Past 2021 Gallery Shows

The Strange Girls Club...The unlikely pairing of artists working in different mediums yet sharing a common “Strange Girl” be strange is to be unique. Care to join our club?

Artist Statement - Linda Ross

It’s strange how things progress.  In 2014 a friend and I randomly pinched out 2 small head pots, based on a book of Native Artists from Arkansas.  The following year, I joined a workshop of a figurative artist who showed me how to throw and alter forms to create figures.  I was hooked on the process.  It makes sense to me, like a fabric pattern, darting and joining pieces.  As a potter of 30 years, I have been influenced by nature and its patterns that I am surrounded by daily.  Much of my time has been spent in production of functional wares.  I’m not going to lie, the past year was strange… I suddenly had time to create different forms and explore.  “My Girls” are the result of this.  Each girl is unique, just as we all are.  Embrace and celebrate that uniqueness, silliness and yes, the strangeness of it all.

Artist Bio - Linda Ross

Born a maker in Burlington, Iowa, I learned to use tools at an early age.  My parents encouraged the never-ending question, “What if?”.  They bought my first pottery wheel at the age of 16 and I have never looked back.  I graduated with a BA from Iowa State University College of Design.  Shortly after graduation I found the love of my life and we built on a farm near Wever, Iowa.  We constructed a studio in the barn and I raised two children on my hip, as I worked the clay.  Fast forward to 2021, as we near the completion of a new studio.  I will begin to answer the age-old question all over again, in new surroundings.


Artist Statement - Mary Ilmberger Scott

It doesn’t matter what path your life is on it is vital for every individual to maintain some level of activity in what brings serenity and gratification. Creating art, my art…does that for me.

My creative process is simplistic with solitude being the key ingredient. More often than not, I gravitate to a palette of muted tones, textures, and colors that bring a soft, calmer color experience. Drawing and scratching into layers of wet paint on wood is a must. For me, wood lends itself to the process far better than canvas.

Much of my work time and space is in my home and studio in SE Iowa near a cornfield. It is here that I can let my creations pass through mind and hands. It is also a refuge for my husband and faithful studio dog, Ted. This is where, for me, life is very good.

Artist Bio - Mary Ilmberger Scott

A native of Lee County, Iowa I dabbled in art my entire life. A first love, I finally got serious in 2010-2011. While my children were still young I had a wonderful opportunity for creative outlets. Working in my art and sharing in retail stores with good friends and fellow artists at The Wild Pear and The Artisans Next Door in Fort Madison, Iowa my creative juices truly
began to flow.

A self-taught acrylic and mixed mediums artist I find inspiration from my surroundings and numerous online art classes/workshops. I love exploring new mediums with
 the latest being oil & cold wax.

The life of an artist can be creative in so many ways. My work is extremely gratifying but great relationships is the refining touch.

About Margaret Ertz:
I am a native Iowan and have been drawing and painting for over 40 years. I attended the University of Iowa School of Fine Arts from 1985-1989. After raising three beautiful daughters, I began actively exhibiting my work in 2010. I work in both oil & acrylic on canvas.

I paint cityscapes, focusing on the architecture, light and life moving around it. My landscapes tend to be more atmospheric and abstract.

Artist Statement
My eye is drawn to light and shadow, line and pattern. Architecture and street traffic provide me with all these elements as well as solid forms in space with dynamic movement and opportunities for abstraction. In my landscapes, I attempt to capture a mood with light and color.

I am most influenced by impressionists (historic & contemporary) who represent their own time and place through their art. My intention is much the same-to record glimpses of my personal visual and sensual experiences specific to 21st century American urban life.


When not in his studio, this Iowa resident can be found at the occasional car show or more likely wandering obscure country roads in his seventy year old truck in search of his next automotive muse. 

Nash Cox is a self taught Artist who works exclusively in watercolors to create highly detailed automotive paintings. Sourcing images from his own photographs, Nash's paintings present the viewer with a little bit of the soul and a little bit of the history of each vehicle he paints.

An internationally recognized Artist, Nash's paintings can be found in private collections as far as Puerto Rico and Australia.

A signature member of the Iowa Watercolor Society, Nash works from his studio and gallery located in Chariton, Iowa where he lives with his wife, Terry, and their two dogs.

Artists Statement: 

 I've always had a real fascination with old cars. My fondest childhood memories almost always involve an old car or truck. I still remember the feel of the sun warmed fenders on my dad's 1947 Ford pickup as he worked on it in the backyard or the smell of the upholstery in my mom's 1949 Plymouth

There's a feeling I get from old cars that I feel I understand but can't  put into words and I think that's why a paint them. I travel with a camera under my seat and a cell phone in my pocket so I can photograph old cars when I find them. When I find one that has set neglected- that is rusting back into the Earth it was formed from- I get a strong impression of its past as if the car has one last chance to tell its story.

Choosing which vehicle to paint or which image to use is more intuitive than anything. If it feels right it will continue to feel right throughout the painting process.

After a truly exhausting attempt at living a normal non creative life I plunged back into the art world that had consumed my childhood. The moment I tried watercolor I fell in love with it. I don't believe a person can ever truly master watercolor and instead see it as a constantly evolving partnership. I like to say I'm a self taught artist but the truth is each painting teaches me how to paint the next.

  Sure, I believe old cars are beautiful, especially cars from the thirties, but classic automobiles also remind me of a time when things were simpler. Today, my daily driver is a rusty but beautiful 1953 GMC pickup. It has become my signature.

  I count myself lucky as  I am able to take two of my greatest passions, one being art and the other being vintage automobiles, and I get to turn those into a way of life.  Yep, going to car shows is part of my job. I am also lucky that my wife, the real love of my life, supports me on my journey.






Happy Zone

I look at this show as a homecoming. Not only is it a mini retrospective of the work I’ve created over the past 10 years, it’s my way of thanking the community that encouraged me to be an artist

I come from a family of artists. It was something we just did. My mom and gramma always  had projects for me to do. I made paintings, created “rock sculptures”, and pushed sequins into styrofoam.

Many people don’t realize that my first “serious” art classes where at the old Art Guild. Lillian Ruben was my ceramic teacher. She was so encouraging. She treated us like artists, even this dorky middle schooler in the adult class. I remember great conversations about what Lillian was making. She made art making seem like it was just what people they lived their lives.

That’s when it all started.



Mary Zeran grew up in a family of women artists. Textiles, embroidery, and woodcarving, were their visual language. Abstracted shapes and forms were their words.  Each time Zeran picks up a brush or scissors, she immerses herself in the language of her family. As she abstracts flowers, trees, and all the colors of nature, she speaks her mother tongue. This language brings her closer to her family’s traditions, histories, and stories. 

Zeran has exhibited nationally and internationally in New York, Seattle, and Chang Mai, Thailand. Zeran’s work is currently featured in a solo exhibit for the CRMA 125th anniversary.

Museum permanent collections include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, and Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids IA.

Corporate collections include Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, EMC, Des Moines, IA, First Bancorp, Southern Pines, NC, Grafix Corporate Collection; Cleveland, OH, Grant Thorton, Chicago, IL, Human Services Building, Cedar Rapids, IA, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA, Newton Wellesley Hospital, Newton, MA, Raining Rose Corporate Collection, Cedar Rapids, IA, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, The Fallon Companies, Boston, MA, United Fire Group, Cedar Rapids, IA/ Los Angeles, CA.

Zeran is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. She received an Oregon College of Arts and Crafts Residency, and a 2% for the Arts Purchase Prize from the Visual Arts Commission in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Mary Zeran was born in Iowa City, Iowa in 1964. She received her B.F.A. and M.F.A. from University of Iowa. She currently lives and works in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


This 18 woman show was made possible by Karla Mundt. Karla wanted to provide an opportunity for more women to show their work in our gallery.

Rebecca Vorkapich
Carlene Atwater
Cecil Houel
Cathryn Layer
Christine Williamson
Margaret Ertz
Linda Ross
Liz Buhmeyer
Mandy Robertson
Jessica Kirby
Lillian Rubin
Karla Mundt
Lida Derry
Mary Illmberger Scott
Robin Fisher
Susan Garcia
Susan Reinier
Carol Gunn



"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 view the world.
I am set free every time I stand at the easel. 
I am set free when I look through the Artist eye.
I am set free to create. 

At an early age I formed a deep respect for nature, a respect I transfer to canvas. I am also a musician and my love of music compels me to paint portraits of musicians too.  I begin the process with priming the surface black then using an impressionist palette I create my work. Capturing through the Artist eye vibrant colors which evokes emotion, causing the viewer to pause, to think and to enjoy in the now.

I consider my work to be "Renewable Energy". The viewer is renewed with each viewing, much like listening to your favorite music. 

Thank you for allowing me to share my art with you.
​Ken Reif



Burlington, Iowa native Carol Jean Carter received her BA from Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa and her MA in Art from the University of Iowa in 2002. Carter moved from Burlington to Des Moines in 2001. She has worked on a number of commercial and fine art photography projects.

The first industrial project was Murray Iron in downtown Burlington and later when they moved to West Burlington. This was the oldest working factory still in operation west of the Mississippi at the time.

From late 1990’s through 2010 Carol has been photographing industrial interiors of Iowa factories that have closed or are in the process of closing.  Most have been demolished. This series is called “Artifacts of Industry”.

Some of the Iowa industry that Carter has photographed are: Dubuque meat packing plant and slaughter house (most recently owned by Farmland), Burlington Basket Factory, Borden Dairy in Des Moines, Blaul’s and Sons wholesale grocery (circa early 1900’s) and Sheaffer Pen of Fort Madison.

Carter’s photographs take cues from documentary photography but use a more painterly approach to maximize the storytelling element of her work.  Her saturated colors and attention to lighting capture the poignant beauty and stories of these discarded places.

Artist, Carol Jean Carter, is an Iowa native currently living in Des Moines.

One of her previous long-term projects, Artifacts of Industry, explored the industrial interiors of Iowa factories that had been closed or demolished.

“The content of my work is somewhat documentary, my concepts are in line with a social commentary, but my printing style and interpretation takes a more painterly approach.  I consider my work to be a memoriam to Iowa’s industrial past.”



Past 2020 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.

Our All Member Show is just one of the perks of becoming a member of the Art Center. Members also receive quarterly newsletters, $10 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!





John Weyl

My show will consist of a variety of oil paintings, serigraphs, mixed media and several small art marker and ink drawings. The earliest piece is from 1966 but many are very recent. The works range from moderately abstract to totally non objective.

Artist Statement
I feel fortunate to have been an art instructor before retiring from SCC in 1997. Thanks to the Art Center of Burlington for giving me this opportunity.

I should explain that most of my work begins without preconceived notions. Except for sixty or seventy Lloyd Maffitt posters, 500 or so Delta Queen posters and three or four cat paintings, I keep my copying or borrowing to a minimum.

The skills helpful for redering accurate representations are something I lack, but wish I had. Therefore I have enjoyed the freedom to try my own methods, which is what I was doing in the 70s when I started making one of a kind prints with silk screens. It was an exciting period for me. Imitation and repetition are things that I avoid to this day.



1937                Born in Burlington, Iowa

1942-1957       Attended local schools and Burlington Junior College

1955-1957       Played Basketball for the college

1957-1959       BA in Art Education from Iowa State
                        Teachers College
                        Golf team 1957-59

1959-1960       Taught art in Estherville, Iowa

1961                Married Nora Jensen from Estherville

1960-1962       Served in U.S. Army

1962-1966       Taught at Horace Mann Jr High, Burlington

1966                Received MA in Art Education from University of Northern Iowa

1966-1997       Taught art courses at Southeastern Community College

1997                Retired from Southeastern Community College



Douglas Rutzen

Artist Statement
One simple mark that creates the illusion of deep space
Many simple marks can combine to create illusions of complicated things

“The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim His handiwork.” So say the marks written by the shepherd, warrior, fugitive, king and repentant sinner, David, at the very beginning of the 19th Psalm.
“The heavens declare the glory of God,:” the glorious heavens do not declare their own glory, but the glory of the their Maker.
Neither was the writer declaring his own glory, but by referring us to one of the most glorious aspects of creation, he was proclaiming the glory of His Maker: the same One, Who, by His spoken word created the glorious heavens.
The pieces that have been made by me refer to glorious, but ubiquitous aspects of creation: light reflected or filtered by trees, leaves, water and sky. For my purposes, the way these things respond to light declares the glory of God Who made everything, including the artist and the viewer.
Like the psalmist, I do not want the work I do to proclaim any glory of my own, but to declare the glory of God: Who made us all, the subjects I portray and the light that shines on them and through them.

Douglas Rutzen, 2020

Bio notes
Born and raised in South Minneapolis; Graduated from Minneapolis Roosevelt High School in 1972 Graduated from Bethel College, St. Paul, MN, in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts. Major - Art Married Anita Larson in 1976 Moved to the Bronx, NY in 1979 Studied at the Art Students League over the winter of 1979-80 Graduated from New York University with an M.A. in Painting in 1984. Taught Art at St. Raymond’s H.S. for Boys from 1986 - 1989. Son , David, was born in 1985. Moved to Blandinsville, IL in 1989. Daughter, Miriam born in 1990. General work history in Illinois includes teaching Art at Spoon River College, sign painting, substitute teaching in Monmouth area schools, and driving a school bus for West Central District 235.
November 2013, “Looking Through.“ Buchanan Center for the Arts, Monmouth, Illinois July, 2015, “Light Is the Object,” Galesburg Civic Art Center, Galesburg, Illinois
August – December 2015, Burlington Art Gallery Library display, Burlington, Iowa
October 2016, Solo Exhibit, Burlington Fine Arts Center
March-April 2016, Quad City Airport Exhibit
September, 2016 and September, 2018 participated in ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, Michigan
March-April 2019, Quad City Airport Exhibit
November, 2019, Burlington Art Guild “Artist of the Year”
2016-present, long term large works exhibit at Burlington Fine Art Center, Mezzanine Gallery
Numerous inclusions in the Buchanan Center’s “64Arts” juried show, and the Galesburg Civic Arts Center’s annual “Galex” juried show.



About the Artist

Joe Peters of Lewistown, IL always thought he'd spend his life in the building trades. Peters built scaffolding used to install, dismantle or repair machinery in the local power plants. Each project was unique, customized without blueprints, for the specific piece of equipment to be used. One summer night, Joe became the victim of a head-on car accident which changed the trajectory of his life. Unable to work due to his sever back injury, he turned to art. This opened up a new world of creative expression. Using his skills for problem-solving and envisioning a final product united by many parts, he took recycled materials, found objects and live-edge wood slabs to create furniture and unique sculptures. He has been making one-of-a-kind art and showing people how to see the world from a new perspective ever since.

Like Joe on Facebook



The Midwest in Mixed Mediums
by Jerilyn Horn

Southeast Iowa artist Jerilyn Horn captures the beauty of the Midwest through her artwork. Using a variety of mediums including watercolor, acrylic, charcoal, chalk and sometimes a combination, Jerilyn pays tribute to the agriculture, landmarks, and landscapes of the Midwest that she grew up with. Not limited to landscapes, Jerilyn also includes samples of some of her best commissioned works. All of her artwork endeavors to inspire one's sense of home.


Artist Statement

I love sharing fond memories of a childhood growing up in the Midwest through my artwork. Through my Midwest-inspired collection, I want to portray that comforting feeling of home and belonging.  I love the beautiful black and white images that emerge when using charcoal because it gives the feeling of looking into the past while my full color paintings reflect the vibrant beauty of the landscape today. My hope is that this collection will offer a bold and detailed imagery that encourages the viewer to recall their own experience of living in the Midwest.


Jerilyn Horn Artist Bio

Art captured my heart at a very young age while watching my grandma, Barbara Garrels, create beautiful oil paintings. I credit her as the most influential person as I aspired to become a professional artist myself. I eventually pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design, which I received in 2008. I then began working in the interior design field right out of school.

I hadn't put my art skills to work for several years out of college, but after gifting my cousin with a drawing I did of her daughter in 2011, I began to receive other custom requests. From there, I have sold my work at the following events and locations:

Continuing to grow an art following, I found myself yearning to do fine art full-time. There was a sudden accident involving my grandma in 2018 and we had lost her. I found notes of hers that were for an art class she was teaching at the Art Center of Burlington. Many of them inspired me but the quote that grabbed me the most was: "Go for that dream. The experience will make you feel exited, frustrated, discouraged, joyous, hopeful, fulfilled and most importantly, it will feed your soul!"

After being in the interior design field for 14 years I made the leap to a full-time artist in July 2019.

Following in her footsteps, I have taught classes at The Art Center of Burlington, The Airport Road Vineyard and Mt. Pleasant Middle School Art Club. I have been the featured artist at Southeastern Community College’s Art Gallery in 2018, and shown my work at the Mt. Pleasant Art IMPACT.

Art is my way of sharing fond memories of a childhood growing up in the Midwest and the comforting feelings of home. In my Midwest-inspired collection I use individual and combined mediums of watercolor, acrylic, charcoal and chalk. This results in a bold and detailed representation of imagery that hopefully encourages the viewer to recall their own experiences of living in the Midwest.



Reunited is a show about four artists and friends who met in college at Iowa Wesleyan while pursuing art education. Now the artists have Reunited exhibit their work after a decade of friendship, teaching and making art in Southeast Iowa.

Dana Smith- Fort Madison High School Art Teacher
Tracee Jones- Burlington Norte Dame K-12 Art Teacher
Dylan Morgan- West Burlington Elementary Art Teacher
Craig Fleece- West Burlington Jr/Sr High Art Teacher




Annie Guldberg

May 19-30

Artists Bio
Annie Guldberg paints with her heart in the mountains and her feet firmly planted in the Midwest, blending vibrant dreams with an enchantment of the Rocky Mountains. Born in Colorado and raised in Iowa, her paintings spring from an undeniable need to create, and a deep well of passion. She is inspired by her dreams of nature and a vision that can only be satisfied when putting paint to canvas.

The Southeast Iowa-based artist first realized her passion for art in high school. Art projects were deeply personal to her in a way they weren’t to her friends. She took it as a “sign from God” that her medium would become oil when her mother brought home a box of oil paints someone else had left on the curb. “Finding oil paints was a big moment because that quickly became my diehard favorite medium,” Guldberg said. “I haven’t been able to walk away from them since.”

Painting in oil adds texture and depth to Guldberg’s work in a way that other mediums do not. Her textures are achieved using only oil paints with her signature alla-prima technique – painting an entire piece at once – and showcasing the consistency of oil paints. In this way, she creates the structure she wants while feeding her fever to get an image completed. Guldberg creates hopeful new worlds with her colors and shapes that appear both out of reach and very close. The viewer is connected to the painting’s poetic and ethereal beauty.

From her studio in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, Guldberg is influenced by dreams that are “shockingly real,” and often hold the solution to her paintings. Not only was Guldberg supported in her pursuit of art by her parents, a high school teacher Mrs. Judy Peck encouraged her to work independently with Peck’s guidance on projects of her choice. With Peck’s help, Guldberg secured an art scholarship at Wisconsin Lutheran College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art in 2005. Art was a hobby for Guldberg until the birth of her first son. Once she became a mother, she “felt a clawing to do more.”

Afraid of losing herself in the tasks of motherhood, Guldberg threw herself into her work, developing a signature style that focuses on swirling paint, thick textures and vibrant colors. In her studio, Guldberg’s children, full of energetic creative energy, paint next to her. “They love to paint in the art studio, and they have strong ideas about what they want to create – much like I do,” Guldberg said.

Collectors and admirers of Guldberg’s art say her work is filled with emotion and imagination. The thick swirls, waves and upward strokes in Guldberg’s pieces “pull you into the picture to enjoy the experience of what it portrays,” said Judy Schuelein, of Chandler, Arizona.

“Though the world is filled with differences, different colors, different textures and shapes, it is all connected. That connection can be sensed in an instant when you look at these works. Even the seemingly empty room or lonely void is connected to you, the viewer, every time you pause to enjoy one of these paintings. That connection is beauty and spirit.” -Bracha Roy, Howell, MI

“Each piece pulls me in and makes me want to explore that world one brush stroke at a time,” said Sarah Garmoe, of Mount Pleasant. “I feel like each one has an untold story that makes my imagination overflow.”

Guldberg’s work has been shown in galleries throughout the Midwest. In 2019, Guldberg was selected as one of 36 artists across the U.S. to create a stripe depicting women’s suffrage for a project called Her Flag, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. She is a member of several art associations in Southeast Iowa, and a board member on Mount Pleasant Arts IMPACT – a community organization that aims to promote appreciation, support and growth of local artistic and cultural activities. She has commissioned public artwork for the Mount Pleasant Children’s Museum. Guldberg draws inspiration from Vincent Van Gogh, whose textures she finds mesmerizing “almost to an overwhelming degree,” she said. “I can relate to his almost consuming vision of what he wanted to create, as well as his love for texture.”

When Guldberg is not painting, she is still creating. An avid crocheter, she makes amigurumistyle animals, scarves and blankets. She also spends time watching sci-fi movies with her husband from their VHS collection, and spending time outside
with her two sons. Guldberg’s mission as an artist is to depict an inner vision of colors, places and texture, and contribute to beauty already in the world. Guldberg spends as many hours as she can creating, and wants to inspire others to tap into their own creativity and the joy of making art. "I am very devoted to the practice of creating,” Guldberg said. “I love sharing that with others and inspiring them to spend time creating.”

Artists Statement
The starting point for my pieces is usually a real place whether captured in a photograph or quick sketch- it is then infused with emotions, memories and feelings. These are portrayed by the thick, swirling textures, fields of vibrant colors, and simplified shapes. Written words, music, and poetry also deeply influence my process while creating. I often focus on a certain meaningful phrase that I feel is the core meaning of the piece in progress. I select colors from my limited palette- fine tuned over time to colors that work well together, yet also provide vibrant contrast to one another. This part of my process has evolved over the years to support my process of painting alla-prima, meaning I usually complete my paintings in one or two sittings while my work is completely wet. This allows me to sculpt and form my textures using only oil paints.
This process of completing paintings all in one sitting can be a challenge, requiring that I carve out large amounts of time to create. I have worked over the years, with the support from my family, to be dedicated to this practice and to be able to tune into my art and tune out the world around me. This allows me to get lost in my work as I paint, and that is what I hope to accomplish for the viewer as well. I want to share the beauty of what is seen, but specifically how that connects with our own memories and dreams. When we look back in our minds at a dream or memory, it is not flat- it is full of emotion. We feel the scene in our hearts as well as see it in our minds. That feeling is what I want to convey in my work, and I want it to be a world where the viewer can climb in and get lost for a while.




My work responds to modern society's craving for convenience and dependence on a uniquely modern material, plastic.
Abstract wall reliefs and sculptural works are constructed with techniques mimicking a sushi chef’s: rolling and slicing, but using all manner of single-use plastic as the ingredients.
The resulting work forces an interaction with the ubiquitous plastics of modern life while manipulating the viewer’s appetites in an attempt to examine how these very plastics are interacting with living systems and the food web at the deepest level.

Artist’s Statement
Since 2015, I have used single-use plastics and foam that litter our daily lives to create wall relief and sculpture works that mimic and abstract food and microscopic cellular views, with the intent is to stage an intervention about the enormous global problem of single-use plastics.
Utilizing collected single-use plastic I explore layers of meaning in an age where plastics have saturated our environment and penetrated our species, both biologically and culturally, to the cellular level. Organic forms and textures in my work suggest perishable matter, flesh or food, likely to decay quickly, but because these objects are created with plastic, they will never decompose.
With this body of work, I hope to record a material fingerprint, a time capsule, that implicates contemporary social values and attitudes surrounding environmental conservation, consumption, waste and how these effect our own bodies.

Artist’s Bio
Bryan Northup graduated from California College of the Arts in Oakland, California and since 2008 lives and works in Oak Park, Illinois. As an environmental artist, Bryan uses single-use plastics and foam that litter our daily lives to create wall relief and sculpture works that mimic and abstract food. Exhibitions include CICA, South Korea; Gallery MC, New York, NY; and South Bend Museum of Art, IN; International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago, IL.



Authenticity is Magic, was a phrase that I saw written (or did I hear it?) this past summer and it instantly became my mantra. When my therapist inquired its meaning, I couldn’t articulate what it meant to me, as my strength is not with words. This collection of paintings, oil on canvas, is that visual expression. It comes from my interest in being authentic, honoring intuition and being connected spiritually. While my work has been exclusively portraits (fictional in nature), for the first time I approached this show with a specific intention to create a collection that is more raw and self-reflective. I used many references to tarot, as a self guided reflection and see my friends and experiences clearly in them as well. Hours mixing colors, layers building over time and finding the right line and the subtle expression to evoke an idea. I am a visual story teller who doesn’t need words. The energies painting creates within is empowering and grounding. It has proved a constant companion, particularly during difficult times of change, where growth is required. This series touches on this balance of darkness but always leading towards illumination. The authenticity continues when others connect, feel or relate their own interpretation of the portraits. This is perhaps the most magical part to me, that what I create from my mind is received by others. Through color, expression, layers I ultimately desire to evoke beauty. I work freely and organically, allowing my paintings to guide me to whatever direction they need. Typically I work for 2-6 months on a canvas, allowing layers to dry, and work in massive amounts of over 100 at a time. My abundance of ideas is consistent since childhood, where I grew up in a supportive, creative family of artists. In addition to being a contemporary painter, I have been an elementary art educator for the past 18 years and mother to Beatrice for the past 4.5. I am grateful for all of my support, blessings and love throughout my journey. Thank you for viewing my work.

Painting is magic for me as an artist, I am forever grateful that it is part of my journey.



This year's Battle of the Brushes Featured Artists:

David Garrison
Magon VanZee
James Walker Henry
Brooke Lerma
Karla Mundt

Our January show features the artwork from the five artists selected to compete in our 4th Annual Battle of the Brushes.

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 2019 Gallery Shows

Join us for an Opening Reception on Friday, November 15 from 5-8PM for wine & beer cash bar, pizza, and live music by Richard Webb. An informal critique from 5-6PM that is open to any members that would like to join. AMS will run through December 31st, making it a perfect time to do some holiday shopping!

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.

Our All Member Show is just one of the perks of becoming a member of the Art Center. Members also receive quarterly newsletters, $10 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!


Our Emerging Artist Exhibition features individuals who have great potential in their artistic practice but have not yet received major recognition for their work. Artists of any age and those with little to no exhibition experience were encouraged to apply.

If I can give the viewer an impression of atmosphere, a sense of light and deep shadows, if I can just open their eyes to the simple beauty around us, then I have accomplished a great deal! - David Garrison

Born in Jacksonville, IL. Lived in many parts of the US while developing. Now resides in the mid-west, USA and in France.

Four year graduate of the American Academy of Art, Chicago, IL. This includes 122 credit hours of anatomy study.
One full year of special instructions by Bill Parks of the American Academy of art.
BA degree from Iowa Wesleyan College , Mt Pleasant, IA.

Listed in Who's Who in American Art since 1986.
Signature Member of The Pastel Society of America, NYC.
National Society of Mural Painters, NYC.
American Artist Professional League and Hudson Valley Art Association all of New York, NY.
Member of the Oil Painters of America, headquarters in Crystal Lake, IL.
Member of Societe' de Pastellistes de France:
(the oldest and most difficult to be elected to in all of Europe)


Amy has been an artist since childhood. Her art education began in the Burlington Public Schools, including courses with art instructor, Richard Anderson. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a BA in Elementary Education. She has participated in Meet The Masters and art workshops at the Art Center and with Iowa Artists, including John Weyl at Southeastern Community College. In the past, Amy was honored as the Featured Artist for the annual GALA event that raises money for both scholarships and education the arts in the Burlington/West Burlington schools.

Amy is married to David Camp. She has taught third grade, volunteered with several organizations, co-owned Cooks and Company kitchenware store, and worked in her husband's dental office.

Amy's paintings have been influenced by her travels around the United States and around the World. Inspiration for her art work has come from depths of scuba diving in the ocean, the the heights of flying a small plane, to living in the woods surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Amy works from her home studio. She has enjoyed painting in watercolor for many years and has now branched out to experimenting with acrylic and inks. Color is her love.



John E. Evans is an artist working primarily in pastel and colored pencil. He is a retired art teacher who spent 39.5
years in the classroom.

A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelors degree in art education, John began his teaching
career at Lynnville-Sully where he taught K-12 art for 19.5 years. He joined the staff at Pekin in 1992 where he taught
Middle School Art, High School Art, Photography, Computer Graphics and was the yearbook adviser. John retired
from education in the Spring of 2010 after a 39.5 years in teaching.

During his time in education he maintained a studio in his home where he continued to develop a personal style in a
variety of media.

He is a charter member of the Iowa Pastel Society.
A signature member of the Iowa Pastel Society.
Past President Iowa Pastel Society.

Best of Show at Louisa County Fine Art Show-2018
Awards in a variety en plein air events around the state
One-man show at Old Post Office Gallery, Iowa City 2015
One-man show at Maquoketa Art Experience 2015
One-man Show at Indian Hills Community College 2015
Work in many private collections.

Represented by:
Art Domestique 118 S Iowa Ave, Washington, Iowa
Artisan Gallery 218- 218 5th Street, West Des Moines, IA 50265

Artist Statement
I am a landscape painter. My subject matter is very traditional and my painting style floats between realism and
impressionism. The Impressionists and Post Impressionists have greatly influenced me.

If I could put my finger on why I paint, what I paint, where and how I paint, it is to simply search out special places
and explore the emotional moments with all senses on high alert throughout the entire process of creating art. It
intrigues me how light elevates a commonplace landscape to an extraordinary one. I strive for my paintings to be
lyrical accounts of that unique fleeting moment in time. My intent is simply to convey an emotional and intuitive
response to the mystery and serenity of the landscape in light and shadow. Hopefully, I compel the viewers to
interpret my work from their own rich pool of memories, impressions, and experiences and in a little different way
each time they encounter it.

I found pastel to be a wonderful link between painting and drawing. The pastels’ ability to maintain the integrity of
individual strokes, combined with the liveliness of its colors, foster a passionate poetic language of marks.
If I can give the viewer an impression of atmosphere, if I can open their eyes to the simple beauty around us, then I
have done well.

Artist Statement

Not far from Pelican Rapids, MN, I live on 20 acres in rural Minnesota with twelve acres of woods and eight-acre pond, my own Giverny. Confronted with the openness of the pond, the denseness of the foliage, continuous changing color and light, these are the influences upon my current work. Taking the experience of living at this location I use it as the focus for my abstract paintings. Responding to this environment, I use marks and color to express the essence of place. 

My paintings are not duplicates of this specific location. They are my responses to this unique environment. Using oil and acrylic paints and other media I strive for an open painterly approach capturing the essence of place, creating lush, colorful works of art. These painterly artworks are about color, light and a celebration of place and life.


Kimble A. Bromley Bio

Kimble A. Bromley resides in his country home near Pelican Rapids, MN. He received his M.F.A. from Southern Illinois at Carbondale and currently is a Professor of Art teaching painting and drawing at North Dakota State University. His work has been inspired by environments in which he lives and has visited. Bromley has served as a visiting artist throughout the upper Midwest, Ecuador and Mexico. He has painted abroad in Cuba, Jamaica, Ecuador, and Mexico. His work has been exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally and supported by grants from The Arts Partnership, Lake Region Arts Council, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Kellogg Foundation, Teagle/Bell South, and Partners of the Americas.



In many of my sculptures, one of the things I do is try to capture subtle, yet intense emotions. The emotion in the moment before the event - like a wrestler before the match, the runner before the race, the person in thought before the next endeavor. There is a moment before a person takes on the next thing in life where we stop and ponder, savor, or ready ourselves for it. For me these are the most intense moments in my life. 

David Zahn lives and works in Moline, Illinois. Originally from the Chicago area, he has been creating art work for many years. David creates imaginative sculptures, and is known for his bronze and ceramic pieces. His figure based art works are interesting to look at containing some sort of mystery in them. Movement is another important aspect of David’s art. He likes to create intriguing juxtapositions of static and flowing forms in his imagery. Works by David Zahn can be found in public, private, and corporate collections. There are many pieces of his art on permanent public display both indoors, and out doors, in Iowa, Illinois and other locations.





Janice and Dean Rockwell

Just as a mirror reflects an image, so art is a reflection of life experiences; filtered, altered, modified, and manipulated by imagination.  Thus, landscapes for Janice become richly textured and sumptuously pigmented “Mindscapes” informed by reality.  Dean’s passion for biology colors his art forming caricatures of birds and amphibians.  Through totally different approaches and media, their art explores the pigments of their imaginations.



Ann Klingensmith

Ann holds a BA in art from Graceland University (College), Lamoni, IA, a MA and MFA from the University of Iowa in Printmaking. She just finished a milestone of 30 years of teaching at Iowa Wesleyan University (College) in Mt Pleasant IA where she teaches design, graphics, drawing, printmaking, advises and mentors students. Besides being an engaged teacher, she also has a busy family life and an active creative life in the studio. She is an active professional artist participating in exhibitions: solo, group and juried shows. Check out her website for more information, project updates and images:

By any gauge, I am an artist creating images using a figurative vocabulary, a narrative voice and a perspective of time. My concerns of form, light and shadow, and movement created by mark and color have always been important to me as an image-maker and with the gift now of experience and time, the importance of the narrative has increased. Seemingly odd and disparate pieces are brought together in these compositions: flannel shirted figures, playing cards, crows, watches, thimbles, chrysalis, monarch wings and broken relics. These are subjects that I have built long relationships with and by working again and again with the same ideas, try to uncover something more than what I know about the image and myself. And that is an underlying structure for almost all of my work, whether it be a crow, mask, dog, or human form.

My life has revolved around my family Bob Watt (’83) and Erin Watt (’18), my work and my students. I hold a BA (’83) in Studio Art from Graceland (College) University, Lamoni, IA along with a MA and an MFA from the University of Iowa in Printmaking.  I just finished a milestone of 30 years of teaching at Iowa Wesleyan University (College) in Mt Pleasant, IA where I teach design, graphics, art appreciation, drawing, printmaking, advise and mentor students.
I am an active professional artist participating in exhibitions: solo, group and juried shows.  




The “Rorschach Theory” Exhibition

John Carlson and James Henry have exhibited together several times before this show. Their artistic works complement each other’s while still making individual statements to their viewing audience. They needed to come up with a theme for the exhibition that would relate and connect both artists to their artistic endeavors

So, they came up with the idea of the “Rorschach Tests” a series of ten cards with inkblots on them shown to an individual to examine a person’s personality, characteristics, and emotional functioning. Each person sees different things for the same card, just like the audience will see different things viewing these artist’s works. The Rorschach test was invented by Hermann Rorschach in the 1960’s.

Ladies and gentleman, John Carlson and James Henry invites everyone to view their exhibition that promises to fees one’s mind and soul.

Welcome to the “Rorschach Theory”

John Carlson

John J. Carlson I was born in 1962 in Burlington, Iowa and I continue to make my home here. I am married and have two adult children.

The fact that I have a somewhat settled home life, gives me a solid emotional base to produce paintings. With the support of my family, I can concentrate on development of ideas and the same time, work on improving and expanding my techniques.

As a child, I had a strong interest in art. My father was a former art student and encouraged my interest. But, father’s favorites of Monet and Cezanne were quickly replaced with Mad magazine and Odd Rod trading cards.

I’m sure that mimicking these and other illustrators, with their line work and humor, carried over to my teenage years where I executed my first paintings in high school.

Now as an adult, Doing what I do for a living, makes me hungry to display my creativity. This is my outlet to tell stories. I try to keep the paintings narrative enough to provide a subject for the work, but on the other hand, they are very personal, and some of the elements have to be cryptic and open for interpretation.

My recent work uses line and color of all my influences, that I admired as a child, to express my feelings. I present a split-second of my person, represented by some obvious and some very personal associations, splayed to fill the at surface of a painting.


James Walker Henry

James Walker Henry (b. 1961) – An American surrealist painter living in the state of Iowa, the Heartland of the United States of America. For over the last thirty-five years, Henry has created over 1,000 works of art, his thousandth piece completed in November of 2015. Henry’s works of art address social and political issues, documenting these ideas and issues through his paint and brush.

Henry toned his artistic skills while attending Southeastern Community College near where he lives, but his ability to create as an artist was his own and was mainly self-taught. SCC was however the stepping stone into surrealism where Henry fell in love with the style while taking Art History. His biggest influence was Master Salvador Dali.

The year, 2016 was a very important year for James as he was honored with two distinguished awards. First, James received the Distinguished Alumnus award from Southeastern Community College, where he spoke to the 2016 graduating class. Then, he received the Artist of the Year award, from Burlington Fine Arts.

James Walker Henry’s works of art have been featured in numerous art publications such as “Manhattan Arts”, “Surreal Magazine” and “New Art Examiner”. He has been included in over three hundred exhibitions (seventy-five of them solo exhibits) and has been mentioned in over ninety-nine newspaper articles. Today, Henry’s works have been added to permanent collections around the world including the U.S., Ireland, Holland, Germany, Brazil, France, England, and South Korea.



Craig Fleece won our 3rd Annual Battle of the Brushes!


Past 2018 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.

Our All Member Show is just one of the perks of becoming a member of the Art Center. Members also receive quarterly newsletters, $10 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!






The work features intensely observed oils on canvas, generally done on location, or built up from on-location drawings and small color studies.

Everything on display has been done within the past two years. This current exhibit is following Weidle's one-person exhibit at Blue Mountain Gallery last month in New York.

On painting, he has been overheard to say, "it has the decency to hold still, as few dare or can, permitting one's eye a tiny but wild freedom: to travel as it will."



Giovanni Falcone


Giovanni Carlo Falcone is a Hillsborough, New Jersey native that moved to Burlington, Iowa as a teenager. While attending Burlington Community High School, he was inspired and encouraged to advance his creative talents by his art instructor Pamela Geeding. He quickly learned the fundamentals of drawing under Geeding’s guidance and from there his creativity soared. After graduating from high school, he studied the art of printmaking and art history under Robert Kennon at Southeastern Community College. Kennon significantly inspired the change in Giovanni’s style and view of art. Now, he solely creates art for self satisfaction and therapeutic purposes. His studio space is at Allied Creators Studio, where he now is mentored by Tony Onesto and Matt Brandal. The feedback from all significant figures in Giovanni’s life have helped his art flourish.

Artist Statement

I use painting and drawing as a way to find myself and keep myself grounded. Within my artwork, the subjects of debates I have with myself take the foreground. A flux of ideas, emotions, and curiosities are poured into the details of my artwork. These details are strongly related to what I perceive as the most important connections found in life: spiritual, emotional, and physical. I have personally struggled with all three conections, but through artistic expression and evaluation I have found comfort and peace.

My compositions reflect inner quarrels and describe the light and dark areas of life. Many of my works include references to mythology, psychology, literature, and philosophy. These pieces are intended to spark conversation and be viewed in a new light.


Jason Dains

Jason Dains is a local Iowa artist, out of the Burlington area.

Typically Jason's work is in the style of surrealism, abstract or non-objective art. He has been known to do work in acrylic paint, color pencil, ink, oil pastel and marker. As well as, recent adventures with watercolor and watercolor pencil. Jason also likes to use a lot of texture and bright colors in his work. Many of his pieces also seem to have a lot of hidden messages, political humor and deep thought behind them.

Jason has said that he likes to pull his subject matter from all edges of the universe, from the deepest of the seas to outer space and beyond. Jason has also said he likes to pick subject matter that he finds to be stranger than fiction. Much of his recent work seems to have more of a realistic look to it, but with a science fiction feel.

His influences include, but are not limited to Derek Hess, Bob Ross, Salavdor Dali and Todd McFarlane. As well as, his late grandfather. Robert Shaffer, who he unfortunately never met.

Some of Jason's future goals include displaying his work on more of a national and international level. However, he plans to keep his studio local. Jason is an advocate for art education and supporting local talent. 



Craig Fleece

Craig Fleece grew up in Dallas City, Illinois. In 2005, he began his interest in visual arts after touring the European countries, France, Italy, Spain, Monaco, and Vatican City. His high school art teacher, Nyla French, became one of his greatest influences. In 2008, he graduated from Nauvoo-Colusa High School in Nauvoo, IL.. Following high school, French’s inspiration led him to pursue a career in elementary education at Southeastern Community College in Burlington, IA.

While at Southeastern, he studied art fundamentals under John Bybee. Bybee’s drawing class greatly impacted him, changing his career path from elementary education to art education. May 2010, he graduated from Southeastern and furthered his education at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant, IA.

At Iowa Wesleyan, He worked on completing his art education degree with influences from IWU’s art instructors, Don Jones and Ann Klingensmith. In college, he realized his inspiration is driven by emotion, fellow artists, music, and traveling. May 2012, he traveled to Mexico on a student trip led by Jones. While in Mexico, he enjoyed the art and culture of Oaxaca, Mexico City, Taxco, and Acapulco which influenced his work. To finish his bachelors, he student taught K-3 and 9-12 art at Lincoln Elementary and Macomb High School in Macomb, IL. During this time he was working as an elementary after school instructor at Dallas City Elementary School. May 2013, he graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College.

September 2013, he was hired as the Black Hawk Elementary art teacher in Burlington, IA and remained teaching art there for four years. He currently co-facilitates the Secondary Extended Learning Services program at Edward Stone Middle School and Burlington High School. He is the sponsor of Burlington High School’s art club and Edward Stone’s Visual Arts Achievement Program.

June 2018, he joined the board of directors for the Art Center of Burlington and serves on the grant writing committee. Serving as a board member, facilitates his passion for building art opportunities in the community.

Recently, his artwork featured in the collaborative show, “Perge Modo” is heavily influenced by his love for his grandparents and a growing lust for rich color and bold pattern. His late grandmother, Diana Marlene Shaw or Gramma Louie, encouraged his love for art and painting. Some of Diana’s pencil drawings, recovered after her passing, will be featured in remembrance.

Tony Onesto

Illustrator/Art Teacher Extraordinaire Tony Onesto (AKA “Mr. O”) lives in Burlington, Iowa with his lovely wife, Jacqueline. Tony has worked as an Award Winning Art Teacher for over 20 years and is currently employed at Aldo Leopold Middle School with the Burlington Community School District. He is also the owner and operator of Allied Creators Studios in Burlington, where he can be found in the summers leading his wildly popular program "Mr. O's Art School". Tony has a great love of teaching and a tremendous appreciation for his current and past students. He has several Masters Degrees in art and in Educational Leadership. Tony has lived and traveled all over the United States and the world.

The idea of Captain Burlington was developed in collaboration with Kelby Gittings. Captain Burlington is a “Love Letter” to my past, present and future students to be a “light” for someone else’s darkness and even for themselves. No matter how hard life becomes, be courageous, be an optimist and, most importantly, never give up on yourself or your dreams.

My second dedication is to the people and city of Burlington. A city is only as strong as ALL of its people. Do we always see the best of our community? Or the worst? As someone who is not from Burlington or Iowa, I find Burlington to be a magical place. Every day, I work hard to see the best of our community. Join me and find joy in your heart.

Chris Mulder

I am starting my 16th year as an elementary art educator in Burlington. I enjoy using bright colors, layers of texture and pattern, and tend to play with abstractions.

My paintings use a variety of acrylic and spray paints; their subject matter pulling from personal experiences, emotional exploration, caricatures, and whimsical representations of social interaction.

My sculptures use wood (procured from already cut/fallen trees), wire, clay and a variety of paints; carved using a combination of traditional tools and equipment such as chainsaws and angle grinders.

I invite the viewer to get close and investigate the layers; to create their own story of what they see and take with them a little spark of inspiration.  Enjoy!


Ananda Kesler
Artist Statement

My paintings are inspired by memories, dreams, subtle feelings difficult to describe with words, my interior landscapes and inner worlds. I seek to give color to the ineffable, to describe that which is formless, to dive into the obscure and uncharted, in search of the one realm with which all things are connected. Pictorial elements translate as incongruous shapes that sometimes come forward, sometimes recede into the distance, recalling distant cities, the softness of a hazy landscape, or bodies of water lost under early morning mist. These images might interact with the viewer’s memory or subconscious. I practice painting as a kind of meditation in action. I let the process of mark making take me on a journey into the unknown. The marks teach me patience, teach me self-forgiveness, they are a constant reminder of how to abdicate control. As artists, perhaps as humans, we are plagued by fear of making mistakes. I let the painting process stand as proof that it is exactly these ‘mistakes,’ that when layered and allowed to remain, allowed to exist, create unexpected beauty and resolution itself.



Tom Anderson        
Tom Anderson is a Burlington, IA native whose first endeavors in the art world centered on aviation art. That artwork was a combination of his love of aircraft and a fascination with history. With time, his portfolio has come to include streetscapes, the animal-world and portraits. His technical skills acquired through his years as an architectural designer, along with his interest in history, lend realism to his paintings with historical detail and accuracy. His works include those in pencil, acrylics and oils. Several of his paintings are part of the permanent collection of the United States Air Force in Washington, DC and the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

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. I am drawn to light and shadow, line and pattern, the geometric compositions from these reflected on architecture. The theme of realism not only describes the style of painting, but also the subject matter of this series. The goal of this series is to elevate the beauty and complexity of humble buildings and real places I encounter each day.

Susan Reinier
Susan (Ballinger) Reinier is originally from Burlington and now resides in Cedar Rapids. Her current works are largely represented in oil paint, although she also enjoys creating in graphite and charcoal. The subject of her art is often everyday objects, best described by a viewer as ‘unpretentious’. Her current works range from landscape to still life to portrait/figurative, but she is most often drawn back to her love for portrait and figurative work. Susan’s paintings The Dressmaker and The Surrealist are the beginning of a new series devoted to capturing other creative people and combining their work with what has influenced them on their own creative journeys.



Happy 25th Birthday, Meet the Masters!

2018 Gallery Exhibit for Area 5th Graders: May 11 - May 23

Join us Friday, May 18 evening for a special performance by author/illustrator/songwriter/singer Chad Elliott in our Gallery Lounge. This is free and open to our community.

Betty Cowles and Marian Kramer started "Meet the Masters" (MTM) 25 years ago. They were dedicated to the arts and wanted to enhance programs offered by local elementary schools. They developed an outreach program to “enrich the education of fifth grade students with experiences in art appreciation”. The MTM program promotes interest in and understanding of artists’ lives in a historical context. This well known program also explores artists' techniques and teaches students through hands-on activities.





Dave Hupke began telling stories through the camera lens, in the 1980's, first at a Boy Scout High Adventure Canoe Base as a member of the Trail Staff.  That summer, he met Jim Brandenburg, a National Geographic's Photographer, who gave him pointers.  Then, Dave moved on to a Free Newspaper, assisting nationally known photographers and working at a commercial photo lab.  Through all of this, he was able to develop his unique style.

After all of this, Dave decided to go to the Colorado Institute of Art (CIA), to learn, at that time a fairly new form of photography called "DIGITAL"...two years later, he graduated.

During his early years, Dave was fortunate to have a photograph to be placed in a small museum (Dorothy Molter Museum) in Minnesota.  Then, some years later, a display at the National Motorcycle Museum, in Iowa.  Dave is a member of the National Press Photographers Association and a member of the Central Illinois Artist Organization.

Dave's art reflects his remarkable ability to observe life as he sees it, combining the elements of humor, satire and realism to share those observations with his audience. Now, Dave is creating documentary images on...CANVAS.



Deciding to have a show has motivated me to work regularly on my art which I have never done. Several years ago while traveling I decided the theme of “Roads” would be fine because it offers many opportunities for expression and exploring various ideas and lots of inspiration for using a variety of mediums. Money I make from this show goes to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. This collection includes oil, mixed media, photography and more. - Karla Mundt



A compilation of ten Plein Air artists from Southeast Iowa.



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