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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Painter Jane Varda returns for the 2021 Spring Art Tour, June 4-6

Painter Jane Varda returns for the 2021 Spring Art Tour, June 4-6

Painter Jane Varda returns for the 2021 Spring Art Tour, June 4-6

Welcome Jane Varda back to the Spring Art Tour in 2021: Her 14th year!

That’s right, Varda has been with the Tour since it’s inception, in 2006. She writes: In addition to painting landscape outside, I work in my Town of Berry studio from photo-references and sketches, primarily in either oils or pastels. I also like painting still-life, choosing ordinary objects that relate to my daily world, but which transcend convention to become idiosyncratic in paint.

Jane Varda, artist with work
Jane Varda's oil painting, this painting of her artist's tools/medium was a demo painting

Jane Varda’s studio will be open for the Spring Art Tour!

She writes:I will set up a still-life, and be painting in oils and/or pastels throughout the 3-day tour. Find out more information about the artist, her work, and more at her Spring Art Tour Artist page!

Jane Varda, painting of fields and barn
Jane Varda's 'Amber Waves' oil
Jane Varda, Geometry and Blue Mounds, oil

Painter, Karen Watson-Newlin returns for the 2021 Spring Art Tour

Painter, Karen Watson-Newlin returns for the 2021 Spring Art Tour

Painter, Karen Watson-Newlin returns for the 2021 Spring Art Tour

Welcome back Karen Watson-Newlin to her 5th Spring Art Tour!

She writes: After a year of Covid-19 and all 2020 shows cancelled, I am excited to share new works with the public and see reactions to the ideas I have spent months developing

For the Tour, June 4-6, Watson-Newlin will be showing at Rimrock Farm Barn (3975 Moe Rd, Mount Horeb, WI 53572) with Jessica Curning-Kuenzi, Christine Echtner, Aileen Musa, and Sue Schuetz. That’s right, ONE stop, FIVE artists!

Karen Watson-Newlin at her booth
Karen Watson-Newlin's 'Summer Blessings', acrylic

Karen Watson-Newlin’s Summer Blessings from her Prairie series, acrylic

Full-time Painter for past 10 years

Since retiring from teaching art in 2011, painting is my fulltime occupation. Currently, represented by Woodland Gallery in Stoughton, WI and Décor in Madison, WI, I have work in corporate and private collections in the United States and abroad, including American Girl, Asperius Hospital, Epic Systems Corporation, Northwestern Mutual Insurance, Sauk Prairie Healthcare Clinic and others.

See a preview of Karen Watson-Newlin’s work,…

…get information about the artist, her work, and more at her Spring Art Tour Artist page!

Karen Watson-Newlin, 'Regal Display', acrylic
Karen Watson-Newlin, 'Waiting,' acrylic
Karen Watson-Newlin, 'Look to the Sky', acrylic
Pamela Ruschman returns to the Driftless Area and joins the Tour for 2021

Pamela Ruschman returns to the Driftless Area and joins the Tour for 2021

Pamela Ruschman returns to the Driftless Area and joins the Tour for 2021

Please welcome painter Pamela Ruschman to the Spring Art Tour for 2021!

Pamela is best known for her bold and vibrant oil portraits of barnyard animals including cows, roosters and sheep. Collectors say her paintings capture the personality of these furry and feathered friends.

Portrait of artist Pamela Ruschman
Pamela Ruschman, 'Shadowlands' oil on linen

Shadowlands, Pamela Ruschman, oil on linen

Though Ruschman grew up here in the Driftless,

she’s only recently returned to the area, so we are thrilled to have her back and that she is on the Tour for 2021! On her blog she writes:

Green County (WI) is where I was born and raised. After more than 30 years living in the Milwaukee area, our family decided to move back to the Driftless Region of Wisconsin. Even though I have traveled back and forth countless times over these 30 years, it’s as if I’m seeing an old friend again. Now is my time to explore and rediscover the land that is home. See a preview, get tour information and more at Pamela’s Spring Art Tour Artist page!

Pamela Ruschman, 'Daybreak' oil
Pamela Ruschman, 'Buffalo Baby' oil
Pamela Ruschman, 'ValleyView' oil
Painter Rick Ross is back for 2021, his 3rd Spring Art Tour

Painter Rick Ross is back for 2021, his 3rd Spring Art Tour

Painter Rick Ross is back for 2021, his 3rd Spring Art Tour

Please welcome back Rick Ross to the Spring Art Tour for 2021!

Oil & Cold Wax master painter Rick Ross writes: Nature is my subject matter, whether literally interpreted through landscapes and still life or abstractly represented by the textures and depth of oil and cold wax medium. Like the evolution of my life experiences, I love to explore and imagine the journey of objects and am inspired by history, age, and patina.

Artist Rick Ross, at work
Rick Ross Cold Wax abstract landscape with hay bales

See Rick Ross’s work

during this year’s Spring Art Tour, June 4-6. HI work sells out fast, so this is a rare opportunity to see his new work in person! Meanwhile, see a preview, get tour information and more at his Spring Art Tour Artist page!

Oil and Cold Wax by Rick Ross
Rick Ross, Oil and Cold Wax 'Meandering in a Fog'
Rick Ross 'Shore' painting
Aileen Musa joins us for her first Spring Art Tour in 2021

Aileen Musa joins us for her first Spring Art Tour in 2021

Aileen Musa joins us for her first Spring Art Tour in 2021

Please welcome Aileen Musa to her first Spring Art Tour!

Musa writes on her site aileenmusaimages:
I was inspired to hand paint my photos by a hand painted black and white image of an English garden, by Wallace Nutting. It was a wedding gift to my grandparents in the early 1920’s. This image, my inspiration, now hangs in my home.

Photograph of Aileen Musa, artist
Aileen Musa: hand-colored and painted photograph

See Aileen Musa’s 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!

Scarves by Brenda Kraemer
Aileen Musa: hand-colored photograph, 'Reclaimed'
Aileen Musa, Sunflower, handcolored photograph