Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year from the Artisans Road Trip - See You in 2016!!!

"Late Winter Afternoon - Woodland Edge"
photograph - © Bruce A. Morrison

Happy New Year from the artists of the Artisans Road Trip!  We'd like to take a moment to thank you for making 2015 a great year and for supporting your local artists of this region!

Look for the future artists of the 2016 A.R.T. in the months ahead - as well as future exhibits held throughout the year!

Our next art exhibit starts in just over a week at the Clear Lake Arts Center in Clear Lake, Iowa!  The image above is just one sample of what will be showing and available at the CLAC!  The exhibition will open on January 8th and run through February 15th of 2016.  If you're in the Clear Lake area be sure and not miss out!

Also, if you would like to participate through the 2016 year as an artist of the Artisans Road Trip - its not too late!  Just download the prospectus from the A.R.T. web site and send it in by January 15th!  Enjoy the benefits of year around exhibits in quality galleries and art centers, your own web page and weekly to semi weekly blogs for free P.R. as well as advertising and full color brochures for 2016 - what better way for a Happy New Year in the arts!  Visit the Artisans Road Trip web site for more information and contacts -

Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Remember - Artisans Road Trip Call for Artists in 2016!

Once again the Artisans Road Trip is looking for Artists for the 2016 season!  A.R.T has been going strong in NW Iowa since 2004 and originally started as an open studio tour of the counties in the NW corner of the state.

Every year the Artisans Road Trip puts the invitation out for all artists of the region to consider joining for the next season!  It is not always possible to find every artist however - so we're putting the word out again!  All disciplines and media from painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media, jewelry making, fabric, wood turning, photography and more are accepted.

A.R.T. reminds artists that, although the October weekend event was originally the main focus of the Artisans Road Trip, A.R.T. now has something going on throughout the year with exhibits and showings at various art centers, galleries and public events!  And participating artists can take advantage of a year-round web site, a weekly blog and the year long P.R. afforded by the organization!

Is the Artisans Road Trip right for you?! Do you know an artist that may not be aware of A.R.T.?  Forward this information to them! The 2016 season is shaping up to be another great year and event!  

Check out the 2016 Artist's Prospectus near the bottom of the A.R.T web site homepage - fill it out and join us!  Hope to see you in 2016!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

2015 Artisans Road Trip Artists in Area Shows and Hoilday Weekend Events!

This week and weekend is bringing area holiday art exhibits and sales that several 2015 Artisan Road Trip artists will be participating in!  Yes, lots of choices and loads of fun!

Each year the artists of this area get together for a Holiday Sale, and this year is no different - except - this year there are two events on the same weekend!

The first Holiday sale that you'll find A.R.T artists participating in is at Barb McGee's Gallery on Main Street in Peterson, Iowa and at Beth Cathcart's Rocking M Pottery, NW of Linn Grove, Iowa.  Barb and Beth will be holding their Holiday sale for several artists this year! 2015 Artisans Road Trip artists at both Holiday Open Houses will include (among others) Tim Anderson, Beth Cathcart, Bruce Morrison, Barb McGee, Diane Noll and Marisa Sidles.  These Holiday Open Houses will be held on Saturday December 5 from 9:00AM to 5P.M. and Sunday from Noon to 3PM.

Take some time and check out the artists and entertainment at the McGee Gallery and Rocking M Pottery Holiday Open House!

Another Holiday sale and exhibit that 2015 A.R.T. artists are participating in is a new gallery in Lake Park, Iowa! "December at Systolic Studio" will be an Art and Fine Antique sale and is being held in the former Methodist Church building in Lake Park. This new gallery (Systolic Studio) will have a host of top quality artists and artwork and antiques over a 3 day event! 2015 Artisans Road Trip artists at "December at Systolic Studio" will include (among others) Danielle Clouse-Gast, Hank Hall, Tim Arand-McIlrath, Bruce Morrison, David Strom, Paula Streeter and Holly Zinn.

The event is inside the west entrance and up the stairway to the left, and this exhibit and sale opens on Friday, December 4 from 3-8PM, again on Saturday December 5 from 10AM-6PM, and Sunday December 6 from 11AM-3PM; be sure and take it in - you'll be in for a real treat!
Where else can you find 2015 A.R.T. artists this week and through the weekend!?  Try Arts on Grand in Spencer, Iowa for their "Christmas in the Gallery"!  The exhibit and the Arts on Grand Gallery Shop features several Artisans Road Trip artists and you can get anything from cards to original works!  For an extra treat - attend the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Arts on Grand this Thursday night from 5:30-7:30PM!  Its free!  Enjoy the appetizers, games and fun!  The exhibit "Christmas in the Gallery" runs from December 1 through January 2, 2016.

There's a lot to enjoy and see - don't miss them!  Enjoy the season!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Artisans Road Trip Call for Artists in 2016!

The Artisans Road Trip is looking for Artists for the 2016 season!  A.R.T has been going strong in NW Iowa since 2004 and originally started as an open studio tour of the counties in the NW corner of the state.

Every year the Artisans Road Trip puts the invitation out for all artists of the region to consider joining for the next season!  All disciplines and media from painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media, jewelry making, fabric, wood turning, photography and more are accepted.

A.R.T. asks artists to realize that, although the October weekend event was originally the main focus of the Artisans Road Trip, A.R.T. now has something going on throughout the year with exhibits and showings at various art centers, galleries and public events!  And participating artists can take advantage of a year-round web site, a weekly blog and the year long P.R. afforded by the organization!

Is the Artisans Road Trip right for you?! The 2016 season is shaping up to be another great year and event!  

Check out the 2016 Artist's Prospectus near the bottom of the A.R.T web site homepage - fill it out and join us!  Hope to see you in 2016!

Monday, November 16, 2015

2015 Artisans Road Trip Artists Hank Hall and Tim Arand-McIlrath Artwork Selected for Iowa Crafts 42 Exhibition

 Artwork (top two - clockwise)
"Parade Ready", "Breezy", "Ridged" and "Pondgazing"
Artworks - © Hank Hall and Tim Arand-McIlrath
Artwork by Hank Hall (Spirit Lake) and Tim Arand-McIlrath (Okoboji) has been selected for the Iowa Crafts: 42 exhibition at the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum in Mason City, Iowa, through January 9. Hall's teapot Parade Ready was announced Best in Show at a reception on November 14.
The Juror for this year's Iowa Crafts competitive exhibition is Laura Colby, lecturer of art at Upper Iowa University.  According to Mara Linskey-Deegan of the McNider Museum, the exhibit provides much deserved recognition to the many talented artists and craftspeople active in Iowa.

Hank Hall's "Parade Ready" is a wheel thrown and altered teapot with mixed media lid and handle, metal wheels, and a wooden ramp base.  The teapot is made of bisque-fired cone stoneware, sprayed with green glitter paint on the outside and glazed inside,  His other teapot entry "Satellite" features dimensional fabric paint dots over acrylic paint with a mixed media handle.  For the Best in Show award, Hank will receive a solo exhibit at the MacNider Museum during the next year.

Tim Arand-McIlrath is exhibiting three fabric pieces in the exhibition. "Breezy" printed fabric, crocheted yarn. "Ridged", knitted fabric, crocheted yarn. "Pondgazing", printed fabric, crocheted yarn. All of his recent work uses recycled fabric from garments as backgrounds with crocheted environments over them.

Both artists are members of the 2015 Artisans Road Trip and currently have artwork included in the A.R.T. Group Exhibition at the Pearson Lakes Art Center in Okoboji. That exhibit will be on view through Dec. 31, 2015.

Iowa Crafts: 42 is free and open to the public through January 9, 2016.  The Charles H. MacNider Museum in Mason City is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9-5 and Tuesday and Thursday 9-8.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Thank You!

The big October Studio Tour/Art weekend event - the Artisans Road Trip, is a little over a week past and what a great weekend it was!

All of the artists of the 2015 Artisans Road Trip would like to take this time to put out a big THANK YOU!!!  Thank you to everyone who visited our studios or exhibit spaces, who put the word out to their friends and neighbors and who support the arts in NW Iowa!

Remember - the Artisans Road Trip also continues throughout the year with it's exhibits at galleries and art spaces around the region!  A.R.T. currently has two exhibits ongoing - one at Arts on Grand in Spencer, Iowa and another at the Pearson Lakes Art Center in Okoboji, Iowa!  More exhibits coming in the month ahead as well!

Thank you once again and we hope to see you at future events!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2015 Artisans Road Trip This weekend!!!

This is the big weekend!

Not one, but three venues!

Northwest Iowa's Artisans Road Trip members invite you to attend the 12th annual open studio tour on Saturday, October 10th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, October 11th from noon until 5 p.m.

Along with the open studio tour, everyone is encouraged to see and purchase original art at the two collective (group) shows sponsored by Arts on Grand and Pearson Lakes Art Center. "There will be one or two pieces from almost all of the artists," explains chairperson, Tim McIlrath.  It's impressive to see the range, quality and diversity of each artist's work and as a collective group."

Events and Dates:
Artisans Road Trip's Open Studio Tour: October 10 – 11, 2015
Arts On Grand, Spencer IA: September 29 to October 31, 2015
Pearson Lakes Art Center, Spirit Lake IA: October 8 to December 31, 2015

"Planning your personal A.R.T. tour is easy."

To learn all about the 2015 Artisans Road Trip, preview artists' work and begin planning your personal tour we encourage you to use these tools:
1. BROCHURE: You can find brochures at local art centers, participating artist locations, banks, libraries and gathering places in your community.
3. BLOG:

"We're looking forward to seeing you this year!"

BRUCE MORRISON, painter/photographer: "I love it when people come to my studio, see what I do and ask questions – I learn a lot from this exchange!  And people learn something too, in a fun way. I believe (that) the interchange between the artist and public fuels the act of creativity. The biggest barrier to any artist is the issue of 'exposure'.  A.R.T. gives the artist a venue for interaction and the potential for the purchase of the work. It also opens the world of 'creativity' to the public.

 LINDA FRIES, watercolorist: "Oh, the freedom and flow of watercolor and just as the brush takes control; the painter begins a journey and that's when the fun begins. For years now, A.R.T. has opened our home studio to the fun bunch that just stops in. And I so enjoy meeting all of these outstanding artists. Each year is richer, better – It's a good time."

 HANK HALL, pottery, drawings, painting: "Sharing my work with the public is something I love to do," says Hank Hall. "I create to satisfy my sense of aesthetics, and if someone else gets a kick out it then it just doesn't get better than that!"

And that's just a few words from three of the 35 artists participating in this year's big weekend event! The weekend forecast is for plenty of sunshine and above normal temperatures for October - plan a weekend trip and make the rounds at the 2015 Artisans Road Trip!

Hope to see you on the road for a fun weekend!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A.R.T 2015 - It's Just "Super"!

 September 27, 2015  Super Blood Moon Eclipse (last of the Tetrad)
photograph composite - © Bruce A. Morrison
Many things have been "Super" around NW Iowa recently!  The "Super" harvest, the "Super" moon; and in a week and a half a "Super" art weekend with the October 10-11, 2015 12th annual Artisans Road Trip!

Want a "glimpse" at a "Super" 12th Annual Artisans Road Trip?!  Its coming to Arts on Grand in Spencer, Iowa on Thursday - October 1st with an Artist's Reception to kick the exhibit off from 5-8 PM! The exhibit runs through the month of October.

ANOTHER "Super" glimpse - the 2015 Artisans Road Trip Exhibit will be coming to the Pearson Lakes Art Center at Okoboji, Iowa on October 8th and running through December 2015!  Get another view of a sampling from A.R.T.  An Artist's Reception will be held Thursday, October 8 from 5-7 PM.

Mark your calendars for some "SUPER" art on the 2015 Artisans Road Trip open studio tour - coming to a studio or gallery near you on Saturday/Sunday - October 10 and 11 (9Am-5PM on Saturday - 12Noon-5PM on Sunday)...there will be wonderful art, great scenery and conversation!
For more information on the upcoming 2015 Artisans Road Trip visit the A.R.T. web site with artists and maps for planning your weekend tours!

Make a great weekend SUPER! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

2015 A.R.T. Artist Announced as Recipient of Iowa's Art EMC 2015 Corporate Purchase!

Artisans Road Trip artist Bruce Morrison's Art EMC 2015 artwork selection shown above -
top "July in the Valley", center " Along the Southeast Corner Fence Line", and bottom "Creek's Bend" all oil paintings © Bruce A. Morrison
As the Artisans Road Trip starts getting closer, one A.R.T. member had a bit of a last minute "distraction", but a good one!  Bruce Morrison has just been notified that he has been included in a corporate purchase by EMC Insurance Companies for the second time in a row.
Although it began in 2005 - 2013 was the first year that A.R.T. artist Bruce Morrison  heard about EMC Insurance's program to support the arts in Iowa...they have a program called "Art EMC" and every 2 years they put the word out to Iowa Artists that they will purchase an undeclared number of works from Iowa Artists that year for their Corporate Art Collection.  Not only that but they leave the purchasing up to the voting via their employees - which really makes it even more unique!
Art EMC 2013 artwork selection
"Medford Avenue Bridge" oil painting © Bruce A. Morrison
In 2013 Morrison submitted 3 pieces of work for consideration and the EMC employee vote honored him with the purchase of his painting "Medford Avenue Bridge" for their collection...they have since used that painting to illustrate their Art EMC program online and in their brochures.
This year the artwork specifications had changed slightly and Bruce only had 3 paintings available that met the criteria so he entered all 3 pieces.  During the summer he was apprised that his work had passed through each voting period but no word as to which painting might have been the vote getter...until last week when Morrison was told a decision had been made and he was one of the finalists.  
When Bruce asked the 2015 Art EMC Art Coordinator Caitlin Stewart Westcott which piece the EMC employees had selected she said, "Well, this is a bit unusual but - all 3!"  "We have 2,200 employees from all over the country vote on this and to have that many votes for all the work in an artist's submission is unheard of - they really like your work!" "You now have more work than any other artist in our corporation's Art EMC collection."
Morrison's reaction was, "I'm very happy to say the least and a bit overwhelmed!" The A.R.T. artist made delivery of the paintings in Des Moines this week and now will need to plan a return trip back to EMC in November when they will have a dedication of all the artwork that has been purchased for the EMC Corporate Art Collection through their 2015 program.
Thanks for stopping by the A.R.T. Blog - stayed tuned, the 2015 Artisans Road Trip is getting even closer and some A.R.T. exhibits are about to be announced!

Monday, September 7, 2015

2015 A.R.T. Artist Hank Hall Teapot Selected for Regional Exhibit at Coe College!

“Parade Ready” – a mixed media teapot by Spirit Lake artist Hank Hall – has been selected for the juried show “River to River” at Coe College, in conjunction with the third bi-annual Iowa Clay Conference at The Ceramic Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The River to River exhibit will highlight the richness and diversity of ceramic art within Iowa and across eleven other Midwest states. The show runs from September 11-October 3 at the Sinclair Galleries on the campus of Coe College with a reception on Friday, October 2, from 6-8 pm is part of the Iowa Clay Conference that weekend.
Juror for the exhibit is Bede Clarke, Professor of Art at the University of Missouri since 1992. He received his Master of Fine Arts from The University of Iowa (1990) and a BFA from Eckerd College (1982).  Bede’s work is found in public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad.  He maintains a studio in Columbia, Missouri, where he produces his ceramic art work and continues to exhibit worldwide. Currently, he is working with wheel-thrown wood-fired stoneware vessels and large wall tiles emphasizing abstract drawing and color. He is interested in making work, which “like a good meal leaves a healthy, full feeling.”
Hall’s “Parade Ready” is a combination of bold and whimsical elements. It includes a wheel-thrown and altered teapot with a mixed media lid and handle, metal wheels, and a wooden ramp base. The teapot is made of bisque-fired cone 6 stoneware, sprayed with green glitter paint on the outside and white-glazed inside.

Hall explains, “My number one goal when making teapots is to satisfy my own esthetic sense of what makes for an entertaining, inventive, and personal teapot form. If others get the same creative kick out of them as I do, it doesn’t get much better than that!”
Hall creates one-of-a-kind clay, drawing and mixed media pieces in his home studio in Spirit Lake, IA. After 34 years of teaching art in Marshalltown, Graettinger, and Spirit Lake and an additional 10 years teaching private classes and running an art business, he now focuses on developing new work. Several directions of his imaginative work include teapots with mixed media embellishments; abstract drawings started with remote-controlled cars and robots; and colorful abstract paintings. An important early influence on his art was studying under Bauhaus-trained, master potter Marguerite Wildenhain at Pond Farm Pottery in Guerneville, CA in the summers of 1973 and 1974. For more information, contact Hall at 712-330-6007.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2015 A.R.T. Artist Joanne Alberda and "Tales from a Ghost Town" Exhibit at the Pearson Lakes Art Center!

"Tales from a Ghost Town X" -  ©Joanne Alberda
"Tales from a Ghost Town" -  ©Joanne Alberda

Thursday, September 3, an exhibit by Tales from a Ghost Town,  will open at the Pearson Lakes Art Center.  An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7pm with a short presentation at 6pm.  Joanne writes. "I would especially love to share my work with my A.R.T. friends in the Lakes area."  The show will run through September and October, and will be there at the time of the Artisan's Road Trip in October. 

Contact the Pearson Lakes Art Center for more information!

Monday, August 31, 2015

"COWGIRLS" Exhibit Coming to Arts on Grand!

The Cowgirls are coming!!!  Carol Herdin, Mona Majorowicz and Barbara McGee have been talking about putting this show together for several years and it is finally ready to hang at Arts on Grand in Spence, Iowa.  Barb is a member of the 2015 Artisans Road Trip!

 oil painting - ©Barb McGee

  watercolor painting - ©Barb McGee

These two paintings were completed by Barbara McGee in the last month, and Barb gives us a little insight and look into the process she used working on these two paintings - one is oil and one watercolor but they were both painted with only three colors, blue, red and yellow plus white for the oil painting.  This was an interesting exercise, in which McGee learned that there is a limitless number of colors that can be created from these three colors.  The oil painting was started first, it is a very tight, precise panting that required a large range of colors and values. She was surprised to find out that almost every color mixed required varying amounts of all three of the colors plus white for the lighter values.  The watercolor was started on a Wednesday in August and was framed and hung on the wall the next day.  It didn't turn out at all as she had intended but when it was done she was happy.  The watercolors were mixed in the same way as the oils except that no white is required because the paper works as the white.  After doing two full paintings in this manner McGee is taken with the simplicity of working with fewer colors.  

The exhibit runs from September 1 through 26th with the opening reception on Thursday September 3rd from 5:30 to 8:00.  The reception is free and open to the public - come meet the artists and take in this fun show!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Deb Yellick Manly - "Serendipity: Marks of Inspiration"

 "First Love" - artwork - ©Deb Yellick Manly

Deb Yellick Manly will open with her solo exhibit "Serendipity: Marks of Inspiration" at the Witter Gallery on September 4, 2015!

The 2015 Artisans Road Trip artist explains - "My body of work combines a love of lettering, words, and design with explorations of layered art mediums. As an artist, I find intrigue in the Interactions of line, shape, color and pattern and am captivated as I explore various combinations and interpretations.

 "Love is a Relief" - artwork - ©Deb Yellick Manly

My art pieces investigate themes of reflection and inspiration. Past and present collide with an eye to the future embodying change and new growth. Love is a constant. Some pieces may be considered traditional, whereas many of the works represented in this exhibit use letters, words, or text as a springboard for creating more abstract combinations.

Tools and materials used for my creations usually include combinations of gouache, ink, transparent watercolor, acrylics, watercolor pencils, markers, colored pencils, gel or metallic pens, markers and/or unusual accents. I often will create paste paper backgrounds for a more colorful surface to work on. I especially enjoy working with metallic gouaches, markers, and/or interference acrylics on black surfaces.

 "Love like a Quilt" - artwork - ©Deb Yellick Manly

Although most of my works are two-dimensional, some pieces incorporate surface variation. I have recently begun to construct geometrical forms, incorporating unique surface design, that may be considered decorative and functional."

  "Repose" - artwork - ©Deb Yellick Manly

"Serendipity: Marks of Inspiration" runs from September 4 through 25th; there will be a closing reception on Friday September 25th.  The reception is open to the public and runs from 5:30 - 7pm.  Contact the Witter Gallery in Storm Lake, Iowa for more information! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015 A.R.T. Artist Haley Rothstein Featured Artist in Storm Lake Gallery

©Haley Rothstein

Haley Rothstein, a multi-disciplined artist from southwestern Minnesota, has her artwork featured during the month of August at the Witter Gallery in Storm Lake, IA.  A closing reception will be held for her from 5:30 – 7:00pm on Friday, August 28th.  She will be teaching a two-hour class on Kusudama (origami flowers) the next morning (Saturday, August 29th) from 10:00am – 12:00 noon.
Haley Rothstein, who lives in Lakefield (MN) but works in Spirit Lake (IA), was born in South Carolina.  An Air Force brat, she moved with her family across the country more than once.  She was introduced to Adobe Photoshop in 2003, and much of what she learned was self-taught.  In 2006, she graduated with her Associate's degree from Minnesota West Community & Technical College, and in 2009 graduated from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor's degree in Art Photography.  In addition to her photography related art, Rothstein also draws and paints.
"While my degree is in photography, and the majority of my expertise is in Adobe Photoshop, my first artistic love has always been drawing cartoons and comics.  When growing up, I would create new characters, give them personalities and stories, and draw them every single day," said Rothstein.  "In college I set aside my cartoons to learn more technical skills and focus on the more 'serious' art of photography."
©Haley Rothstein
After college, she picked up her brushes and began painting her "joyful figure" monsters.  The figures became more and more stylized, with brighter colors and happy grins.  Around 2012, Rothstein started painting a series of abstracted trees, sometimes with birds or people.  "Because I come from a military family and we moved across the country a couple times, my love for trees stems from a craving for a history or 'roots' someplace."
 "Orange Tree"
©Haley Rothstein
Featured at the Witter this month are select pieces of Rothstein's work from the last 5 years in the mediums of acrylic paintings, drawings, and digital paintings.
As a side hobby, Rothstein makes and sells Kusudama flowers.  She made nearly 400 of the flowers for a wedding in 2013, and since has taught a number of one-day classes on how to make the adorable folded paper flowers.  The class will run from 10:00am – 12:00 noon on Saturday, August 29th.  Cost per participant is only $20.00, and all supplies will be provided.  If you would like to register for the class, please call the Witter Gallery at (712) 732-3400.
The Witter Gallery, located at 609 Cayuga St. in Storm Lake, IA, is open to the public from 1:00 – 5:00pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays;  1:00 – 6:00pm on Thursdays; and 10:00am – 2:00pm on Saturdays.  The closing reception for Haley Rothstein will be held from 5:30 – 7:00pm on Friday, August 28th.  Rothstein will be on hand at the gallery that evening to meet and greet visitors and answer questions about her work. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

2015 A.R.T. Artist Karen Ruddy!

Jack of all Trades, Master of SOME.

That is a phrase that describes my recent years of work in the Arts. Earning an Undergraduate degree in Art and Education over 49 years ago and only enjoying the opportunity to become fairly serious about my Art after I retired in 2004. I dabbled in Ceramics, Sculpture, Mosaics, Painting, Jewelry Design, Stain Glass, and the most monetarily successful endeavor, Statuary Restoration.



The first experience came when Holy Family Parish in Emmetsburg, Iowa commissioned me to restore the hundred and fifty year old badly scaling Stations of the Cross in what began as St. Mary's Catholic church.  Having toured other like church statuary projects that were garishly painted vibrant glossy colors I decided to keep the surfaces muted and matte and only paint Jesus in bright white robes keeping the other figures in tones of linen and ochre. Extremely favorable comments by church members upon completion satisfied my decisions. You many see the entire 14 Stations at Holy Family Catholic Church in Emmetsburg, Iowa.




My next foray into Statuary Restoration came when one of the parishioners in the Catholic Church in Fonda, Iowa commissioned me to repair the 600 pound Blessed Mother and Baby Jesus statue that sits in a grotto in front of the church. It took most of the Football team in town to unload it into my studio.  The Statue was requisitioned by the family of a second World War soldier many years ago and had been damaged in a storm. It is a most beautiful piece of work from an artist in Italy. See it, in front of the Catholic Church in Fonda.  The before and after pictures are seen above.



My next adventure in Statuary Restoration came when the previous Director of Queen of Peace in Sioux City, requested a study of what to do about the Stations of the Cross that have been enclosed in plexi glass out in their Gardens for thirty years and were rapidly disintegrating.  The finished restoration of Station Nine took many weeks and turned out to be more labor-intensive than expected and the board decided to buy new modern Stations for their Way of the Cross .  This station was in many pieces when I started reconstructing it. The completed Station is on display in the Queen of Peace Board Room, Sioux City, Iowa.

Thus is the Mastery of one aspect of Art in my life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2015 Artisans Road Trip Artist Marisa Sidles at Spencer's Main Street Market!

Click on image of Marisa's work at the Main Street Market for a larger view!

Marisa Sidles, 2015 Artisan Road Trip Artists from Terril, has been participating in Spencer's Thursday evening Main Street Market. Marisa works in a variety of media including acrylic painting and whimsical found metal sculptures. At the Thursday evening event  (running until August 13th from 5:00 – 8:00pm on the Count Court House grounds) Marisa has been bringing her anvil, hammer and antique spoons so that you, the customer, can create your very own piece of original art in the form of a spoon pendant. Marisa will guide you through the process to the finished product. If you are not able to make it to the market, you will have an opportunity to create your own spoon pendent or see how it is done, during the Artisan Road Trip this October 10 – 11.
Pictured is a customer's finished piece. I love that the "G" is backwords. To me, is says "I have flaws, but I am still showing courage."
Also pictured is an example of the other original pieces Marisa creates with scrap/found pieces of metal including a beetle and angel wings made from the outside of a dryer perfect for indoors or outdoors.
In addition to whimsical metal sculptures, Marisa creates vibrant paintings in a variety of subjects from colorful birds to landscapes and portraits. You can see more of Marisa's work by liking her facebook page at Rissy's Design & Creations, or by visiting her 2015 A.R.T. web site page at - 
Thank you for visiting and learning more about the artists of the 2015 Artisans Road Trip!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

2015 A.R.T. Artist Kathy Evert and the 5th Annual Okoboji Bead & Jewelry Splash

Several artists will be part of the 5th annual Okoboji Bead & Jewelry Splash set for July 25 - 26 at the Dickinson County Community Building in Spirit Lake including Kathy Evert of KJEwelry, also the producer of the show.  Jewelry artists and others (silk scarves stone accessories for your home and more) will be exhibiting and selling from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days.  "We are happy to welcome back most of the artists that have come every year as well as four (4 )new artists this year," said Evert.  Artists from Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota are participating.

Three jewelry-making classes are also available during the show.  The show is open to the public and admission is $2.  For more information about the artists and the classes visit and follow us on Facebook at

Friday, June 19, 2015

See You at the Side Street Gallery in Arnolds Park!

Artists to meet and greet at the Side Street Gallery's
Open House Saturday - June 20, 2015!
"©" the artists work shown - upper left - clock-wise: Linda Fries, 
Timothy J. Arand-McIlrath, Barb McGee, Deb Manly, Holly Zinn, 
Karen Ruddy, Marisa Sidles, Irene McCoy, Bruce Morrison, (center) Hank Hall.

Meet and greet artists of the 2015 Artisans Road Trip this Saturday (June 20) afternoon (Noon-5PM) at the Side Street Gallery in Arnolds Park, Iowa!  Stop by and see the works of the artists, ask questions or just join in celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Side Street Gallery and the retirement of the gallery founder Mari Stewart!  The Side Street Galley will close for the season in July and open again next spring under new ownership.
Plan a day at the Lakes - there is plenty to do and enjoy!  And be sure to stop by the Side Street Gallery and enjoy the best artwork the region has to offer!
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

2015 Artisans Road Trip Artists Exhibit at the Witter Gallery!

Artworks of 2015 A.R.T. artists, like these, will be on display
at the Witter Art Gallery until the end of June.
Artists work (upper left/clockwise) - Glenda Drennen, Hank Hall,
David Strom, Sarah Morphew, Judy Hemphill, Deb Manly, Irene McCoy,
and Kathy Evert.  All work © the artists represented.
The 2015 Artisans Road Trip artists are celebrating A.R.T. this spring and summer with an exhibit of their works at the Witter Gallery in Storm Lake, Iowa, during the month of June.
Come and view works of art by the best in the region!  Better yet, come and meet the artists and get a little insight into their works!  An Artist Reception will be held at the Witter Gallery on Thursday - June 11th, and will run from 5:30-7PM!  The public is invited!
Witter Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:00-5PM, Thursday 1:00-6PM and Saturday 10AM-2PM.  For more information about the exhibit you can visit the Witter Art Gallery web site at or call the gallery at 712-732-3400.
The 2015 Artisans Road Trip exhibit will run through June 25th - hope to see you there!

Friday, May 29, 2015

A.R.T. Celebrating Long-Time Member's Retirement

Example of the artwork at the
Side Street Gallery Celebration on June 20th!
"Anvil Across the Valley" - oil pastel 
© Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view
Former Artisans Road Trip long-time member Mari Stewart, of the Side Street Gallery in Arnolds Park, Iowa is retiring from the Gallery business, having sold the Side Street Gallery effective later this summer.  
Marie Stewart's Side Street Gallery has been a lakes area fixture for over 35 years and what better way to celebrate than to spend an afternoon with the Artisans Road Trip artists in celebration!  
On Saturday, June 20th - come and join us helping Mari celebrate her gallery's long standing run, and see artwork from the 2015 Artisans Road Trip artists in attendance, enjoy some camaraderie and good treats and refreshments!
The celebration will be going on from 12 noon through 5p.m. - Saturday, June 20th!  The Side Street Gallery is located in Arnolds Park's Old Towne district at 28 Allen Avenue.  The gallery can be contacted for more information at 712 320-5906.
What a fun way to spend your Saturday afternoon! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Fiberartist's Journey – 50+ Years of Making Fiberart

2015 A.R.T. artist Tim Arand-McIlrath, Okoboji, will be the featured exhibition at the Nobles County Art Center in Worthington, MN. for the month of May. The exhibition is titled "A Fiber Artist's Journey".

"I realized that I had been making art for over 50 years. Recently I have been revisiting printed fabrics from many years before, and incorporating them into new mixed media artwork .  The exhibition will feature selections from the different approaches I have taken with my work over the years. The emphasis will be on the 2D mixed media work and the 3D sculptural mixed media pieces. Also included will be felted artwork, woven and screen printed pieces.

Folk art has long been an area of interest for me. I have researched and collected folk art in all my travels. I have spent extended visits to Mexico and in particular to the Oaxaca area. The color, texture and freedom of expression have fascinated me for many years. There is an incredible excitement in the work of folk artists.

I have been 'accused' of having too much fun creating my art. Not possible in my world. Having fun is one of the prime motivators in my work. I love having viewers smile. I smile a lot while I am working on my art.

In my two dimensional pieces, the backgrounds are painted with acrylic paint or are surface designed fabrics and sometimes embellished with found objects. The foregrounds have crocheted webs introduced onto the compositions. The three-dimensional pieces are usually constructed out of willow branches and are many times painted or varnished. The found objects and crocheted yarn inhabit the structures. Color, texture, repetition, and pattern have always been strong elements in my work. The compositions are based on my observations of the world around us."

The exhibition dates are May 1-30.

Friday, May 1, 2015

A.R.T. Exhibit at the LeMars Art Center!

Examples of the artwork of 2015 Artisans Road Trip artists
that can be seen at the Le Mars Art Center exhibit.
(© the following artists from top left/clockwise - Mel Myers, 
Joleen Dentlinger,Beth Cathcart, Barb McGee, Tim Anderson, 
Bruce Morrison, Hank Hall, and Paula Streeter)

A.R.T. has exhibits during the year, demonstrating the work of each of the year's Artisan Road Trip artists.  The first 2015 A.R.T. exhibit will take place at the Le Mars Art Center during the month of May.  This is the first showing for A.R.T. at the Le Mars Art Center! Now is your chance to see the work of artists, both familiar and new to A.R.T.!

The Le Mars Art Center is located at 200 Central Avenue SE in Le Mars, Iowa.  The art center's hours are Wednesday through Friday 1-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

The Le Mars Art Center will host the opening Artist's Reception on Saturday, May 2nd from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m. - the public is invited!  You can contact the center for more information at 712 546-7476.  Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 17, 2015

2015 A.R.T. Artist Kathy J. Evert - KJEwelry Trunk Show Scheduled!

KJEwelry will be holding the first trunk show of the 2015 calendar year on Saturday, May 2nd, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at Elements Design Studio, 36 Highway 71, Arnolds Park.  A trunk show is a showing and sale in a retail store of an entire collection of clothing, jewelry, etc., from a particular designer.  I will be on hand all day to showcase and talk about the jewelry designs and will be introducing three new collections - my Gearhead Collection of scrap copper pieces from SPM Gaskets in Spencer, the fine wire jewelry (sterling silver and gold-filled) and the Team Spirit Collection (your school colors).  

"I have done a few pieces in the past of the scrap copper and they don't last long, said Kathy J Evert of KJEwelry.  "I will have several pieces of this collection on hand for exhibit and sale and enjoy telling the story about how these came about.  You will have to stop by to hear the story.  The fine wire jewelry collection is a result of several one-on-one workshops taken this winter with a jewelry artist in Phoenix I met several years ago and had the opportunity to study and learn with her this winter. The team spirit collection is a new jewelry addition utilizing the old Japanese braiding technique called Kumihimo.  This collection is made of satin cords and have also been doing several pieces that are beaded as well as braided with leather."  Much more coming in the Kumihimo category as are classes at Arts on Grand and in Spirit Lake or Okoboji this year.

KJEwelry will also be one of the artists at the Orange City Art Burst, part of the annual Tulip Festival.  Art Burst is held on Saturday, May 16th on the Sioux County courthouse lawn, complete with live music, adjacent to the food court, and parade route.  There are 44 artists that have been selected for the event which is free and runs from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.   For more information visit

To learn more about KJEwelry visit or