Home is Where the Art Is 10 October – 15 November 2021

Home is Where the Art Is 10 October – 15 November 2021

About the Artists

by Susan Mendenhall

Home is Where the ART Is, the theme of the upcoming exhibit of the Mount Horeb Area Arts Association and the Driftless Historium, October 8 – November 15. This exhibition invites both artists and patrons of the arts to cozy up with a piece of art that takes you to a warm, welcoming, inspiring place. Fifteen artists share a work that speaks to this theme in their specific medium of painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, pottery, and jewelry.  Each artist’s passion and intention in creating art is both seen and heard.  What inspires them?  Where does their inspiration take them?

Let’s meet the artists, see their work, and hear how they speak of where a sense of home is found in their art.

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Pamela Ruschman, oil painter, claims “home has always been the driftless region for my artistic soul. After living and working in the Milwaukee area for more than 30 years, our family decided to leave the city lights and rediscover the solitude of country living. I’m so delighted to be close to my artistic muse of the livestock and landscape of this beautiful part of southwestern Wisconsin. It’s good to be back HOME.”

Richard Fayram’s watercolor is of a National Register Historical Site that has always been a family home in addition to other businesses that were present, including a hostelry and brewery. “As I completed the watercolor, I realized that it also had a powerful connection to our family. My great grandfather Considine (my grandmother’s family) was a riverboat captain on the Mississippi River of the same era. It was likely that he stopped here on his trips up and down the river as a part of each trip he made.” 

Mount Horeb Area Arts Association
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Julie Raasch, photographer and jeweler, is influenced by where she lives. “My restored prairie is where I walk, meditate, and make photos. It influences my creativity in many ways. Home is the heart of my creativity. It is where I live, become inspired, and create.”

Oil painter, Pamela Grabber, speaks to the “validity of our emotional connections with the places where we dwell. “Turn to the Sun” was painted from life in my home studio with sunflowers from our garden. As a gardener, I’m invested in my plants as I tend their needs and await the blooms and fruits Capturing the glory of these vibrant giant sunflowers in oil feels so rewarding – their beauty and my efforts to cultivate them lives on in paint long after the flowers wilt.”

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Judy Robb, oil painter, is ‘drawn to the mystique of nature and the curiosities of creatures and their surroundings which is their homeland. History and lore, fact and tradition inspire me and how I translate feelings and ideas in art.”

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Chuck Bauer’s oil paintings capture the essence of an emotion and location. “Home is a relative feeling, not only a place. For example, even a park shelter can feel like home, at least for awhile, especially if you’re caught in a thunderstorm as I was while painting one afternoon.”

Susan JAZZ Mendenhall’s watercolors frequently showcase houses. “From the lines of the rooftops to the foundational structure, the design of a house fascinates me. Creating a home is much like creating art. The process is intentional, personal, and forever evolving. Just as each house tells a story of the people who live there, the same is true of a piece of art – both revealing a bit of the artist’s soul.”

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Ceramic artist, Heidi Clayton feels called to create for the heart of the home, the kitchen. “When I think home, I think home cooked meals and breaking bread with those I love. I am honored to be included in these rituals through my work, in the hands of those who share important moments with their loved ones.”

John Pahlas who sculps in salvaged steel shares, “My home IS art. Without artistic expression I am literally, spiritually and figuratively homeless! My art has flourished here in the Mount Horeb area, and because this place has taken me in with such outstretched and loving arms, I can keep evolving as an artist, father, & concerned member of this growing community. I feel I’ve found my true self amid the prairies and Savannah’s of old oaks & I am beyond thrilled to see what the future holds here.”

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Vicki France uses her camera to capture photographs that remind her of home. “These are the roads that take me home, these are the hills and valleys I grew up with.”

Luci Shirek’s watercolors bring light and color to the paper.
“Home means a sense of peace, a sense of belonging, a place to feel warm and secure.”

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Katherine Ford’s watercolors are full of flowers. “Flowers are a gardeners reward for their persistence. It is the anticipation of their beauty that gets me up in the morning and going out to see the changes. Taking close up photographs of flowers allow me more time to interpret their beauty into watercolor paintings and admire the complexity of their design.”

Sue Schuetz, assemblage artist, selected a variety of objects to “represent how women were kept together and held down, often being denied the opportunity to work outside of the home. Their work was, for the most part, contained to home chores.”

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Karen Watson-Newlin, acrylic artist, finds “I am most at home with nature and being outdoors walking, hiking, and gardening. This painting is a different look at one area I find for inspiration.”

For photographer, Jessica Curning-Kuenzi, “When I look for a good photograph, I try to find a subject or scene that conveys the peace and serenity of the nature all around us. I capture a moment in time, in hopes that it will provide the future viewer a chance to see the same beauty and feel the same peace I felt while I was there making a photograph. When a piece of my art is in someone’s home, I hope that it can provide them with happiness every time they look at it.”

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Sue Schuetz returns for her 8th Spring Art Tour this June 4-6, 2021

Sue Schuetz returns for her 8th Spring Art Tour this June 4-6, 2021

Sue Schuetz returns for her 8th Spring Art Tour this June 4-6, 2021

Welcome back Sue Schuetz to her 8th Spring Art Tour!

Schuetz works in a variety of media: Assemblages, mobiles, jewelry, and watercolor. For the Tour, June 4-6, she will be constructing metal and bead jewelry, and she will be showing at Rimrock Farm Barn (3975 Moe Rd, Mount Horeb, WI 53572) with Jessica Curning-Kuenzi, Christine Echtner, Aileen Musa, and Karen Watson-Newlin. That’s right, ONE stop, FIVE artists!

Sue Schuetz, photo
Aileen Musa: hand-colored and painted photograph

See a preview of Sue Schuetz’s work,

get tour information and more at her Spring Art Tour Artist page!

Sue Schuetz, Assemblage, metal, mixed
Sue Schuetz, Assemblage, metal, mixed
Aileen Musa, Sunflower, handcolored photograph
Sculptor Nana Schowalter returns to the Spring Art Tour June 4-6, 2021

Sculptor Nana Schowalter returns to the Spring Art Tour June 4-6, 2021

Sculptor Nana Schowalter returns to the Spring Art Tour June 4-6, 2021

Welcome back Nana Schowalter to her 2nd Spring Art Tour!

Schowalter writes: My artwork includes interior sculpture, garden sculpture, and commission work…. I combine iron, copper, and brass in works inspired by the images of ancient cultures from around the world.

Nana Schowalter in her welding shop
Aileen Musa: hand-colored and painted photograph

See Nana Schowalter’s work

at Chuck Bauer’s Henhouse Studio along with several other artists during this year’s Spring Art Tour, June 4-6. See where the group Tour stop is located, preview Schowalter’s work, get tour information and more at her Spring Art Tour Artist page!

Nana Schowalter 'QueenEuphoria,' Steel Sculpture
Nana Schowalter 'Lightning Bird Baths,' Steel Sculptures
Aileen Musa, Sunflower, handcolored photograph
Julie Raasch returns to the Spring Art Tour for 2021

Julie Raasch returns to the Spring Art Tour for 2021

Julie Raasch returns to the Spring Art Tour for 2021

Please welcome back Julie Raasch to her 9th Spring Art Tour!

Raasch is an experienced Metalsmith and Photographer and will be showing in her garage this year on the tour.
She writes about her jewelry: My jewelry is as diverse and individual as people are. The pieces I make are meant to be worn and enjoyed. And her Photography: I study and observe nature and enjoy looking closely. To take it apart and look at individual items in nature…. I’m always trying to push my vision and can often be seen toting my camera wherever I go, always ready when the next photographic opportunity or subject presents itself.

Artist, Julie Raasch at work in her studio
Julie Raasch, Pendant, Maligano Jasper Copper
Photographer Julie Raasch'  bee on flower

See Julie Raasch’s beautiful photography as well as her accomplished metalsmith work

during this year’s Spring Art Tour, June 4-6. Meanwhile, see a preview, get tour information and more at her Spring Art Tour Artist page!

Jewelry by Julie Raasch, 'Soar' mixed metal, objects
Julie Raasch, Janesville Gardens, photograph
Julie Raasch, Passion Flower Cuff, metal, stone

Luke Proctor returns to the Spring Art Tour for 2021

Luke Proctor returns to the Spring Art Tour for 2021

Luke Proctor returns to the Spring Art Tour for 2021

Welcome back Luke Proctor to the Spring Art Tour for 2021!

Proctor writes on Instagram from the Winter Park Sidwalk Art Festival (see amazing piece and award below): “Trying to represent for all the blacksmiths, being considered as art blacksmithing is still in its infancy in my opinion, lots of us are trying to change that so many of you are doing an outstanding job.”

Luke Proctor, blacksmithing
Luke Proctor wins award for his metal work at Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival

See Luke Proctor’s work

during this year’s Spring Art Tour, June 4-6. Meanwhile, see a preview, get tour information and more at his Spring Art Tour Artist page!

Forged Cabinet by Luke Proctor
Detail of forged furniture by Luke Proctor
Forged Cabinet by Luke Proctor
John Pahlas back for Spring Art Tour 2021

John Pahlas back for Spring Art Tour 2021

John Pahlas back for Spring Art Tour 2021

John Pahlas is back for the Spring Art Tour for 2021!

Pahlas is busy creating spectacular giant installations and tiny beauties that you’ll be able to see in person this June 4-6 at the Spring Art Tour!

On Social media he recently posted about an exhilarating, intense, and somewhat stressful (no one got hurt!) installation of a giant heron at K & A Greenhouse. Check it out:

John Pahlas' metal sculpture of a heron (in studio, in progress)

Thanks so much Angie & Chris of @ka_greenhouse for providing me with yet another fun and challenging project! As the truck backed in to prep for unloading the heron Angie said, “this must be kind of sad for you to say goodbye to a sculpture you’ve worked so much on”… and I can’t remember exactly how I replied, because I was so FULL to the brim with excitement to have A)successfully gotten the beast out of the bay with only a minor setback to the garage door (which thankfully didn’t take too long for the garage door guys to fix) And B)successfully gotten it loaded onto the truck with ease and zero injuries to anything or anyone.

John Pahlas beside his giant Heron scupture at K&A Greenhouse

And after getting it in its place and to hear the immediate responses from everyone at the greenhouse… there is no way I could feel sadness! I create art to share it with others and with each custom project I am encouraged to go that extra mile and share bolder visions through the infinite possibilities held within salvaged rusty steel! I did put my heart and soul into this heron, and to be able to share that with others is the entire reason I make art. Step into the greenhouses at K&A… and you will see they put their hearts and souls into those plants too! This current time in history, we need to share our heart n soul energy on unprecedented scales!! Step up and stand tall to accept the challenge! What a great project, onto the next!!

See Pahlas’ fabulous BIG and small steel sculptures

during this year’s Spring Art Tour, June 4-6. Meanwhile, see a preview, get tour information and more at his Spring Art Tour Artist page!

sculpture of Lulu by John Pahlas
sculpture 'Bound' by john Pahlas
sculpture, Risen by John Pahlas