“Prairie Light: Pam Ohnemus & Cynthia Starkweather-Nelson" at the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy -- March 30 through April 26.

Saturday, March 30, through Friday, April 26

Opening Reception: Friday, April 5, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy, 2967 State Street, Bettendorf IA

Beautiful and evocative works by a pair of natural-landscape painters – one a native Canadian, one hailing from Moline – will adorn the walls of the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy from March 30 through April 26, with the Bettendorf venue inviting us all to “Think spring!” in the new exhibition Prairie Light: Pam Ohnemus & Cynthia Starkweather-Nelson.

Born in Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada in 1958, Ohnemus became a naturalized United States citizen in 1999, graduating from Marshalltown (Iowa) High School in 1976. After receiving her BA in Art Education from the University of Northern Iowa in 1980, she completed her MA at Western Illinois University in 1999, and went on to teach art in the Davenport School District from 1980 to 2013. Ohnemus teaches acrylic-painting classes at the Figge Art Museum and is currently conducting on-site research at local prairies. As the artist states: “Macro- and micro-environments fill my paintings, engaging the viewer in their detail. Even while painting tranquil scenes, I achieve active color sensations by layering color over complementary underpaintings. My paintings express delicate sensations through subtle texture and natural pattern. The tallgrass prairie is an irreplaceable tapestry of plant and animal life. I paint dynamic compositions of Midwest prairie remnants so that the viewer can appreciate and see the need of their preservation before they are lost forever.”

A Moline native, Starkweather-Nelson received a BFA in painting and drawing from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, and followed it with an MFA in printmaking at the University of Minnesota. Upon graduation, she was employed as the intaglio printer with Vermillion Editions in Minneapolis and went on to teach at St. Thomas Academy from 1995 to 2008, leaving to concentrate more time on her art career. Starkweather-Nelson’s work is found in many private and corporate collections including 3M, General Mills Corporation, Bank of America, and Gannet Newspapers, and as the artist states: “Art brings a higher quality of life to any living environment. At times it can clarify reality or bring an opportunity for meditation and reflection. Art causes the viewer to stop and consider the flourish of activity in the making of a painting that is communicated if the viewer is willing to take the time to absorb.”

A 5:30 p.m. artist reception will be held at the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy on April 5, and regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free, and more information on Prairie Light: Pam Ohneumus & Cynthia Starkweather-Nelson, along with other venue exhibits, events, and classes, is available by calling (563)508-4630 or visiting BereskinArtGallery.com.

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