Fredericksburg High School’s Dan Leete created
a ceramic vessel pictured here along with
North Fayette High School’s Ken
Balk’s mixed media sculpture. Both are on
display in the Bing-Davis Gallery at Upper
Iowa University Homecoming
weekend and through September 24.
FAYETTE, Iowa (September 8, 2011) – Upper Iowa University will host a reception for the “Teaching and Learning: Homecoming Exhibit” on September 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This exhibit will showcase local art educators’ art work that will be on display in Bing- Davis Memorial Gallery, located in the Edgar Fine Arts Hall. The gallery is open all year long from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Exhibitors include: Ken Balk (North Fayette High School), Mandy Knox (Starmont Community Schools), Dan Leete (Fredericksburg High School), Ruth Deutmeyer (Clayton Ridge Community Schools), David Prehm (New Hampton High School), and Elizabeth Lorentzen (Decorah High School). The artists’ works include paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramic pottery, ceramic sculpture, and fiber art.
“The opening reception will be a celebration of surrounding area artists as well as Upper Iowa’s Homecoming,” said Elissa Cox, UIU assistant professor of art. “These artists have worked with UIU faculty in the past to help put on the Northeast Iowa High School Art Show at UIU each year. UIU welcomes the opportunity to host the talents of the educators from local areas.”
Most of the artists will be at the opening reception and welcome any questions or conversation. The reception at the Bing-Davis Gallery includes refreshments.
“The artists specialize in different mediums,” Cox said. “All of the artists are well-versed in a variety of mediums because they teach all mediums to their students. Each artist also specializes or has a medium that they favor. Each artist chooses a medium based on concepts that they have. For instance, Ken Balk uses oil pastels to create colorful fluid drawings of interior spaces and then can transform a similar touch to a large-scale sculpture of a blossoming flower. He is able to turn cardboard and wire into a fanciful flower that comes from the wall.”
Mandy Knox, who enjoys working with glass mixed with ceramics, as well as different bodies of clay to achieve various effects, describes her style as “Subtlety creates interest. These small idiosyncrasies in a seemingly rhythmic pattern found in nature drive my passion for making artwork in a minimalist and abstract style… The form of my pieces has a direct relationship to the simplistic forms found in minimalistic artwork. Materials become an important aspect of my work not for any symbolic purpose but rather for their inherent qualities and limitations.”
Ruth Deutmeyer, who attended Viterbo College in LaCrosse, Wis., and graduated from Loras College, has worked as an independent artist while she was raising her children but has been teaching art at Clayton Ridge Community Schools for 13 years. “My goal is to expose students to as many art mediums as possible in the high school setting. Therefore, I have continued to learn new techniques and methods to pass on to my students in order to keep them current in the real world of art,” Deutmeyer explains.
David Prehm, originally from Eagle Grove, Iowa, says he has a passion for sports, nature, and the visual arts. He attended the University of Northern Iowa on an athletic scholarship and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in coaching and art education. He began teaching art at New Hampton in 1988 and, eventually, he says his “passion for art began to surpass his desire to coach.” More than 500 of his paintings have found their way into private and public collections primarily throughout the Midwest states, but also in Norway, France, the Czech Republic, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Prehm said the majority of his work is done in watercolor, with subjects inspired by his experiences in kayaking, travel, sports and his general love of outdoor activities.
The exhibit, which went up August 22, continues through September 24.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to nearly 6,800 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.