Storm Lake artists raise their work to a new level to dominate a unique, widespread event
So how would you like to drive across 11 counties in two days and visit 55 artists doing work right in their studios? Impossible, you say?
You really don't have to go far outside of Storm Lake, though, to get a pretty good idea of the vast selection of artwork produced by Northwest Iowa artists during the second annual Artisans Road Trip Oct. 15-16. In addition to Buena Vista County, this year's Artisans Road Trip (ART for short-cute, huh?) includes artists from Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, O'Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Sioux, and Webster counties.
Jolene Dentlinger was the only Storm Lake artist showing work last year. This year, Dentlinger is showing at 138 Pheasant Ave. She is joined by Connie Braunschweig of Alta, Anita Coon, Cherie Courter, and Connie Herring, showing together at 506 1/2 Lake Ave.; Dennis Dykema at 530 Erie St.; Diane Dykema at 627 Iowa St.; Shannon Holmberg at 524 Lake Ave., Mary Mello-Nee at 617 Iowa St.; and Ron Netten at 1813 W. 6th St.
Following are biographies of the Storm Lake area artists participating in this year's ART event.
* Connie Braunschweig. Exhibiting at 5767 40th Ave., Alta. Braunschweig, a potter since 1979, has exhibited her works in juried, fine art shows throughout the Midwest. After graduation from the University of Northern Iowa with a marketing degree she proceeded to create various clay items. Now she features the hand-formed, slab-built style instead of wheel-thrown pottery. Connie prefers utilizing a variety of materials including nature's gifts for texturing and shapes. She specializes in one-of-a-kind functional and decorative pieces, experimenting with techniques and glazes.
* Anita Coon. Exhibiting at 506 1/2 Lake Ave., Storm Lake. Ms. Coon has been an instructor at Storm Lake High School since 1999 in addition to teaching at Schaller-Crestland and Buena Vista University, specializing in painting and drawing. Says Coon, "I have always liked exploring work that comes from accumulated visual memories of spaces and experiences. These psychological spaces hint at the passage of time, the cycles of life, and the illumination of darkness."
* Cherie J. Courter. Exhibiting at 506 1/2 Lake Ave., Storm Lake. A native Iowan, Courter holds both bachelor's and master's degrees from Buena Vista University where she is an adjunct professor, in addition to teaching at Schaller-Crestland High School at Schaller. Says Courter, "The human form depicted in a variety of circumstances and environments has always been a major emphasis within my paintings. At present, there is a need to move beyond simple observation and convey the personal essence of individuals chosen as subjects of my work through such means as direct frontal views and closer vantage points."
* Joleen Dentlinger. Exhibiting at 138 Pheasant Ave., Storm Lake. Ms. Dentlinger was born and raised in Storm Lake. Says Dentlinger of her work, "History and its preservation rate very high in my heart, right behind home and family. With my drawings I can document places and things that touched me, whether it's an old farm house, an old Chicago hotel, or an intriguing landscape. By working in pen and ink, I strive and accomplish depth, intensity, detail, "color" and texture - in just a subtle way - as simple as black and white."
* Dennis Dykema. Exhibiting at 530 Erie St., Storm Lake. Dykema has been a Storm Lake artist since 1970 when he was appointed professor of art at Buena Vista University. His paintings have been included in numerous art shows and are represented in many corporate, private, and public collections. Since his retirement from teaching in 2001, Dykema is a full-time artist working in his studio at 530 1/2 Erie St. Dykema's work is represented by Olson-Larsen Galleries of West Des Moines.
* Diane Dykema. Exhibiting at 627 Iowa St., Storm Lake. What began as a hobby many years ago has become a home-based business for Diane Dykema. Her unique one-of-a-kind Santa dolls are elaborately dressed in velvets, wool, and fur. Their heads are either of porcelain or hand-sculpted polymer clay. The Santas have found homes throughout the Untied States and are presently shown at art and craft shows in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska.
* Shannon Holmberg. Exhibiting at 524 Lake Ave., Storm Lake. Holmberg has received numerous awards for her photography. She has been recognized twice among the top five photographers in the state of Iowa. Shannon was also awarded the Fuji Masterpiece Award for Illustrative work and she has received national recognition with her photograph "Asian Mistress" which was accepted into the 2003 National Loan Collection of Professional Photographers of America. Shannon has owned and operated Emagination Gallery & Portrait Studio in Storm Lake since 2003. She creates timeless portraits for her clients as well as continuing her art photography on a full-time basis.
* Mary Mello. Exhibiting at 617 Iowa St., Storm Lake. Mary Mello, who earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from the University of South Dakota at Vermillion, is an assistant professor of art at Buena Vista University. "Snapshots" is a new body of work encompassing Mello's various subjects and themes: connections, conflicts, relationships, society, family, fear, judgment, instinct, and moments of life. Says Mello, "It really is the snapshots in our everyday life that mold us into who we are at this moment in time. Tomorrow something may happen that will change us forever. Illness, love, death, or it could be something simple, such as a smile, a passerby, or a thought.
* Ron Netten. Exhibiting at 1813 W. 6th St. Storm Lake. Netten holds both bachelor's and master's degrees and teaches at Storm Lake High School and as an adjunct at Buena Vista University. Says Netten, "Since an early age, I have always been fascinated by this soft, pliable, earthy material and its responsiveness to the touch of the hand. Beginning with a pliable mass it eventually ends up permanently frozen in rock-hardness by fire. It is this dichotomy of clay that holds my attention. My enjoyment comes from extruding, stamping, impressing, and stretching forms and attachments like handles. Making work which can be experienced as a vessel and/or enjoyed visually is my desired focus."