Audrey Brown has been a working artist for over 20 years. After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, Ms. Brown began combining her academic education with her long love and experience exploring the natural world around her, to create her pastel landscapes. Clouds, trees, sky and water combine to remind the viewer of the natural world. "River and streams move me, as well as the connection between land and sky," Ms. Brown states as she describes the shapes and color that she finds so important to the process of creating a mood or feeling.
Although Audrey Brown works primarily in pastel, she is equally skilled in the use of oil, and acrylic. She also enjoys drawing in graphite. Whatever medium Audrey Brown has chosen she is sure to vanish in the process of her creations. "I find that I lose myself in creating my artwork. Time seems to fly by."
During the course of her art career Audrey Brown has been the recipient of several awards in both juried exhibits and at art fairs throughout the mid-west. Ms. Brown has been chosen to participate in many of the mid-west's prestigious art fairs from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Kansas City, Missouri.
Peter Thompson Biography
Peter Thompson grew up among the hills, trees, and fields of rural Eastern Iowa that once inspired Grant Wood and Marvin Cone. After completing an MFA in the painting program at the University of Iowa, he began his teaching career at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama. He moved his family back to Iowa in 1993 to begin what has so far been a twenty year career teaching painting, drawing and digital art at Coe College in Cedar Rapids. He has chaired the Art department there for the last ten years.
John Schultz Biography
As a fourth generation Iowa native, I grew up in Nevada, Iowa, becoming interested in photography in high school. My serious photography began as a student photographer (Class of ’66) for Simpson College’s Public Relations Office. After a hitch in the Navy, I became a full-time free lancer in 1976, specializing in magazine illustration, environmental portraiture and public relations photography. My work from that career has appeared in “The Iowan”, several Meredith Corporation magazines, a number of Des Moines area promotional books, Simpson promotional materials, and for 28 years I was photographer to the Des Moines Metro Opera. For over 30 years I have responded as photographer for the Indianola Fire Department. Converting to digital photography about a dozen years ago, I am now devoting my energies to pursuing commissions and gallery exhibitions of my black & white Fine Art Photography. Prints from this work appear in a number of corporate and private collections.
Lois and I met as students at Simpson, were married in Indianola and have lived here since 1972. We are very fortunate in having our daughter Laura and her family within easy driving distance, making it very convenient to spoil our grandson William Brice. When I am not behind the camera or chasing the big red engines, my pastimes include sailing, canoeing, landscaping, and a future possibility of model railroading.
David Helm received his BA in Anthropology from Ithaca College in 1980. Since the 1980’s, Helm’s art has been a vehicle for exploring technology, public forums and historical discourse. Among his many exhibits are solo shows at The Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh, the Sculpture Center in New York City and the Art in the Anchorage in Brooklyn. He has been awarded grants from the Illinois Arts Council, The Nebraska Arts Council, and Art Matters. Additional honors include, serving as a National Endowment for the Arts panelist, an Artpark Residency and an Art and Industry Commission from the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. In 2013, Helm was awarded the Diamond Professorship in recognition of outstanding Teaching and Creative Activity.
Darrell Roberts Artist Statement
For me everything is about art all the time. In the 1950’s, art critic Harold Rosenberg coined the term action painting. It’s a phrase that I keep coming back to. My practice is as much about the act as the action. The finished painting is a physical manifestation, or residue, of the action. Rosenberg's definition of art as an act rather than an object, as a process rather than a product defines my studio practice well. Applying paint, scrapping it away, layering, and accumulation. Although my paintings are seemingly abstract they are rooted in my everyday experience.
The ever-changing landscape and structures of the metropolis inspire my work. Over the years I have documented Chicago; the lake, the gardens, the skyline, its people and construction sites. All these elements and textures influence my work. My interest is in sensory overload and stimulation. I grew up in a small rural farm in Iowa. I remember going for long walks through the fields and woods, contemplating what is out there. Today I live and make art in Chicago. I still go for long walks, through an ever-changing environment, which influences my art making. I contemplate the same questions I did in my childhood, and wonder why and how a lot. I believe some of us, artists, are born with a creative energy and soul to make art. I am bombarded with visual stimuli in Chicago, and love it; I believe more is much better. The pace of people, traffic and hectic life make it easier for me to notice the subtle changes of textures, colors, forms and light as I move through the city. These changes quickly catch my eye and give me a moment to rest. Many times I spend much of the course of a year, documenting construction sites and am interested in what was and will be.
My painting process is not dissimilar to the continual push and pull on the growing metropolis; as crews raze a structure so others are building new projects. In the way a mark is applied, a color is laid down and then scrapped up and moved away, only to let another layer build-up the painting.
Color for me is movement; movement through the city is color. A big influence on my practice is Hans Hoffmann whose push-pull theory owed much to his surroundings. The tension of space, form, line and color all ring true in my process of painting.
The elements of nature give many structures in Chicago a nice patina. Flakes of paint chip off buildings, leaving behind a history of paint strata on the structure. Rust becomes more dominant on boxcars as they haul commodities from Chicago to the west and back. The city gardens are full of intense colors and textures in the summer. My paintings have much to do with these observations and a keen sense of sight.
In my workspace, I cover the walls with the images I document, colored papers I have collected with different patterns and textures to bright toys filling my studio. There is so much influence in my space the eye can hardly rest; it is intense energy and colorful happiness. I work on a series at a time, as many as fifteen paintings. Sometimes laying down the background, other times scrapping away and covering it up. Each time adding more texture through the thick layers of paint. Over the course of months, my abstract paintings are razed and built-up. My canvases are opaque and full of color, texture and visual stimulation. Steeped in the tradition of oil painting, my paintings are best seen in multiples to get a sense of the sensory overload and rapid eye movement on a subject with the subtle changes. My paintings stimulate the viewer's senses, which can give off a sensory overload. My life is art and molded around life.