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2024 Honorary Artist: David Allen

 David Allen (1950-) is a self taught artist residing in South Bend, Indiana. He has  been painting since the age of sixteen. David is known for his onsite paintings of local city and neighborhood scene as well as his non-representational work in the studio. His work can be found in private and corporate collections across the U.S. as well as in the South Bend Museum of Art permanent collection and the Mid-West Museum of American Art in Elkhart, Indiana.

 

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Damen Mroczek designs and crafts silver jewelry through the age old process of 'lost wax casting', which he learned under the tutelage of his father, who has been designing jewelry for over 35 years. Each design is first hand-carved from wax and then cast into sterling silver. He uses only the best, AAA quality, gem stones and inlays to compliment his designs. Gathering inspiration from trees to leaves and wind to waves, the natural beauty of the World is Damen's source for creative expression. He is proud to carry on a 'family tradition' and hopes you will enjoy his work.
Click on Damen's photo for his debut on Experience Michiana

 

Don Widmer is a book and paper artist whose work incorporates papermaking, letterpress printing, and artist bookbinding.  His papermaking utilizes detailed pulp painting with numerous layers of stenciled pulp.  His artist books pair storytelling with the architectural form of the book.  Both elements influence each other and enhance the visual narrative.  His tunnel book Fanny and the Doll Corpse, inspired by criminal forensics pioneer Frances Glessner Lee, will be part of the Newberry Library's 2023 exhibit "Pop-Up Books Through the Ages."  Don has exhibited throughout the Midwest, most recently at David Smith Studio, A+C Architects Studio, the Paper Discovery Center, Tall Grass Art Gallery, and Morgan Conservatory. 

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Marcy Mitchell is a Southwestern Michigan native who is  influenced by Lake Michigan, and the surrounding scenery of the local area.  She also draws inspirations from the four years she spent living abroad in Perth, Scotland, and the other places she traveled.

 

Applying abstraction allows her to explore the range of possibilities through line, and color while pushing the boundaries of how the landscapes are usually perceived.  Marcy often imagines there is much more beauty in this world than we are able to see with just our eyes. She believes beauty can be found in the midst of light and shadows. The spaces in between.

 

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Martha Winenger  is a  self-taught artist who loves nature. She paints nature scenes with oils or acrylics in a realistic style.  As a nature lover she paints on smooth rocks that she collects on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior then mounts them on pieces of driftwood.

Martha  previously worked as a scrimshaw artist doing scrimshaw on powder horns, knives and antlers. She has also done pen and ink drawings along with calligraphy.

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Alan Larkin received his BA in art from Carleton College in Northfield Minnesota in 1975 and his MFA in printmaking from the Pennsylvania State University in 1977.  Though recently retired, he taught drawing and printmaking for almost forty years at Indiana University South Bend.  He has won many prizes in regional, national and international competitions for his artwork, including the prestigious Founder’s Award in the 2016 Pastel 100 Competition sponsored by the Pastel Journal and the Best of Show Award at the 75th and 91st Annual Hoosier Salon Exhibition in Indianapolis.  His works are in numerous private collections including the corporate collections of Pillsbury, NIPSCO, and Lincoln Life Insurance Companies.

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Karen Terhune says her love of sculpture began when she created her first piece, a squirrel with a nut. “From that moment on, she was hooked and knew right then and there what she was going to do. As for what exactly drew Keren to sculpting, she’s not sure. For Keren it was like a bell went off and she found her calling.

Working in the studio at her home, Terhune leans towards abstract shapes and animals as subjects. Her whimsical sculptures are inspired by her cats and can be described as explosions of movement.

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 Artists

Larry Piser - Hand crafted wood furniture

Mays Mayhew - Painted figures in pairs realistically with surreal or abstract elements

Dawn Hatzidakis - Hand forged copper jewelry

Deb Potis - Fine photography 

Don Widmer- Handmade

paper and book bindings

Rosemary Wilhelm - Classic realism oil paintings

Carol Estes - Surreal expressionism photography

William Nardin- Hardwood band saw jewelry boxes

Brian Newton - Exotic wood turns

Damen Mroczek- Silver jewelry with precious stones

Bill Kolok - Limestone and wood sculptures

Ann Klem - Glass sculptures

Sue Rosengard - Contemporary, hand forged jewelry in silver and gold.

Diane Reader Dorn - Contemporary acrylic paintings & porcelain vessels

Ronald G. Campbell- Wood turned sculptures

Amy Butts - One - of - a kind nostalgic jewelry made from chandelier crystals and vintage finds

Kimberly Lichty - Whimsical paintings of animals, abstract cityscapes & faces

Marcy Mitchell - Bold, vibrant landscape paintings

Bobbie Rafferty - Weaved geometric jewelry from seed beads, gemstones and glass beads.

Martha Winenger - Detailed nature paintings on rocks

Joy Lait - Flameworked glass and wire sculptures and mobiles

Mark Daniels - Bright, colorful & energetic paintings of regional birds and flowers

Edd Johannmann - Glass sculptures created from stained glass, found objects, wood, and wire.

Karen Terhune - Sculptures made from limestone, alabaster, soapstone, and marble

Clare Hagan - Wire jewelry

Daniel Driggs- Watercolor paintings of birds, wildlife, and people

Jacque Windbigler -  Plaster sculptures influenced by ancient worlds

Sandro Akhvlediani - Still life, cityscape, and orchestra inspired abstract paintings

Joey Chessey - High fired hand-thrown ceramics

Ron Rendall - Aquatic life, hand sculpted with sandpaper

Michele Strotman - Whimsical 

paintings of chickens with character

Jason Sturgill - Fantasy world sketches

Amy Green - Abstract sculptures made from recycled farm equipment

Alli Farkas -Originaoil paintings of water lilies 

Melanie Osborne - Equestrian art 

Retta Hentschel - Repurposed glass to create stain glass windows and lamps

Carly Norris - Mixed media. Repurposed  materials  to create one- of the kind sculptures

Julie Johnson - Acrylic  paintings of nature

Melvina Stemley - One- of- the - kind hats and purses with flair

 

Kathie Collinson - Encaustic paintings

Angie Thieszen - Wood stain art 

Sally Brandl- Watercolors inspired by the traditional fiber arts of quilting

Channing Wilson - Whimsical, colorful paintings of forest animals

Ruby Ballard Harris - Wearable art influenced by African motif. 

Samantha DeCarlo - Magical Realism of nature

Carrie Beth Collins - Acrylic paintings created through freeform 

Brenda Schori - Handwoven shawls, jackets and cowls

Cammy Leffert - Mixed Media clay sculptures

Cindy Bella - Hand sewn, patchwork tunics, wraps and vests

Drece L. Guy - Abstract paintings

Jim Kalka - Fine photography

  Born and raised in Nebraska, Daniel Driggs developed the love of art as a child. He attended Hastings College where he earned a BS degree in Art and Art Education.  Driggs painted, taught, and exhibited his art for 18 years.  Through the years he owned and/or managed galleries in Omaha, NE, Laramie, WY and Cheyenne, WY

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 Today, Driggs’ artwork is different than it was in his earlier art career.  Although he still paints still life and landscape scenes, his art work is developing new depths.  The "Traditional" series centered around re-enactors and reached into the past to envision where our beliefs and values came from.  Out of this, Driggs began working on the "Out of Chaos" pieces that examine the relationship between the chaos of daily life and the visions that we capture in the midst of that chaos.                                                                              

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Ann Klem joins us from Fisherville, Kentucky. 

Ann's art glass reveals her love of the design and creation process, the taste for technical challenges and the beauty of a well-finished piece. Strongly influenced by geometry, repeatable patterns, and phenomena such as crop circles, she designs her pieces for beautiful yet functional art.

Beginning with large sheet glass, Ann creates custom pieces, incorporating one into another, assembling and fusing them together. She then slices, grinds, sandblasts, or extensively shapes the resulting glass to enhance the visual impact of the piece. 

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Kimberley Hawk Lichty was introduced to the arts early in childhood at the local Art League located in Elkhart, IN where her mother was a teacher/instructor. Kimberley continued studies at IUSB, and is self taught through techniques she'd learned throughout studies.

 

Kimberley uses acrylics, painting abstracts, animals, and her faces series. Her pieces are captivating, charming, and whimsical, celebrating life, creativity, bold color, and big personality. Kimberley's inspirations are Van Gogh, her husband, Bob a musician, music, family, life itself, and the gift of another day to create.

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Edd Johannemann is a member of the Louisville Artisans Guild and lives in  La Grange, KY where he lives on a lake with the love of his life and muse.

Edd choreographs light to create sculptures of kaleidoscopic color and motion. His work is frequently philosophical, exploring the boundaries of faith, beliefs, values, facts and assumptions. He is largely self-taught; his sculptures combine his love of photography, woodworking, and stained glass. 

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Alii Farkas comes from a family of artists and has been drawing and painting from childhood through college as an art major, and later as a dual-subject professional specializing in rural landscapes and equine portraits.

“Sky Pads” represents an artistic interpretation of common Michigan lily pads; white water lilies (Nymphea), and Spatterdock (Nuphar).

Their very mundane commonality usually leads to their very common representation in art, so her goal as an artist is to give them the most uncommon presentation that she can imagine. 

Unrelated backgrounds are created first, through various oil paint/solvent techniques utilizing pours and spatters. When dry, the lily pads are added either through direct realistic interpretation or through a monochrome process utilizing a color complementary to whatever the dominant background color is. The end result gifts the viewer with a sense of peace, quiet, tranquility, relaxation, and visual engagement.

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Ron Campbell is an award winning woodturner from Cedar Rapids, Michigan. One look at Ron’s pieces and it is evident that he has the intuitive gift for woodturning. I a decade, Ron has achieved a mastery the craft that few others can scarcely Imitate. From burls and various hard woods, to embellishments utilizing polished high-luster remind, Ron’s work is simply stunning.

Ron has won many awards and has participanted in the Grand Rapids Art Prize for the past 12 years.  In 2019 Ron was one of 5 to win the AAW Award of Excellence. 2021 Ron won the following awards, Regional Arts 3D, Grand River Award, LaFansee Gallery 3D award and Diana VanKolken Community Arts Award from Holland Area Council of the Arts.

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Amy  Butts has a BFA in metalsmithing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

Amy's work is wearable, whimsical nostalgia. She creates new life out of old items including chandelier crystals; several decades' worth of autograph books, diaries and recipe books; vintage rosaries and other yard sale and flea market finds. In addition to her own scavenging, she works with clients to refashion everything from inherited jewelry, photographs, handwritten notes and obsolete wedding rings into contemporary pieces that have meaning for today.

Working in her Chicago studio overflowing with found objects, crystals and jewelry vending machines, Amy finds inspiration in the ways that jewelry can spark memory and play the role of souvenir. She hand crafts each piece in her collection and can spend hours just arranging various items until they feel irreplaceably right. Amy says it's a good day in her studio when she is able to look at beautiful little objects that have lost their present usefulness and bring out their beauty again.

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Carol is a self-taught art photographer, artist and author.  From LaPorte, IN, she found the art world late in life.  In order to heal and grieve personal trauma, she picked up a digital camera, and started writing.  It changed her life, hence the phrase “Welcome to Carol World…life as I see it”

 

She has exhibited her work in Chicago, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana and Canada.  She was published in Birds and Bloom Magazine three times, and self-published her own work of prose and poetry in 2016.  Carol has moved into mixed media which includes encaustic beeswax, and resin finishes. As she explains it, she creates her art “outside the box.”

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Diane reader Dorn's passion for painting was realized early in life. Influenced by her father, professional visual artist and musician, Cecil C. Reader, Diane realized, as most female artist do, she had to make time to paint after all the chores were completed. She painted what she knew, realism. After her three children were raised, she enrolled and earned a Bachelor of Fine Art, Suma Cum Laude from Texas Women's University. It was there she developed her signature abstract watercolor paintings. This work resembles an enigma, or a puzzling occurrence. They can be perplexing and mysterious, giving the viewer reason to pause. Her acrylics on canvas follow the same convention, moving from chaos and order to a calm and soothing direction. Following university, she accepted a position as the gallery and presentation coordinator and assistant to the director of the visual art department at Interlochen Arts Academy. She returned to her hometown, South Bend, a few years ago and rejoined the art community. Her work is in corporate and private collections in Texas and the Midwest. She currently teaches painting at the South Bend Museum of Art.

Click on Diane's photo for her debut on Experience Michiana.

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Dawn Hatzidakis is a second-generation metalsmith, wife and Mom from Crestwood, KY just outside of Louisville, KY.  Both of here parents are jeweler designers, but it was her Mom who taught her the art of metalsmithing.  After leaving the business world in her early 40's, Dawn decided to change careers and study the art of jewelry making. 

Words from the artist. Why copper? 

I have always had an interest in unique colors and patterns due to my fine arts background. I was drawn to copper because of its ability to change colors, bend, and fold. My work isn't pre-planned or sketched. I am guided by the metal as it "speaks" to me.  As I cut, hammer, solder, etch, and finish each piece, it transforms into its own unique design.  So, every piece of jewelry is hand fabricated from start to finish with love!

Mastering the art of patina is my favorite aspect of being a coppersmith jewelry designer.   Have you ever noticed that the Statue of Liberty is turquoise?  Well, it is made from copper that has patina’d over the years. The elements of nature oxidize the metal, turning it into the unique shades of color. 

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Brian is a self-taught wood turner who has been honing his skills for the past twelve years. He has earned a number of awards at various art shows and exhibitions in both New York and Michigan. In 2014 he became a member of the historic Roycroft Artisans at Large group, based in East Aurora, NY and in 2019 he was elevated to the level of Roycroft Master Artisan. He is also an active member of the Blue Coast Artist Group in southwest Michigan.

 

As Brian has pushed his turning skills to new levels, he has found that he has a true passion for uncovering the hidden beauty that is locked away inside each piece of wood that he works with. Brian loves the experience of watching each piece evolve with every pass of his chisel - every cut, revealing more of the character and warmth within. He considers it a privilege to transform a cast-off piece of wood, repurposing it into something new and beautiful - whether it's a decorative art piece or a functional household item.

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You enter the world of Magical Realism upon viewing the works of Chicago native, Sam DeCarlo. DeCarlo pushes a realistic narrative while incorporating fantastical elements, creating a completely imagined space in her work. Butterflies are as big as a tiger’s head; toads can balance atop one another with ease. Each piece is just wrong enough, it’s so right.

DeCarlo mainly works in oil-based media and experiments with acrylic and spray paint, wood engraving, and resin pouring.

A word from the artist:

My only goal is to make you stop and look at my work for more than a few seconds, which is the average attention span for most people viewing art. I, too, am guilty of passing quickly through an art exhibition or flipping through a magazine loaded with painting after painting… So how can I hold your gaze?

I absolutely refuse to start a painting that won’t even keep me interested enough to finish. I need bright colors, opposing textures, multiple subjects, and the freedom to manipulate natural colors into something wild! We all have cameras, and we can all capture reality just fine on our own. I see no purpose in replicating life as it is but to turn it into what it could have been - an alternate reality.

So, please enjoy my playful portfolio filled with the musings in my mind.

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Bill Kolok was born and raised in a middle class family in Connecticut.  He grew up with a strong work ethic and a vivid imagination.  In college he was drawn to art and eventually sculpture.  He enjoys the give and take of carving in wood and stone and found a language that speaks to him.

He prefers materials with distinctive spirit such as aged lumber and stone from old churches. The resulting sculptures speak with simplicity,and boldness to those who choose to reflect on his creative images. 

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Melanie Osborn is a self-taught artist from Kentucky.  As a young child she lived on a farm that had horses and several greenhouses to be drawn into the art world with Sketching horses and flowers.

Melanie’s art career started as a mechanical drafter. However, she still found herself in awe with horses and flowers.

After a career in drafting, Melanie’s art world grew into corporate commissions. You can find here indoor murals in several prestigious Kentucky establishments.

Today Melanie’s focus are her equestrian oil paintings to come full circle, to

the subjects that drew her to paint beautiful, classic settings with rich colors.

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Southern by birth and Midwestern by residence, Bobbie Rafferty is a jewelry maker currently living in Chicago who has been working with beads for over 25 years. From a family that now includes its third generation of professional musicians, Bobbie grew up surrounded by creativity and artistic creation. Jewelry making is her artistic expression, and beads are her instruments  of creativity.
Predominantly self-taught, she weaves, stitches and strings thousands of glass seed beads together in combination with gemstones and other materials, to create one-of-a-kind pieces with a focus on color, texture, and form. Most pieces are designed as they are created, growing organically from the interrelationships of the materials being used.
Bobbie has participated in juried art shows throughout the South and Midwest. She has been a member of the Louisville Artisans Guild and the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. Her work has been featured in galleries, art shows and museum shops in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, and Kentucky, and in books, magazines, and catalogues.

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Angie Thieszen hails from Defiance, Ohio, but now lives in Millersburg, Indiana. She has come from a family line of artistic talents in various professional and hobby art careers. She studied art at Bluffton College (now Bluffton University) in Bluffton, Ohio. Most of her past work has been as a hobby artist working with mediums such as watercolor, acrylic, chalk, and Etch-A-Sketch, but her wood stain art has taken her to a professional level. In 2021 she opened her first public studio and shop inside the beautiful Southgate shopping

marketplace ( Elkhart, Indiana).

Click on Angie's photo for her debut on Experience Michiana

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Laura Gutzwiller is a self-taught fiber artist from Valparaiso, Indiana. After working in the health and fitness field for many years, she switched to an art career to reconnect with her creativity and find a way to become more mindful. She creates needle felted landscapes that incorporate her love of water, trees, sunsets and the beauty all around us. Her “wool painting” technique can be described as using natural fibers to mimic traditional painting techniques. Instead of using paint and a brush, she uses tiny pieces of sheep’s wool, alpaca fiber, mohair locks and silks to create desired effects. She layers the fibers and blends them by hand with a needle felting needle, designed to knot the fibers together to stay in place. Her work becomes quite three dimensional at times, creating extra texture and depth. Each piece is made with love, patience, and a desire to share feelings of peace with the world.

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Carly Norris has lived on farms all her life. Time, the simplicity of the weather and elements, life and death and the ever-changing seasons are recurring themes, inspirations that have colored and shaped her views. Her work shows evidence of the search she is on, looking for a home that no longer exists. Taking the shattered bits and holding them up, she wants to show that there is something left worth noticing; something intricate, quiet, wistful, and gorgeous in its truth. There is beauty in the world around us. Certain textures, colors, pieces of broken things represent ideas and efforts, passions of people that went before us. They can be transformed, when treated a certain way or paired with something unexpected, to continue the narrative. They become resurrected with their new purpose. In a sense, she is collaborating with the past, becoming a cog in the wheel of time. Beneath the surface, in the branches of the old trees, in the cellar holes of the fallen barns, in the sound of the red-winged black birds and the smell of the goldenrod she finds her home. That is what she strives to create in her work. To repair a connection that is broken or breaking, to reunite us with the land.

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Brenda Schoring - Biography coming soon.

Jacquelyn Windbigler biography coming soon.

Sally Brandl biography coming soon.

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Click on the art you like to be linked to the artist's website to see more of their work.

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