Past 2018 Gallery Shows

This year's Battle of the Brushes Featured Artists

Kathleen Almelien
Jason Dains
BJ Grimmer
Ken Reif
Michael Wilson

Our January show features the artwork from the five artists selected to compete in our 2nd Annual Battle of the Brushes. We invite students, emerging artists, and seasoned professionals to apply for a chance to be a part of the excitement on Friday, January 12, 2018. 

Artists have only three hours to complete an original painting before a live audience. They are each provided a 22x28 canvas, but they are required to bring their own paints and brushes. The subject and theme to be painted is revealed just minutes before the painting begins! When time is up, the winning painting will be chosen by a panel of judges.

Each piece of artwork becomes property of the Art Center. The paintings will be raffled off after the competition as a fundraiser for the Art Center. The money raised from raffle tickets will go towards operating expenses of ACB to help us continue to thrive by offering quality gallery exhibits, classes for all ages, opportunities for artists, etc.



Past 2017 Gallery Shows

The annual All Member Show concludes our calendar year in our Gallery! Every piece of artwork displayed is created by our members and varies from fiber art to mixed media and everything in between. This is always a popular show and many shop the artwork for holiday gift, most artwork is affordable and locally made.

The All Member Show is just one of the perks of becoming a member of the Art Center. Members also receive quarterly newsletters, $5 off kids and adult classes, discounts in our Gallery Lounge, advance ticket sales to our biggest events, and invitations to gallery openings and special events. A monthly membership option includes a number of built in classes/workshops. Both membership options help make it possible for the Art Center to carry out their mission to provide an art experience to Burlington and the surrounding area!



Both Craig and Chris prefer to create in those quiet hours of late night/early morning.  It is a time when there are fewer distractions and an artist can tap into and explore their imagination.  It is a time of reflection, meditation.  It is also a time for nightlife and celebration; a time of revelry and adventure.  The late hours are host to the wonders of nature, 3rd shift workers, bar-hoppers, introverts, gamers and a whole world of the unnoticed.  The "After Hours" is when magic happens.  As artists, we try to capture that magic.



I have spent the last four decades developing a body of work which I hope contains a vibrancy and diversity the viewer will find most striking. Choosing paper as my medium for its adaptability, I have colored, sculpted and molded it into what I feel is a uniquely sophisticated art form.

Calling myself a constructionist, I am basically self-taught. Many of my high-relief and three-dimensional collages hang on the walls of private homes in Burlington as well as
in Iowa City, Ames, Des Moines, Western University Library, Chicago, Colorado and New York.

Mission Statement

This 2 year project is a visual symphony- an orchestral interlude in a large scale series of design movements and word tones. Visit for more of Kent Kelly’s work:



Mandy Robertson - Bio

Art has always been a source of enjoyment for me, whether using it to express my emotions, record a specific moment or scene, focus a thought, or just to pass the time.  I receive much satisfaction from starting with a blank paper and ending with a pleasing combination of color and form.

I like to work in several mediums, but colored pencil is my favorite.  It can mimic the look of other mediums while retaining the control a pencil affords.  I use primarily Prismacolor pencils.  They are wax based with rich, vibrant colors that blend and layer well, allowing for smooth, even coverage.

I consider the majority of my work ‘paintings’ rather than ‘drawings’.  These pieces have no visible paper and are thoroughly saturated with color.  This is a slow process of building up layer after layer of different colors to achieve character and dimension.   My subject matter varies, but most of my pieces are still lifes or portraiture.  Two pieces, ‘Grandma’s Silver’ and ‘Dreaming’ have been published in two colored pencil periodicals.

I am a self-taught artist, and although I have created pieces of art for most of my life, the thought of showing and selling my work is relatively new.   My friends and family have been very supportive and encouraging as I’ve ventured into this new territory.


Artist Statement for Someone’s Family
Over the course of this body of work I have been strongly influenced by the work of Lewis Hine, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lang, and Mary Ellen Mark. These icons of photography used their talents to document and create social awareness. On recent travels I have met some wonderful people who agreed to collaborate with my project concerning people experiencing homelessness as a way to help create social awareness. Their lives are depicted through the use of black and white photography. Candid, or photojournalist photos, catch them in their struggle trying to find the most basic necessities. Consistent throughout the work is their obvious lack of food and housing.

I met a middle-aged lady named Patty whose struggle with mental illness led her to the streets, lost to those who loved and tried to help her. Max was a gentleman sleeping on the streets of New York City. Some kind stranger had left him breakfast on his bed of cardboard; how nice of them. A fellow named Ray was on the corner in Seattle asking for money for shelter and food. He explained that he only needed $5 per day to survive; enough for food and a bed in the shelter. I met many of our nations' veterans struggling and experiencing homelessness right in our nation’s capitol.

I have traveled all over the United States and find people experiencing homelessness wherever I go. They are out there right now. They are cold, lonely and hungry. They are “Someone’s Family”, a brother, sister, parent, child, and they need help. My hope is that my works will help the viewer find a deeper sense of consciousness and empathy concerning the needs of the homeless and reach out. I work with shelters wherever my work is shown, encouraging donations in the form of money, food or clothing. More needs to be done to stop this tragedy.

Pamela A. Houser is a retired teacher who holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Iowa, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography from Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Santa Fe, New Mexico and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Photojournalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

All prints are for sale. The price of the framed prints is $250. A portion will go to the art center for their support and 50% of the profit will stay in the community to help the homeless. Please help the people struggling in your community by purchasing a print.



Heath McPherson Bio

I am a local photographer based in Danville, Iowa, where I live with my wife and fHeath McPherson Bio

I am a local photographer based in Danville, Iowa, where I live with my wife and four children. I have been carrying a camera since the first grade and worked through college as a livestock photographer and videographer.

Growing up my brother and I spent countless hours roaming the family farm in Central North Carolina. In stomping through the woods and building "forts", I found an early appreciation for nature, conservation, and photography. Most of my work gravitates toward natural landscapes and macro photography, but I also enjoy shooting a wide variety of subjects.

The scenes in the Nature of Change exhibit represent locations that my family and I frequent, and the majority of them are shot in Des Moines County and surrounding locations.

I moved to Iowa in 2002 to attend Iowa State University. Though I have carried a camera for most of my life, much of the skills that I acquired has been in a period since 2012 in which I have really focused on developing my craft as a photographer with the help and tolerance of friends and family. Southeast Iowa has been my muse.

25% of the proceeds from sales from the show will go to support the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.


BJ Grimmer & Margaret Ertz both paint from life, but from quite different perspectives. Both attempt to capture their own unique experiences, one in a rural setting and the other in a decidedly urban place. They share a love of light and shadow, one playing against nature, the other against architecture.


Margaret Ertz

I am a local painter based in downtown Burlington, Iowa. I have been drawing and painting for over 40 years and attended the University of Iowa School of Fine Arts from 1985-1988. I work in both oil & acrylic on canvas.
My paintings are based on direct observation and my own amateur photography of the cityscape of Burlington. The goal of my paintings is to capture scenes of daily life and reflect the beauty and complexity of buildings and places I pass by each day. I sometimes think of these as portraits
of the faces of buildings and places in my hometown. I enjoy finding and elevating the quiet and unrevered places around me, as well as the grand and historic architecture I see.
My style tends toward impressionism but I like to think my paintings also possess abstract elements.

BJ Grimmer

BJ has been making art for many years, having earned an art teaching and (subsequently teaching) from ISU and graduate credit from the University of Iowa. She has studied extensively from master painters and worked in oil, oil pastel and acrylic, her current medium of favor. Her love of painting is paired with her love of travel, especially in the west and southwest and internationally. She will travel to paint in Ireland for the third time this summer. Her paintings use her own photo references and plein air painting, ( on site.) Nature is the primary influence in her work, not in an attempt to duplicate but to initiate a response as a painting that reflects the joy of the outdoors.





Jill received her MA in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA in printmaking from Kent State University. She has been teaching for over 15 years in both museum & community art settings and has facilitated programs for preschoolers to senior citizens. Jill is the program coordinator for the Oak Park Education Foundation’s Art Start program and is an active member of the Oak Park Art League. Heavily influenced by print illustrations from the turn of the last century, her interest in landscape and nature has continued to evolve. Drawn to pattern, texture, mark-making and saturated use of color, Jill’s most recent work focuses on landscape and cityscape as an idealized sense of place and memory. In an urban environment, one can be overwhelmed with concrete, glass and steel. And a rural locale can force one to see an idealized setting in the absence of the manmade. Jill’s work has been published in Chicago Bar Association Magazine, Telling Tales by Faye Stanley & Stuart Stotts and was used in 2016 as part of the Downtown Oak Park Business Association’s streetscape banners. In 2009 her prints were used by Acadia National Park in Maine to promote the annual Night Sky Festival. You can see more of her work at



Born and raised in Carthage, IL. I attended the University of Illinois during the Vietnam War era studying literature and history. Eventually I wore out their patience, left without a degree and found my way into the computer services industry, making that my career. Living mostly in the Dallas, Texas area, I designed large mainframe systems and tuned their performance and planned for capacity.

After many years there, my wife, Trish, and I moved back onto a portion of the old family farm outside Carthage, built our home and my studio, and continued to work remotely for several years. I am now retired.

In the nineties, a long latent interest in art came to the fore. During a 3 year hiatus from computers I lived in St. Louis, MO and began to paint and sculpt. Returning to Dallas and my professional life, I continued to pursue art as time allowed. 

I’ve had no formal education in the arts, instead have read, and haunted museums while travelling widely in my professional life. Annually Trish heads to Florida for sunshine and the ocean, and I take that time to hermit in and explore topics to address in the coming year.  Typically I will selective a subset of structural aspects and explore where variations in their use may lead me. Largely I run a theme to exhaustion (mine) through a series and then move on to the next. 

I’ve read extensively in physics, biology, dipping into philosophy, into myth and fairy tales while also skimming mathematics. Years in motel rooms and on airplanes allowed time for that. Concepts and themes from these areas may not appear directly as image in my work, which wades in abstraction straddling the non-objective and the correlative abstract, still they do inform a backdrop against which I select and discriminate topics and interests.

My media include acrylic paint on canvas, wood, metal and plaster sculpture. I tend to switch between these modes allowing time to refresh the one while exercising the other.



Chad Starling's work came about from painting with his hands.  While guiding the paint across the paper, allowing its free movement and the joy of layered colors, he realized what abstract art was: feeling. "That for me was the beginning of my relationship with abstract form." Expressing his feelings in a literal way became Literal when he asked for the words and the form.  From that quiet place within, Chad hears the phrase and sees the image, and from that original inspiration he begins to draw. 

From this process of creating something from nothing, he cannot deny that the physical, mental and spiritual state of being is one and the same. When the viewer takes into account the context, what the piece is about and the forms used to create it, a window is opened; a window that guides the viewer into understanding the layers of his/her own wisdom.

Chad Starling's artwork is based upon a repeated phrase, thought or feeling handwritten thousands of times, sometimes as small as 400 letters per square inch, and taking up to 2.5 years to create. “Often people ask if my art is computer-generated.  When they realize that it’s all done by hand, they stand there almost in disbelief that I'm creating a line with letters.” Chad’s petite handwriting begs the viewer to look with eyes, heart and mind open to the underlying patterns of the idea evoked in the piece.


"There is an infinite story that is being created every moment everywhere which has neither beginning nor end. If we desire, we can be authors of this story on a cosmic scale. For this reason I draw my purpose for living. Expressing my heart through abstract form, interpreted through literal meaning. In a steady stillness I repeat a phrase, experiencing it over and over again, producing clarity and peace of mind." 


SIX LOCAL ARTISTS will be bringing their creativity, brushes and competitive spirit for the Art Center of Burlington's Battle of the Brushes: Live Painting Competition on Friday, January 20th! 

Mary Birdsell
David Garrison
James Walker Henry
Jessica Kirby
Susan Reinier
Douglas Rutzen

Artists will paint an original piece of art in front of a live audience in just three hours. Here's the TWIST: the subject and theme to be painted is revealed just minutes before the painting begins at 4PM!

They will be competing for $250 cash prize.

At the end of the evening, all six paintings will be raffled off as a fundraiser for the Art Center. The money raised from raffle tickets will go towards scholarships for promising students who do not have the financial means to attend an art class as well as our Artscapes program which provides art as therapy for adults with special needs.

The Gallery Lounge will be open with light appetizers, wine, and beer. Jared Rouggley will provide live acoustic music!

The six artists each have several pieces displayed in the Gallery for a group show through January 30.




Past 2016 Gallery Shows


The annual All Member Show concludes our calendar year in the gallery. Each artist is an Art Center member and they could submit up to two pieces. This show is just one of the perks of becoming a member of the Art Center. 

Members also receive quarterly newsletters, discounted children classes, and invitations to gallery openings and special events. A monthly membership option includes a number of built in classes/workshops. 

Both membership options help make it possible for the Art Center to carry out their mission to provide an art experience to Burlington and the surrounding area!





Artist Statement
It is the intent of all my work to use different elements of God’s creation to gently remind viewers of the fact that we are all made by God in His image, and that we live in the natural environment that He created for our benefit. Most of the paintings I do concentrate on expressing a little bit of the qualities and glory of light.
Light reflected and refracted in the landscape is the intended subject of these paintings. The purpose of the landscape elements depicted is reflection and refraction of the sunlight that illuminates the setting. The pictures here are not so much about trees, sky, rocks, water or mountains, but observations about how those things relate to, and are animated by light. In that sense I also hope that these compositions do not feel desolate, lonely or empty, but celebrate life and light that points to the Creator of all.
Most of my work features the landscape seen through trees, or reflected in water, and illuminated in a way that hopes to suggest the biblical metaphor that Light is Life, and both light and life point to their Creator, Jesus Christ. In that way, I think of my paintings as hymns.


At Allamakee Wood-Fired Pottery we produce simple, functional pots for everyday use. Each pot is hand-thrown by the two of us (we have no assistants or apprentices) out of durable stoneware clays. Glazes and slips are applied at the leather hard state and patterns are created by wiping through the wet surface to reveal the clay underneath.  Additional decorations may be added before glazing by stamping, carving and/or incising the surface of the pot. Many pots are also left completely bare to showcase the colors and surfaces created by the wood-firing process.
We use as many indigenous clay and glaze materials as possible, such as local clays, granites and wood ash from our furnace. These non-commercially processed materials have a wider variety of particle sizes and impurities that give the pots more character and a sense of place.  They also react with the atmosphere in the kiln to give a wider palette of color change and surface quality.
It takes about 650 pots to fill our large, 250 cubic foot wood-burning kiln. The dry pots are carefully loaded into the kiln and a small fire is tended for two days before raising the temperature to cone 12 (2400 degrees) over the course of two more days. Exposed to the flame and ash for four days, our pots reveal subtle color changes and ash deposits that ensure no two of our pots will ever come out the same.
While apprenticing in North Carolina for Michael Cardew-student Mark Hewitt, we were introduced to the pottery traditions of the Southern US. These folk pots remain a strong influence in our work, as do traditional forms from the Orient and England. We do not try to rehash these old pots, but rather try to create continuity where our loose interpretations of these forms are fired side by side with what some people would consider less traditional shapes. It is our goal to create hand-made, functional pottery that keeps the old idea of beauty in function alive with strong, wood-fired forms.



Maurice W. Sanders is a freelance photographer in the metro Detroit area.  He has studied both film and digital photography for many years.
He has been published in several local magazines, has received many awards from camera clubs and has exhibited in local galleries. He is a member of several camera clubs and the president of one.
From the West Oakland Camera Club he was awarded, Digital Color Image of the year 2013 and from the Greater Detroit Camera Club Council, Digital Color General Image of the year 2013.
Maurice’s love for photography has taken him to all seven continents. While traveling to different countries he has taken may image of local people, “ I had the idea of putting together a photography exhibit call “Global Faces”.  The exhibit was at Huron Valley Council for the Arts, August 2014.
He firmly believes “a great photograph tells a story and creates a feeling with in the viewer.” When asked what his favorite photograph of all his work is, he replied, “the one I’m going to take tomorrow.”



Kathleen Almelien
Kathleen Doyle Almelien is retired from teaching after 44 years in the visual arts classroom. She received her B.S. from Iowa State University. She was a teaching assistant at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. She received her M.S. from the University of Tennessee. There she was a lecturer for her teaching assistantship. She taught at Columbus Community schools grades 6-12. While being involved in the teaching profession, she received the National Secondary Art Educator award from the National Art Education Association. She was active on the local, state, regional, and national level of her profession. At the national level, she gave a six-year commitment after being elected as the Western Secondary Director. She served as an adjunct professor at Iowa Wesleyan and Muscatine Community College. Kathleen has published articles about visual art teaching. She is currently the Retired Division Chairman of the Art Educators of Iowa.

Mrs. Almelien’s activities also were celebrated in the Almelien Studio. She extends her knowledge of visual arts by taking short courses around the United States, as well as giving courses. She participated on the state and regional levels, and has exhibited at the Iowa State Fair. She participated in National juried shows during her career. Kathleen’s visual story was selected for “Technology and the Artist Craftsman”. Her pastel paintings have achieved the Iowa Pastel Signature Member distinction from her peers. Mrs. Almelien participates in the Iowa Artists, where she has received state awards. She has membership in Pastel Society and is active in many area art centers. She has lead the LETS Sketch club at the LETS Center for the Healing and Visual Arts, as a drawing instructor. She has been co-chair of the Southeast Iowa Artist’s Studio tour for two years. Kathleen has exhibited in one-person show formats numerous times. 

Kathleen currently resides in Washington, Iowa with her husband Jim and their cat Lena. She has two grown children. Her “View of the World” will be on exhibit at the Art Center of Burlington in July of 2016.

Jo Anne Worley
Iowa Public Television got me hooked on watercolors when they first aired Chicago artist Tom Lynch splashing his way through one colorful painting after another. It looked so easy, and the colors were rich, opulent and mesmerizing, like nothing I had seen before. I was in love with the medium. This was something I wanted to do! So I joined a group who painted at the YWCA and began my watercolor journey.
For me, each painting begins in a different way, and how I proceed depends upon the effect I want. If I use a reference photo or paint from live, I may use traditional watercolor layering. Other times, particularly with flowers, I want a soft delicate look, so wet into wet is my preferred method. And other times, I exaggerate the subject and even embellish it with gold pen work. But above all, it is the rich color that I want to capture, no matter the method used or the subject chosen.

To date, my work is mostly representational florals, yet includes landscapes and an occasional still life. Florals allow me to push the color, and create a happy image. No deep psychological messages here, just something refreshing to view. Currently I am working on capturing atmospheric perspective and the soft contrast you see outdoors in the Iowa landscape. Here too I see the opportunity to use jewel tones, rich color and transform the ordinary to something extra-ordinary.

Barry Ross

Born and raised in New York City, Barry Ross had an artist’s education: High School of Music and Art in NYC and Pratt Institute, where he graduated with a BFA in Graphic Arts and Illustration. His family had a prosperous Advertising Agency In NYC, and art in all forms was fostered in their family.

As a nationally recognized prize winning Illustrator, his work was sought after by many of the larger corporations, including Exxon, Mobil Oil, Martin Marietta Aerospace, ABB Corporation, and Bendix Aerospace. His specialty was interpreting technology and also sports, and for over 30 years he was a regular contributor to Golf Magazine, Flying Magazine, Scientific American, Sports Illustrated, and many others.
He has had one-man shows of his aviation art at the Seattle Air and Space Museum and the Wings Over the Rockies Museum in Denver Colorado, and there is a permanent exhibition of his aviation paintings at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Recently Barry’s artistic expression has been with sculpting, with wood as his preferred medium. Hoping to release the forms and images inherent in each piece of wood, he prefers to use traditional tools and hand carving to maintain that close connection with the wood; to him it feels like a “collaborative work” and that the inspiration coming from the wood itself is given form through his hands and tools.


Jo Myers-Walker

I’ve been an artist and art teacher for more than 40 years, working with people of all ages. Although I’m mostly into watercolors, I’m always exploring new techniques and materials. For me the most joy of creating something is in the process of dreaming it up and figuring out how to actualize it. In 2013 I sold mystudio building in Gilbert, Iowa, and moved to Iowa City, giving me the freedom to paint, live simply, go “on tour,” and be of service. I try to encourage others to have the courage to risk and live creatively.



Jon Neal Wallace

Jon Neal was born in Burlington, Iowa. He attended the Academy of Art College, San Francisco, California. He received a BA degree from Vermont College of the Union Institute and University, majoring in art, creative writing, and science. Jon also garnered a MA degree from Vermont College of the UI&U in creative studies featuring Light. His thesis paper, Design from Light, was published in 2008 by UMI ProQuest.  In Jon's thesis paper, he declares he is an originator of a new design principle entitled. Directions. His mentor for the thesis paper, PhD Elden Dale Golden states, “In his thesis, Jon laid out a new design principle for art entitled Directions which is derived from sacred geometry and the ways that light travels through space.”  His last degree comes from Goddard College with an MFA in creative writing. Jon's thesis manuscript (Ragman's Roll) was published in 2014 with acclaim reviews.

Jon's art has been in group and solo shows nationally, and internationally. Most notable shows were Brave Destiny, Brooklyn, NY – WHA Center, 1 st floor with surreal masters such as Dali, Giger, Fuchs, Grey, Venosa, and others, Water Exhibition, Lauderdale House, London, England, Inner Eye traveling show with exhibitions in Italy, Spain, Germany, and Austria, Sapere Gallery – Chicago, Illinois twice, HR Giger Museum show, Gruyeres, Switzerland, Art Next Gallery, NY, NY, and upcoming shows Neo Surrealist -   Burlington, Iowa, and Evironmentals, Clearwater/ St Petersburg, Florida. . Gallery Representation: AdT Gallery, Adele du Tertre owner and director. Paris, France 2010. Adele was a former art collector for the Wildenstein Gallery, London, England. Art Next Gallery, Chelsea, New York, David Rong owner and director. 2010-11 – artist represented there were, Ai Weiwei, Melamid, Mark Echo, Anoton Kandinsky, and other Chinese artists. I AM Group Inc., I AM Group Inc., Clearwater/ St Petersburg, Florida for Environmentals 2013 – to present. Featured in Churn Magazine 2014, Last but not least, Jon’s painting, Ai Weiwei and the T Bathers featuring Mao was shown digitally for a reception by SEEME at the Louvre Museum Paris, France. 


James Walker Henry

James Walker Henry (born 1961)- an American surrealist painter living in the state of Iowa, the Heartland of the United States of America. For the last thirty-five years, Henry has created over one thousand surreal works of art that addresses social and political issues, documenting events and ideas through paint and brush.

Henry toned his artistic skills while attending school at S.C.C. College, near where he lives, but his ability to create as an artist was his own and was mainly self taught. He did, however, take art history courses which introduced him to the surrealists and the grand style of surrealism.

While taking a little vision from the masters, Henry added certain elements of his own to create his diverse style. With that, today when the audience views his work, they connect the painting with the artist and say, “That’s definitely a ‘Henry’!” Just recently, James Walker Henry became the 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from S.C.C. in which he was deeply honored.

Henry’s surreal works of art can and has been seen nationally and internationally, giving his audience different views on life. These surreal images, some beautiful and some blunt and harsh, make bold statements that leave lasting impact on the viewer.

James Walker Henry’s surreal paintings have been featured in numerous art publications such as “Manhattan Arts”, “Surreal Magazine”, and “New Art Examiner”. He has exhibited in over two hundred exhibitions (fifty-one of them solo exhibits) and has been in over seventy-five newspaper articles.

Today, Henry’s works have been added to permanent collections of major corporations and private collections in Ireland, France, England, Brazil, South Korea, Holland, and Germany.

As Henry’s works of art receive high recognition and very positive reviews, the demand for his works increase and are sought after from collectors everywhere. The works of James Walker Henry give the audience a good look into the mind of a true American surrealist.


Ken Reif

Artist Statement
"The truth will set you free."
For me that truth is in my artwork.
Turning two dimensional surfaces into compositions that evoke emotion.
Painting and the instruction I have received has changed the way I see the world.
I am set free every time I stand at the easel.
I am set free when I look through artist's eyes.
I am set free to create.

Thank you for allowing me to share my art with you. It is my goal to evoke emotion through my artwork. My process begins with priming the surface black and then using an impressionist/expressionist palette I begin to create. To maintain the highest standards, I personally execute all the creative aspects involved in my work. I do my work without the use of apprentices or assistants.

Ken Reif Artworks Website


Past 2015 Gallery Shows

Almost 60 different artists are on display with mediums varying from oil to textile to clay to mixed media. The annual All Member Show concludes our calendar year in the gallery. Each artist is an Art Center member and they could submit up to two pieces to exhibit. This show opportunity is one of the perks of becoming a member of the Art Center; members also receive quarterly newsletters, discounted children classes, and invitations to gallery openings and special events. A monthly membership option includes a number of built in classes/workshops. Both membership options help make it possible for the Art Center to carry out their mission to provide an art experience to Burlington and the surrounding area!

Priscilla Sage is a fiber sculptor from Ames, Iowa. She works with 3D forms and vibrant color.
Learn more about Priscilla here.



Barbara Cave  

It has been the artist who has tried to beautify them. I don’t attempt to do this, just to show my interpretation of the beauty that surrounds us.
My first lesson was at the age of nine. My great aunt was a true artist and gave lessons to her friends and me each Saturday morning. Her golden rule was, “Only man uses a ruler when he creates- but God doesn’t need one- He gives his creations a loving pat when complete.”
I have been largely self-taught and enjoyed the process. I fell in love with pastels after taking workshops with David Garrison. However, the dust of the pastels is a real problem for me and I seldom use them.
Fortunately, I love watercolors and oils. There are many helpful books on art techniques in the library and you will enjoy reading them and trying your hand in your own creations.

Elizabeth Shriver

I work with clay to create an array of graceful, organic forms.  These pieces are made through a variety of hand-building methods such as slab-building, coiling, pinching, and forming with molds. Rarely relying on glaze, I use textures, stains, and colored clay to add visual and tactile interest. I am drawn toward neutral earth tones, and my work reflects the natural landscape, plant, and undersea life that are my inspiration.
The curving lines of nature inherent in my work generate an illusion of movement, giving each piece an almost lifelike quality. A successful piece is one that begs to be touched as well as explored visually.


A photojournalist, artist and naturalist, Mark Hirsch is the author of “That Tree.”  Hirsch of Platteville, Wisconsin is an editorial, corporate, and landscape photographer based out of Dubuque, Iowa. Hirsch spent 20 years in the newspaper industry as a photojournalist, photo editor and visuals editor before embarking on a freelance career in 2006. His clients include companies such as Getty Images, The New York Times, and John Deere Corporation.
While recovering from a serious car accident in 2012, Hirsch was inspired by a friend to use his iPhone to document a year-long photo a day project focusing on an old bur oak tree. Hirsch embraced the challenge resulting in a transformative experience of healing, self-discovery, inspiration, and enlightenment. The yearlong project along with Hirsch’s essays and reflections have been published in a coffee table book, “That Tree”, available at
Hirsch’s project has gone viral producing widespread international attention from the world's most noted broadcasters, magazines, newspapers, and online outlets including CBS Sunday Morning, NBC, PBS, NPR, The Sierra Club, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Mail (UK), The Guardian (UK), Le Monde, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post, and many more.

Artist Statement:
Trees resonate deeply in the souls of people. As a photographer and a person, That Tree spoke to me. She spoke of patience and dedication, hidden beauty and personal healing. Nestled in a valley between two cornfields, That Tree has witnessed a dramatic metamorphosis of the land. For an entire year using only my iPhone, I would quietly coax her stories and share in her wisdom through my visual discoveries in and around her realm. Where once tall grass prairies flourished, the land has been transformed by ox and plow. Through it all, That Tree has stood as a silent sentinel adapting to all the challenges, be they from man or nature. The images you see here represent some of the visual discoveries and experiences from my ongoing relationship with That Tree.  
May her presence be forever on the horizon.



Art Center of Burlington will be displaying Hmong Story Cloths in our Gallery from author Linda Gerdner's personal collection as she debuts her new book, Hmong Story Cloths: Preserving Historical & Cultural Treasures. There will be a reception on Sunday, July 26 from 1-4pm.

Hmong story cloths provide a visual documentation of the historical and cultural legacy of the Hmong people from the country of Laos. The Hmong first began making the story cloths during their time in refugee camps, and featured here are 48 vibrant story cloths that provide a comprehensive look at their lives and culture. The creation of a story cloth begins with the selection of fabric and images outlined onto the fabric. Long satin stitches of multi-colored threads fill in the image, while details are applied with intricate satin stitches and borders pieced together and hand-stitched. Topics include history, traditional life in Laos, Hmong New Year, folk tales, and neighboring people. The quality and diversity of content of the story cloths build upon one another to provide a holistic understanding of the Hmong culture and history. Augmented with personal stories and artifacts, this book is perfect for history buffs and textile artisans alike.

Linda A. Gerdner’s love of the Hmong people led to her passion for collecting story cloths and for the learning opportunities they provide. She has traveled to the Hmong villages in rural Laos and the last refugee settlement in Thailand.




Art Center of Burlington is pleased to present the Iowa Watercolor Society Annual Traveling Show for 2014 – 2015. This exhibit includes this year’s top five award winning paintings, as well as, Best Translucent Watercolor, and five Honorable Mentions. There is a total of 31 watercolor paintings in the show representing the work of 29 Iowa artists. Internationally known artist Carol Carter, from St. Louis, Mo, juried and judged this year’s annual competition that was held in West Des Moines, Ia. There were 142 entries for this year’s juried show, of these, sixty-one where chosen for the Annual Show. Carol Carter chose the eleven award winners and twenty additional paintings for the traveling show. One can truly say that the IWS Traveling Show is the best of the best. The Iowa Watercolor Society (IWS) is an organization made up of beginning, amateur and professional artists. The only requirement for membership is an interest in watercolor painting. The IWS was organized in 1977 by a group of devoted artists that loved watercolor painting. They were led by Joe Messner of Cedar Rapids. Each year the organization holds an annual meeting, an annual juried show and one or two watercolor workshops. The organizations primary purpose is to promote and support the arts in Iowa with an emphasis on watercolor painting.


Annual “Iowa Artists Region 12 Show”  
Region 12 includes counties of Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Lee, Louisa, Muscatine, Van Buren, and Washington.
Iowa Artists Region 12 Show includes 22 adult amateur artists with 57 pieces of artwork total from the counties of Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Lee, Louisa, Muscatine, Van Buren, and Washington. Each artist has up to 3 pieces of their original artwork displayed in Art Center of Burlington Gallery for 3 weeks. Artwork was judged, critiqued, and awarded ribbons on April 4th by David Garrison. There will be a reception on Sunday, April 12 from 1-4pm, free and open to the community and the show will remain in the Burlington Gallery until April 25th.

Iowa Artists 2015 State Show will be held Saturday, May 2nd 9am-4pm at First United Methodist Church in Cedar Falls, IA. The judge will be Gary Kelley.

For more information on Iowa Artists, please visit


Artist Statement
Janice’s watercolor paintings are inspired by her love of God’s abundant creations. She is captivated withthe colors, textures and curiosities found there. Hiking the woodlands of Iowa, gardening, and paddling lakes and rivers have provided her with wonderful subject matter. She invites viewers to pause for a moment and take a closer look at all nature has to offer. She hopes they will capture a moment in a garden or on a woodland path that will transport them into the peace and joy that resides there. Janice considers her paintings a respite from the everyday hustle and bustle of life and hopes that viewers will feel the same. Her message is slow down, take a deep breath and see the beauty that is all around you.  

Artist Profile
Iowa City, IA has been Janice’s home for the past 28 years. She has exhibited in juried shows across the state and with the Iowa Watercolor Society. While living in New Orleans, she became interested in translucent watercolor painting and began taking classes with a local professional artist. She continues her studies with various workshops. She founds the mixing and blending of pigments on and off paper tobe exciting and delights in the challenge of creating a successful work of art. Over the years she has developed her own style of capturing the beauty found in nature. Janice loves to work with rich saturated color and enjoys trying to capture the play of light and shadow.


Artist Philosophy
Chad Elliott strives to create music and art that inspires, uplifts and moves his audience emotionally by relating life experiences through dream-like imagery.

Elliott’s paintings and ceramics reflect earthy intonations and carry a feeling of finding place without placement and home where no house stands. He is a monument to the proverb, “Not all those who wander are lost.”

Elliott is a graduate of Graceland University in Lamoni, IA with a bachelor of arts in ceramics and has since collected graduate credits from the University of Montana in Missoula, MT. Early in his career, he was recognized for his artistic ability by being chosen as the “Best of Show” at the Iowa Student Artists Exhibit in 1995.

At the Guthrie Grove Camp in Guthrie Center, IA, Elliott has created murals with youth. He has also created large murals for businesses including Shaky Tree Coffee and Farmers Trust & Savings Bank both in Spencer, IA. His most recent mural work included two 5 foot by 12 foot canvas paintings installed in 2012 in the newly renovated Spencer Community Theatre.

In 2008 Elliott created the first-ever “People Project,” an ephemeral artwork for the organization ArtsLIVE during the University of Okoboji Winter Games in Okoboji, IA. During the Project he positioned 175 people on the ice of a frozen lake in the shape of a stylized turtle, which was photographed from an air plane.

Elliott has served as an artist in residence for TreeBed Design in Vallejo, CA in 2004 as well as Arts on Grand in Spencer, IA from 2005-2008. Currently he completes commission work from Elliott Art Studio in his hometown of Coon Rapids.


2014 Gallery Shows


Over 40 different artists are on display with mediums varying from oil to textile to clay to mixed media with guitar strings. The annual All Member Show typically concludes the calendar year in the gallery. Each artist is an Art Guild member and they could submit up to two pieces and at least one of them had to be for sale. The Annual All Member Show is one of the perks of becoming a member of the Art Guild, members also receive quarterly newsletters, discounted children classes, and invitations to gallery openings and special events. A new monthly membership option includes a number of built in classes/workshops. Both membership options help make it possible for the Art Center to carry out their mission to provide an art experience to Burlington and the surrounding area! 


October 5 to November 16:
Don Crouch, Macomb, IL -  “Bronzes, Paintings & Prints”

An exhibit which features the bronze sculptures, lithograph prints and paintings by artist Don Crouch, opened on Sunday, October 5 at the Art Center, 301 Jefferson, Burlington, Iowa.  Crouch presented a gallery talk at 2 p.m. that afternoon.

Born in Carlsbad, New Mexico in l940, Don Crouch has lived in the Midwest more than fifty years.  He retired from Western Illinois University at Macomb after 46 years of teaching art.  Educated at the University of Texas, El Paso, he did graduate work at the University of Iowa.  He has been accepted in many juried exhibits and won numerous awards.  In 2004 for example, he was invited to exhibit in the New West Exhibition at Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana.  He was recently invited to exhibit at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Works in this show will include midwest and western themes.


September 25-28: The Five Senses
A 4 day event in the Gallery with Milena Subacchi

Thursday - Hearing
Friday - Tasting & Smelling
Saturday - Seeing
Sunday - Touching

Along with Guido Morelli's
Watercolor, Pastel, and Pencil


Visit Guido Morelli pittore contemporaneo



Stewart Buck of
 Ankeny, IA
August 13 through September 20

To Learn more about Stewart Buck
For Sterwart Buck bio Please Click Here

More on Sterwart Buck
“Railroads and Landscapes ”
The Art of Stewart Buck




John Bybee & Jared Wittenmeyer
July 6 through August 9



Learn about John Bybee
please click here to read his bio

Learn about Jared Wittenmyer
please click here to read his bio