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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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

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
Vicki France returns for her 8th Spring Art Tour

Vicki France returns for her 8th Spring Art Tour

Vicki France returns for her 8th Spring Art Tour

Vicki France is back for the Spring Art Tour for 2021!

France never stops working—she is always photographing whether at her home in Hawaii or her home here in the Driftless Region. She captures the magic of the place no matter where she is. The thing we love about her photos of the Driftless is that we recognize this place we call home, but in Vicki’s eye, her captured frame, it is a glorious wonderland. Her images make us smile and even get emotional at the beauty of her vision, this place we call home.

Vicki France Photography, Soft Spring Air 05-02-21

Here are some recent photos from France’s social media posts. You too can experience the lush beauty of our Driftless region when you drive the Tour yourself, and you can see these images up close in all of their radiant beauty, in person this June 4-6 at the Spring Art Tour!

Vicki France Photography Hollow Rd
Vicki France Photography, Iowa County 04-21
Vicki France Photography, Cupola 04-21

See Vicki France’s breathtaking photography

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!

Vicki France, 'Not alone', photograph
Vicki France Photography: sun peaks out from behind clouds
Vicki France Photography Low Light Driftless Landscape

Jessica Curning-Kuenzi returns for Spring Art Tour 2021

Jessica Curning-Kuenzi returns for Spring Art Tour 2021

Jessica Curning-Kuenzi returns for Spring Art Tour 2021

Jessica Curning-Kuenzi is back for her 2nd year with the Spring Art Tour!

We are thrilled to have Curning-Kuenzi return to the Tour for 2021 with her breathtaking photography and intricate chain maile jewelry.

Here is a photo of a White Breasted Nuthatch that Jessica recently posted to social media.

Jessica Curning-Kuenzi, 'White Breasted Nuthatch' photograph
Jessica Curning-Kuenzi, 'Beautiful Day on the Farm' photograph

“Beautiful day on the farm”, Jessica writes of this inviting farmscape on social media in early April of this year. The sepia tone makes us feel the promise of warmer days to come.

 CurningJewelry, Chainmaille jewelry from her Etsy Shop

See Curning-Kuenzi’s exquisite Chainmaille & photography in person

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

Jessica Curning Kuenzi Photography

Jessica Curning Kuenzi Photography
Agate Necklace by Jessica Curning Kuenzi