ARTISTS - Olson Larsen Gallery - contemporary art gallery West Des Moines, Iowa
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ARTISTS

Edward Avila

In Edward Avila's subtle pastel drawings and paintings, objects aren 't just objects and empty rooms and buildings hold significance. Avila writes in his artist statement, " By isolating and simplifying objects and their environments, an elemental nature can be revealed that exists in all things, real and imagined...Through the...

William Barnes

Of the many Midwestern artists focusing on landscape and still life compositions, William Barnes creates compositions which seem to contain some mystery or situation beyond the sum of the visual parts revealed. Although obviously aware of artists of the past, Barnes approaches but skirts any direct links with the surrealist...

Mike Baur

Chicago artist Mike Baur is best known for his architectural scale concrete and steel public sculptures, but is also prolific in smaller scale works and enjoys working with concrete, wood, and stone, as well as steel. He manipulates everyday materials a piece of PVC or a scrap of wood until...

John Beckelman

John Beckelman's sculptural vessels are thrown on the potter's wheel, manipulated, and fired to about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit in a residual salt atmosphere. He says of his work with clay "it is the elemental character and expressive potential of clay - in all its varied physical states - which continues...

Laura Berman

Laura Crehuet Berman is a native of Barcelona, Spain, where her love for pattern, design and bold colors originated. Her work’s focus on relationships and recombination of forms relate to her nomadic history of relocation and travel. Indeed, she is always comfortable anywhere as long as her personal collections of...

Richard Black

“I enjoy the process of making a print and view the process as a journey into the unseen, never the unknown, for there are many ways of knowing. The object of the image is to give physical form to those ideas and thoughts that have no physical form. I find...

Sharon Booma

Sharon Booma is an independent artist from Massachusetts now living in Florida. She works with several different media to create colorful abstract compositions on paper and board. Many of her paintings are based on geometric shapes that intertwine and overlap one another. Surface texture adds visual interest and dimension to...

Gary Bowling

Gary Bowling is one of the Midwest's most popular painters. He uses many brushstrokes, which give his paintings a dynamic texture. Gary uses this technique in such a way that it enhances his depictions of light hitting the leaves of a tree, reflecting on rippling water, or soaking a field...

Michael Brangoccio

Michael Brangoccio 's original content and textures create picture worlds like no others. A well-trained draftsman comfortable with formal composition, Brangoccio juxtaposes objects, sizes, and relationships to arrest attention, to provoke questions, and to prompt observers into finding personal meanings for his works. Intentionally symbolic, Brangoccio 's works present puzzles....

Byron Burford

If America has ever had a counter-part of Frederico Fellini, it was Iowa's venerable visual artist Byron Burford. Both larger-than-life creators, ebullient bon vivants, observers of the human condition, and both deeply fascinated with the worlds of circuses, legendary entertainers, and jazz, these giant talents both captured the innocence, lyricism,...

Edgard Camacho

I dissect shapes from human anatomy drawings seeking to bring them to life. Those forms that later look like kindergarten paper cutouts become an intimate alphabet, joined together in infinite combinations. This two-dimensional space is structured by the relationship of opposites: solid vs. texture, shiny vs. flat, a gesture vs....

Karen Chesterman

The most immediate element of Karen Chesterman's recent work is vibrant color. Color, which seems both vaporous and dense color that is layered and that suggests movement and directions color that occasionally even suggests bits of images or iconography. As the viewer approaches, more textures and suggestions of shapes become...

Christopher Chiavetta

"Maybe it was my Roman Catholic upbringing, or maybe it was growing up in the Cold War 80’s, but my work has always been preoccupied with end-of-the-world scenarios. This tendency has become more pronounced as I find myself in a world that seems to be headed toward certain dystopia and...

Mary Koenen Clausen

Mary Koenen Clausen writes "Since childhood, I have had a lensing system that has permitted my access to a certain kind of knowledge. At about five years of age I became a voluntary mute. This was in large part because when I started school, I like all the others, was expected...

Pat Edwards

Pat Edwards is an independent artist living in Des Moines. Pat paints in oil on small-scale panels and large canvases to create intimate backyard scenes. Loosely painted, her images conjure up a nostalgic mood of peaceful summer days. The manner in which she portrays light and shadow help define the...

Joel Elgin

Every print of Joel Elgin's begins with a story. His Irish roots provide rich inspiration for his vivid intaglios of symbolic creatures and objects. Joel's interest in Celtic mythology has led him to Ireland several times to explore the physical sites tied to certain legends. He writes, "The production of...

Barbara Fedeler

Working in willow charcoal, Barbara Fedeler's landscapes reflect her interest in the varied terrain of northeastern Iowa. She is intrigued with the areas geological history, the cycles of time and seasons, and the vagaries and the permanence of nature. The panoramic format she uses encourages a fluid movement across the...

Peter Feldstein

Peter Feldstein is an artist from Oxford, Iowa. He retired in 2006 from his long-time position of Professor of Art at the University of Iowa where he taught photography and digital imaging. In 1984, Peter Feldstein set out to photograph every resident in the town where he lives - Oxford,...

Carlos Ferguson

The steady productivity of Carlos Ferguson since his B.A. degree from Grinnell College through his M.A. and M.F.A. in Printmaking from the University of Iowa is impressive. He has completed a demanding program of study and produced a large body of work, as well as fulfilling teaching assignments at Berea...

Timothy Frerichs

Of his works, Tim Frerichs writes, “My artwork and research investigate how representations have shaped our interaction and impact on our environment. The majority of my work is based on researching a specific site. My artist books, works on paper and installations use images, drawings and objects collected from the...

Jane Gilmor

The shrines and constructions of Professor Jane Gilmor have appeared in over 74 exhibitions and more than 30 collections. The lists of her publications, lectures, special installations, awards, and honors fill pages. Wherever her unique works appear, they attract adults and children, and individuals without any experience interacting with artists,...

Dave Gordinier

David is an Iowa native, now living and working in Mesa, Arizona. He attended Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids and received his BFA from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. David has been in group exhibitions at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and the Des...

Stephen Hay

Stephen is a Classical Realist through and through. His first training introduced him to drawing via studies of plaster casts taken from antiquities. Draughtsmanship remains paramount to his working method. Having created with a variety of media - gouache (opaque watercolor), casein, oil, acrylic, gold leaf (gilding) and egg tempera...

Brent Holland

Using representation and abstraction, my paintings and drawings are multilayered meditations upon time, space and my sphere of existence. Work A) I combine digital drawings, each printed on a separate sheet of clear plastic that when stacked together create a single 2.5-dimensional image. Under the surface, I layer thousands of lines...

Mac Hornecker

Possibly the Midwest's most distinguished sculptor, Mac Hornecker was certainly accessible, versatile, and productive. From his studio in Arkansas, Hornecker brought forth works of wood, steel, stone, bronze, aluminum, and combinations thereof with expertise. From small pedestal pieces to massive works destined for rolling lawns on private estates or signature...

Kim Hutchison

My work has always looked to establish connections between the past and present. As an artist, I have become more focused on the formal qualities of my materials and compositions, my artwork’s relation to the passage of time becomes more complex and abstract. Traditionally my work has involved the union of...

Thomas Jewell-Vitale

From a distance, Thomas Jewell-Vitale's abstract works do not seem abstract. Harmonious colors and soft textures invite the viewer with a sense of familiarity and comfort. Close up, the viewer studies the images expecting to see something more apparent. One feels, indeed, that something is there, only thinly concealed and...

Michael Johnson

Most of Michael Johnson's evocative photographs are landscapes from a "driftless" area of Illinois, which escaped the last Midwestern glacier. These visions of the wooded beauty in Iowa state parks, sweeping vistas, lone trees along curving gravel roads, and peaceful farm fields seem to exist in a timeless, quiet zone....

Mathew Kelly

Mathew R. Kelly is a native of New Hampshire earning his BFA in Printmaking from the University of New Hampshire and his MFA in Printmaking from Syracuse University. He is an Associate Professor of Art at Central College in Pella, IA where he lives with his wife, Anne and daughter...

Stuart Klipper

Stuart Klipper is an artist living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stuart has traveled the entire world photographing everything from mountaintops in Patagonia to ocean swells in the Antarctic. As a Midwesterner, however, he loves the landscape of Iowa and surrounding states and focuses his lens on farm fields, prairie...

Paula Schuette Kraemer

In one sense the artwork of Paula Schuette Kraemer reflects her own life experiences, yet nostalgia for past times, love of one’s pets, anxieties, love of nature, a desire for calm in a hectic world …. these themes are common to us all. It is the intent of the artist...

Dan Mason

Dan Mason received his Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting from the University of Iowa. He currently teaches at North Hennepin Community College in Minnesota. Dan's paintings are in the corporate collections of Target Corporation, Norwest, Star Tribune of Minneapolis/St. Paul, General Mills, Dayton...

Rod Massey

Rod Massey paints everyday urban scenes and imbues them with a sense of buoyancy. Rod's interest lies in finding the " underlying character" of unremarkable houses, stretches of highway, and work trucks. Rod writes, "While my art is rooted in traditional painting, my intent is to convey a deeper, more...

Bobbie McKibbin

Bobbie McKibbin is well known for her stunning pastels of the landscapes of rural Iowa and mountainous Montana. Former Des Moines Register visual arts critic Eliot Nusbaum commented more than a decade ago about McKibbin 's intuitive sense of place. "He wrote McKibbin is interested in investigating the character of...

Mary Merkel-Hess

Like an unusual object in nature, a work by Mary Merkel-Hess first arrests attention, then inspires awe. The question What is it? quickly becomes How was it made? Working with natural (or nearly-natural) materials and intricate techniques to create these unique works - powerful in their delicacy - the artist...

Stephen Metcalf

“Simply put, I believe my work is about the act of painting.” Born in Chicago, Stephen Metcalf grew up in the Midwest. As a child he practiced drawing and painting and by the time he started art school at the University of Illinois his drafting skills could mimic photographs. Frustrated by...

Anna Lambrini Moisiadis

Of her work, the artist writes, "My artwork references my own history, an experience in a multicultural, multilingual family. My father used to tell stories about the history of ancient Greece and contemporary times. As I have walked among the ruins of Greece and through the narrow streets of its...

Johanna Mueller

The prints of Johanna Mueller are imbued with personal mythology as she draws from her own narrative, cultural and historical references, pattern and design, and ancient myth and legend. The animals in her work are elevated from beast to mythic status as they take on human emotions and become metaphoric...

Gary Olson

Gary Olson creates assemblages that mysteriously layer bits of wire, mesh and objects in a deep frame. Each precise construction takes on the appearance of a " floating drawing." These abstract studies always include wire and mesh and often incorporate found objects, which are tangled up or wrapped neatly in...

David Ottenstein

In his photographs of Iowa, David Ottenstein's interest lies in the changing rural landscape due to the transformation of the family farm. He writes in his artist statement, "I discovered there, that the traditional structures which symbolize a way of life, foreign to me as a lifelong resident of the...

John Preston

One of the Midwest's major landscape painters, John Preston continues to find new and appealing scenes within one county in Iowa. His popular landscapes capture the features of fields, tree islands, fence rows, and ribbons of gravel curving over gently rolling prairie. John has a particular interest in the expansive...

Randy Richmond

Randy Richmond works as a photographic artist. After spending 20 years in the dark(room) he carefully and suspiciously stepped into the light of a glowing computer monitor. His last years of film photography were spent lugging around a large Kodak 8X10 view camera. This made the transition from silver-halide to...

Levi Robb

Levi Robb grew up on a small farm in Southeast Iowa, surrounded by vast expanses of space, dense timberland and the Mississippi River. This agrarian environment played an important role in shaping him as an artist and designer, and the way he visually sees and perceives surroundings. This vernacular has...

Brian Roberts

Inspiration for Brian Roberts' work comes from his agricultural background of managing a family farm for many years. His stoneware sculptures reference the familiar architectural icons of the farm - silos, grain elevators, barns and sheds. Brian writes, "Most of these buildings are in essence, vessels for containment. I am...

Justin Rogers

What started out as a hobby just 5 years ago, photography has now turned into a passion for Fort Dodge native Justin Rogers. Currently residing in West Des Moines with his wife Jonah, Justin is self-employed as a web developer by day and a photographer by night. His somewhat flexible...

Wendy S Rolfe

Wendy Rolfe creates with a unique visual vocabulary and creative juxtapositions. Her oil paintings are influenced by travel throughout Europe, Mexico, Central America and the United States. She writes, " Latin culture, specifically Christian elements, play a significant role in my work. I'm passionate about concepts that challenge the imagination...

Lee Emma Running

Of her most recent body of work Lee Emma Running writes, "My home in Central Iowa is 6 miles from Interstate 80. Here the deer herd numbers 400,000. They were nearly hunted to extinction in 1900. Now, with no natural predators the animals feed and shelter in endless rows of...

Jeanine Coupe Ryding

Of her work, Jeanine writes, "I have been making woodcut prints since 1967. They have been a constant companion to my ideas and my life, even when I have not had access to a print shop or press. I have made prints in the U.S., Germany, France, Canada, Italy and...

Doug Shelton

Des Moines native Doug Shelton, now living in Tucson, consistently from his teenage years has studies and created art. Supporting himself in the early years of his career by painting custom auto designs, murals in local hotels, restaurants and bars, and by doing free-lance commercial graphics, Shelton resolutely pursued and...

Yun Shin

Yun Shin’s subtle works on paper are created using repeated tracings of the same shapes, employing carbon paper, pin points, or oil paint stains. The simple grid-like forms and monotone colors lend the work a sense of minimalism, but the personal nature of her patterns—created by repeatedly copying the calligraphy...

Debra Smith

Debra Smith's fabric collages are like snippets of contemporary quilts. She recycles fabrics, such as the silk linings of antique Japanese kimonos used to make much of her current body of work. The silks are different shades of neutral and lend a quiet, contemplative mood to much of Debra's work....

Ken Smith

Ken Smith, originally from Des Moines, is a photographer from Riverside, Washington. Ken works in both digital and traditional photographic processes. When working digitally, he produces his still life compositions by scanning an actual leaf or flower and then manipulating the color and contrast of the image. He also works...

Priscilla Steele

Priscilla Steele, a printmaker and mixed media artist from Cedar Rapids, is well known in the region for her figurative work. She also works with flowers as a subject matter. Priscilla's take on flowers isn't "pretty" in a classical sense but there is an unusual beauty in the large-scale mixed...

Eugenie Torgerson

In her Cartographer's Notes series, Eugenie Torgerson generates digital images which combine photographs of buildings, fires, fields, and the floor of the old school where she lives. This concrete surface is a map of sorts-- of floor tiles gone missing, spilled paint, children's footsteps, and the gravity of plain building...

Ellen Wagener

Over the years, Ellen Wagener has developed a penchant for certain areas and places, revisiting these sites to observe the changing crops, weather, time of day or season. She absorbs the characteristics of a location and recreates it anew on paper. Wagener's landscapes demonstrate her awareness of the great tradition...

Larry Welo

Larry Welo is a plein air printmaker whose etchings are inspired by the local landscape. Because his work is done while observing his subject before him, the physical connection to his subject gives his work an authentic energy and life. Larry learned the fundamentals of printmaking in college and began...

Susan Chrysler White

The bright, patterned paintings that Susan Chrysler White creates recall the Op Art movement of the 1960s. Abstract imagery and patterns morph into forms that are "botanical, insect-like or mutations of some hybrid futuristic organism". Susan does not use brushes to make her paintings but instead pours and presses paint...

Tilly Woodward

Tilly Woodward 's oil paintings are often mistaken for photographs because of their unbelievable detail. Tilly creates intimate glimpses at objects both man-made and from the natural world, sometimes a pairing of the two, in her oil on board paintings. Tilly writes, "The farm I grew up on has been...

Amy Worthen

Amy Worthen is a well known Des Moines printmaker and scholar in the art of printmaking. Her engravings, often architectural in content, combine humor, history and a dedication to expressing the full effect of the printmaking medium. All of her compositions are rendered in fine line detail. She is perhaps...
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