know about everyone else but I've had difficulty keeping to my studio's easel schedule because of the great winter weather we've been having! Just standing on the studio deck overlooking the valley here has been a distraction - that warm sunshine is bringing on spring fever!

 Hopefully we'll have names to announce and some glimpses at our 2012 artists in the near future...right now we're just wait'n!