Past Exhibition dates: June 27, 2021 – August 15, 2021
Group: Whitewater Arts Alliance
Nine members of the Whitewater Arts Alliance are showcasing their art in our second floor galleries. See below for more information about the individual artists: Varla Bishop, Craig Ede, M. Virginia Epps, Marilyn Fuerstenberg, Michael Havice, John Hines, Janet Nelson, Lynette Redner, Roy Schmidt, and Amy Weh.
The mission of the Whitewater Arts Alliance is to promote the visual and performing arts through an alliance of artists, individuals, educational resources, and organizations to promote creativity and diversity that will serve to educate and enrich the lives of the residents of the Whitewater community and surrounding areas.
To learn more about the Whitewater Arts Alliance, visit whitewaterarts.org.
About The Artists
Varla Bishop paints images that make her smile and hopes it captures a memory or recalls a face the viewer hasn’t seen in a while. Her painting topics are broad. She loves to paint people as well as animals of all kinds. Recently, she has started to paint pet portraits and she tries to capture the personality of her subjects in their eyes. She likes to embrace the subject’s intensity, or a glimpse what they might be thinking as if they were looking directly back at her.
Learn more about Varla Bishop at vjbishop.com.
Craig Ede, who currently lives in Whitewater, grew up in Milwaukee and holds a BFA from the University of Minnesota and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He taught painting and drawing at the University of WI-River Falls, the University of AL-Birmingham, and at many art centers and schools where he worked with artists of all ages.
Craig created a project called “Faces and Footprints of Postville” that consisted of dozens of portraits of people associated with Postville, IA where the largest immigration raid in U.S. history up to that point occurred in May 2008. Its purpose was to document the presence of people associated with the town of 2,600 who were impacted by the raid, which resulted in 389 arrests and hundreds leaving the town. Works from this project have been shown in a number of venues including Luther College in Decorah, IA and Wartburg College in Waverly, IA.
He has shown nationally and internationally and was the recipient of a regional arts grant from the Rockefeller Foundation administered by the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, LA. His piece “Red Fingers” won a purchase prize from the Wustum Museum of Art in Racine, WI around the time of his graduation from UWM. Other awards and grants followed.
Learn more about Craig Ed on his Instagram page.
Discarded paper products such as tissue wrapping paper, grocery bags, corrugated cardboard, shipping cylinders, and mat board leftovers serve as the primary medium for Virginia Epps. When working in low relief, she cuts and laminates mat board scraps and/or corrugated cardboard to build the base design. To this structure, she adds loops or columns that she quills from papers she cuts from discarded papers such as wrapping tissue, envelopes, dressmaker patterns, handouts, or maps. When working in two dimensions, she laminates multiple layers of discarded or scrap papers on Masonite sheets or on mat board sheets. Once the laminated papers are dry, she sands the surface and often adds additional layers of paper. The sanding and layering process becomes a cycle exposing unexpected random shapes and colors. As a final step, she either draws on the sanded surface with graphite, ink, or colored pencil or tones the surface with acrylic glazes.
Upon completion of a career as a science educator, Virginia returned to exploring and enjoying the visual arts. During her years as an educator, her focus was on teaching that: 1) our species will be known by what it throws away because away is somewhere; 2) the earth is fragile and deserves respect; 3) openness to the results of the random forces of nature or events is generative; and 4) astute, disciplined, contemplative observation of nature and its systems ground sound science as well as the arts, particularly visual arts and design. Both as a science educator and a visual artist, Virginia wishes to share the joy of encountering the world as both a fascinating and an aesthetic experience.
Marilyn Fuerstenberg started painting with watercolors in 1988. Along her journey to becoming an artist, she discovered that transparent watercolors allow her to capture both subtle and vibrant color through multiple washes applied to paper. Pigments are allowed to mix and mingle on the paper which creates a spontaneous dimension to her work and granulating pigments, when applied wet on wet, create interesting textures. She strives for transparency and luminosity in her paintings and rarely uses opaque pigments.
She finds enjoyment in the challenge, the complexity, and getting it right. Marilyn says: “The excitement comes from watching the colors mingle and flow as the painting comes to life. Watercolor behaves just like nature … fresh, spontaneous, and elemental in its simplicity. The learning process of painting with watercolors never ends. There are always subjects calling out to be painted and new methods to learn.”
Learn more about Marilyn Fuerstenberg at marilynfuerstenberg.blogspot.com.
Michael Havice believes that photographs tell stories. His images pose a relationship between subject and surrounding. Each image is a dialogue within the moment and he presents the depth, balance, contrast, and story to illustrate his subjects as brilliant moments. He frames the image looking for story, detail, depth, and a sense of motion. His challenge is to amplify the image/story while keeping impressions personal while vibrant.
Michael grew up while traveling the continental United States and the Pacific. His appreciation for artistic creativity was prompted by the many places he lived and by each person who took the time to share the sights and sounds of their world. Now he travels near and far to capture moments expressing the stories of our world.
He began his professional career teaching high school in Michigan and then went on to earn his BA in Radio/Television and an MA in Telecommunication. After receiving a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction at Drake University, while teaching full time and producing five student run TV programs each week, he was hired at Marquette University to teach Broadcast and Electronic Communication.
Since retiring, he has cultivated his artistic photographic approach, served on the Boards of the Coalition of Photographic Arts (CoPA) and Milwaukee Artists Resource Network (MARN).
Learn more about Michael Havice at fineartamerica.com.
John Hines is from the Beloit area, and retired after working as a corporate pilot for 33 years. About five years ago, he began working in oils. A formal art education was not an option, but by attending workshops, online courses, reading, spending time in museums looking at great art, watching art videos, and one-on-one mentoring, he learned a lot, but feels he will never stop learning. He says, “Oil paint offers so many options, for the last five years, as I explore this medium, almost every painting has been different from the last.”
John’s primary interest has been portraits and narrative figurative work and landscapes. He enjoys painting En Plein Air with his friends, but his primary work will always be in the studio.
He is a member of the AWA and has won three state awards in the last four years, and has shown work at the Beloit Art Center several times. “I won’t show you a painting that didn’t make me laugh or cry while I was painting it, and it will be the absolute best I know how. If you look closely, you will see my heart.”
Janet Nelson grew up in southeast Wisconsin on a dairy farm. Her grandmother, a professional seamstress, inspired her to create. Sewing, knitting and baking were outlets for that creative desire until she could start taking art classes in school. After marriage, she started painting furniture and murals, then discovered oil painting workshops when she lived on the East coast. Her teachers were students of the Barnes Foundation, which led her to work with a limited palette, mixing her own colors, allowing her to play with the interaction of color next to color with a wider range of variety.
Recently returned to Wisconsin, she has started working art fairs, plein air events, and art shows. She also returned to school at UW Whitewater, where she is working on her BFA.
Her style has evolved through observation and changes in her environment, but she learned not to take herself too seriously as a result. “I paint what I feel as I know that each piece that is created ends up qualifying the one before, and becomes a recognizable style. Recently I have been working on large floral paintings. I cover the canvas with different colors and then start to paint in the negative space as I see floral shapes. The process has evolved as each piece teaches me something new.”
Learn more about Janet Nelson at janetnelson.net.
Lynette Redner was raised on a farm outside of Clinton, Wisconsin but then moved to Arizona for 20 years. In 2011, she returned to Wisconsin where she began painting landscapes, animals, and the rapidly disappearing barns of Wisconsin in watercolor, oil, and acrylic.
She is primarily self-educated, researching through many avenues. In the last three years, she has taken intense 3 to 5-day workshops from internationally known artists: John Cosby, Joe Paquet, Joseph McGurl, Beth Bathe, Thomas Schaller, and Andy Evenson. Recently she completed a 10-session (6 month) on-line mentorship with Joe Paquet.
Lynette actively exhibits in many shows in the southern part of Wisconsin and participates in plein air painting competitions every year. She is involved in the Janesville Art League, Wisconsin Regional Artists Association, Wisconsin Plein Air Painter Association, Whitewater Art Alliance, and Jefferson Plein Air Artists. She holds national membership in Oil Painters of America, and American Impressionist Society.
Learn more about Lynette Redner at rednerart.com.
Born in West Allis, WI, Roy Schmidt began photographing auto racing, and after working in his darkroom, started diving into other subject matter. He is the former Director of Exhibitions for the Coalition of Photographic Arts and a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography.
“I have had many artist statements over the years with additions and subtractions. And, I have read many artist statements which read like every other word was obtained from a thesaurus. My favorite writer dealing with photography in the 80’s and 90’s was David Vestal. I eventually ended up by stealing his best. It seems to work well for me. ‘NO PLAN.’”
Amy Weh has been a mosaic artist for more than 25 years. Recently, she has been drawn to rusty metal and the form of industrial hardware. “The hunt for rusty materials is a gratifying and fulfilling part of the process, while also meeting new people, connecting with local businesses, and learning the history of my material.”
Found objects are the spur of inspiration for the individual animals. Animal portraits are a large focus of her work. The layering process in the negative space complements the heavy metal. This non-traditional process with paper, tile, and glass introduces vibrant colors to contrast with the rusty textures. By combining found objects with her personal technique, she produces natural forms from man-made implements.
Learn more about Amy Weh at mosaicweh.com.