Southwest Iowa Art Tour has Harlan stop featuring six artists
AREA — The Tenth Annual Southwest Iowa Art Tour is scheduled for September 16 and 17, with sneak peaks available at certain locations on Friday, September 15.
The Brick Wall Gallery, located on the east side of the square in downtown Harlan, is one of the 18 stops in Southwest Iowa to see work from local artists in painting, sculpture, fabric art, photography, pottery, wood carving, jewelry and mixed media.
Bringing these artists to Harlan is made possible through the work of Kristine Olson-Harmon and the Shelby County Hotel Motel Tax Funds.
Across the 18 Gathering Places in Southwest Iowa, more than 80 artists will be available selling their work. Those 18 Gathering Places have been split into 3 loops this year: Northern Loop, Central Loop and Southern Loop. Art enthusiasts can set out on a trip to visit as many as they have time for. There is an interactive map available of each loop on www.swiarttour.com.
This year, the Brick Wall Gallery location is being sponsored by Hansen House Senior Living. The six artists that will be onsite at the gallery include Alexa Hoffman of Dexter, Denice Peters of Denison, Hope Chipman of Harlan, Kari Lewis of Omaha, NE, Kimberly Piro of Harlan, and Nikole Vollmer of Ames.
More about the artists:
ALEXA HOFFMAN, Multi Media: Alexa Hoffman is an artist as well as an art educator, living in Dexter. She loves experimenting with new mediums and styles, which has lead to a variety of subject matter. You can find everything from works based, to trees and birds in her work. Visual and physical texture is something that is reoccurring in her work.
“I find joy in new ideas and ways of creating art. I tend to jump from medium to medium with acrylic and mixed media being the one that I mainly focus my efforts in. I do enjoy abstract work as well as more recognizable subject matter. This gives me a broader range of people interested in my work,” Hoffman said.
DENICE PETERS, Pastels: Denice Peters, a lifelong native of northwest Iowa, has painted with pastels for about 30 years. She took it upon herself to hone her talent, learning by trial and error. She’s always been an artist, but life sent her losses in 2020. She lost both her parents, then lost her job; all in 7 months time. She had always dreamed of being an artist, so she decided she needed to take the plunge and become a full-time artist. Her talent has taken off and she now exhibits nationally in solo and group exhibitions in Las Vegas, Colorado, Oregon, Minneapolis, North Carolina and Cape Cod.
Denice has received many ribbons and awards, including the “Best of Show” Award in MidAmerica Pastel Society 2021 and an Honorable Mention in “The Artist Magazine’s” Annual International Competition in 2014. Denice is a Signature Member of the MidAmerica Pastel Society, President of Iowa Pastel Society, a member of the Pastel Society of America, American Women Artists, Pastel Society of the West Coast, and Iowa Artists. She has also juried in as a member of the International Guild of Realism.
HOPE CHIPMAN, Fiber Art, Weaving: Hope Chipman, of Harlan, has a passion for creating a little bit of everything and she knows that from little things, big things grow. Like a giant oak tree grows from a single acorn, a passion can grow with time, persistence and nurturing. She gravitates toward functional art, specifically baskets. Hope loves using different materials, colors and patterns to create unique pieces that can be both enjoyed and used in everyday life.
“I am excited to showcase some new basket weaving techniques and designs this year! You will find my signature rope baskets, along with some new items,” Chipman said.
KARI LEWIS, Watercolor, Acrylic: Kari Lewis considers herself to be an art teacher and an artist. Living in Omaha, Nebraska, Kari has taught high school art for 26 years and has the support of her family in her art. She enjoys watching her students learn and improve in their skills and well as seeing them evolve and become confident in their art.
Kari said about her artwork, “Most of my work portrays images of animals using bright expressive colors. I enjoy using the freedom of watercolor or watered-down acrylics to create images that have life and personality. I love to create and paint the wonder and creativity that is in nature. Each animal has its own personality, and I don’t know that I can ever get bored with trying to capture and portray that for others to appreciate and enjoy.”
KIMBERLY PIRO, Multi Media: Kimberly is an art educator for the Harlan community Schools and a former graphic designer. She has been in education for 11 years, concentrating on Elementary art. Kimberly makes her own whenever she feels those creative thoughts need an outlet for escape. She lives in Harlan with her husband and daughter and participates in local art whenever possible.
Kimberly said “Most of my artwork begins as an experiment to push the boundaries of the mediums typical use until I develop something new and worthy of additional exploration. I’m inspired by my art students, art history, and my everyday experiences. I’m an art educator and teach all different mediums, so I don’t stick with one for an extended amount of time because my interests are in all art forms.”
NIKOLE VOLLMER, Metals, Clays: Nikole LaRue Vollmer is an emerging artist who was raised in Terre Haute, Indiana and Sugar Land, Texas. She has always had a passion for drawing and art that is inspired by her life, faith, and the beauty of nature. The love grew stringer as she watched her father work at several arts organizations and sell his own artwork at shows. In college at Iowa State University, Nikole began to expand into other media such as metalsmithing and ceramics, where she graduated with a BFA in Integrated Studio Arts in December 2022. After graduating, Nikole began Nikole LaRue Designs, how own multimedia art business, where she continues to create beautiful works.
Nikole’s multimedia artwork in metalsmithing, ceramics, and drawing is based on creating tangible embodiments of her personal experiences in faith, family, nature, and an exploration of the self. Nikole’s work is a means of communication, a way to tell a story, a method of expression and understanding, a means to process and heal, and a method to provoke thought and start conversations.