Skip to content
Skip navigation
Skip to navigation

Previous Exhibits

March 1, 2023-April 29, 2023: Abstract Lines by Isaac Prior

What if? That question has always been a driving force of inspiration. If there could be a creature on this planet that can create light, with a chemical reaction in its thorax to attract a mate (a lightning bug), or the ability for a fungus to infect the brain of an ant, and turn them into a mindless, light seeking, insect (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis), why couldn’t there be a tortoise so large it could have a mountain on its back, or a bird that has command over fire? The universe is limitless and the thought of what is possible is
incomprehensible. With my art I focus on this and expand it even into the abstract realm of creativity.

With my artwork I try and create a feeling of serene beauty, as well as raising an eyebrow to get people thinking about the “What If?” I use a variety of materials but I have found a passion for pen and ink. It’s an unforgiving medium, but stunning and precise. Mistakes are easily seen and are hard to cover up. Most of my artwork doesn’t happen quickly, I spend weeks and sometimes months creating a piece. Some pieces have well over thirty hours of work in them.

I do not see art as a choice or as something that can be ignored. All humans are creative and show creativity in different ways, and if looked at every profession or line of work is creative. Art isn’t something that I choose to do, art is something that I am
compelled to create. It is second nature, just like why a fish swims, it is its way of being.



January 7, 2023-February 9, 2023: Young at Art by Justin Young

Justin has enjoyed painting since he was a youngster. Young at Art includes a collection of cityscapes, pets, human, and architectural portraits. His work uses pastels, watercolors, acrylics, and charcoal. Justin teaches private art lessons and he is a seasoned workshop presenter in Iowa and the surrounding states. 


November 11, 2022-December 31, 2022: Carolyn Abbott Textiles

Carolyn grew up in Ames, graduated from Ames High, and went on to earn a degree in Applied Art Education from Iowa State University with an emphasis on fine crafts. She taught art in Seward, Nebraska until moving to Iowa City, Iowa in 1970. She was a
member of the weaving and spinning group that was part of the Iowa City Craft Guild. She has studied hand dyeing, surface design, and quilt design with a number of artists over the years. After living in Brainerd, MN for 48 years, she moved back to Ames last June.

Carolyn has participated in many design and textile related workshops, learning the quilt making, dying and surface design techniques used in creating her art. Her work has hung in several locations in Minnesota and in national exhibits in Washington, DC; Huston, Texas; and New Albany, Indiana. A quilt she designed for her local quilt club was pictured on the cover of Volume XX, No. 4 of American Quilter magazine.

Carolyn’s artwork is a way to share her interpretations of the world around her.



September 26, 2022-November 7, 2022: Nature of Inspiration by Mike Mittermeier

I am a self-taught artist who started in the advertising field, now with fifty years of experience in a wide range of media and subjects. I am inspired by artists and mentors, having educated myself and built my own skills and techniques in watercolors and other mediums from practical applications. The question, “What if I tried this?” always gave me answers. It was through this passion that helped me understand different media more clearly than if I had gone to any school or weekend workshop. I have 5+ years of college study in lettering and typography, art education, studio arts, and print making.

My compositions were sharpened through hands-on experience. I am currently focusing on an expression of myself. There are infinite sources of subjects and little time – I scan my world, arranging and sorting, choosing and editing; a process no one else may decide or make for me. My creative vocabulary has never been limited to one subject, and my artistic voice is usually subtle, yet with meaning. For each subject, I render a unique message, leaving the viewer to search and find the values of color and composition. I am committed to creativity and expression, first through watercolors and other media as the mood carries me.

In describing my works in this exhibit, my paintings are a mix of surrealism and abstract landscape and wildlife. My love for the outdoors allows me to give the viewer a personal feeling of solitude and reflection through colors and patterns that may form the subject, drawing the viewer in to search for their own meaning. Of course though, if asked, I will always direct the viewer to what inspires me.


February 1, 2020-March 28, 2020: Process the Progress by Jamila Johnson

A presentation of works created by Iowa artist Jamila Johnson.  As an emerging artist, her art serves as an extension of her writing and passion for storytelling. Her work presents the disparity between the everyday lives of Black Americans, particularly children, and their non-black counterparts.  Jamila's works also feature visions of fantasy - rather than remain rooted in a hurtful world, she creates lands that suspend reality and can be inhabited by whomever, whenever.  Jamila works primarily in watercolor and pen illustration and woodblock relief printmaking.

About the Artist:  Jamila Johnson is an eastern Iowa native and 2019 graduate of Iowa State University.  She currently works as Religious Educator for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames, and she has previously worked for the Des Moines Art Center, ISU College of Design, and the Ames Community School District.

Jamila’s first interest in art began as a toddler, when she began experimenting with different artistic styles and media with a talented college student in her hometown.  She’s been enamored ever since.  During her undergraduate years, Johnson focused on printmaking, but also enjoyed coursework in drawing, textiles, and illustration.  Her work juxtaposes sublime, fantastical landscapes and figures with realistic tasks and emotions.



December 6, 2019-February 1, 2020:  Pathways: Iowa Landscapes by Stewart Buck

Take a late afternoon ride down a country road through Iowa’s lush rolling hills on the Last of May. Cruise until you’re At the Summit, where the expansive clear azure sky stretches to the distant horizon. Hike along steel rails Through the Woods enjoying the sweet ambrosia of flowering dogwoods and bluebells nodding their heads in the refreshing spring breeze. Follow a rural lane To the Pasture exploding into a verdant sea of green. After the Storm, drive serpentine roads through cool shadows of a lazy meadow stream. Hike a winding footpath to the majestic House on the Hill and view the panoramic patchwork of corn and soybeans emerging from the rich, black earth below. On a June Morning, meander the back roads to the White Barn glowing in brilliant warm sunshine. Explore a path through fields of prairie flowers and Into the Unknown.

Life’s Pathways take us in a multitude of directions. These paths don’t follow a straight line. We sometimes take wrong turns, hit dead ends, or meander in directions that take us to unexpected places. Our life’s journey is full of surprises and challenges at every turn.   Enjoy your adventure. Explore...Discover...and Savor the Pathways of your life!

ARTIST BIO:  Stewart Buck was born in Ames and graduated from Iowa State University in 1973 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. He continued at ISU and in 1975, he completed his Master’s Degree in Design, and also obtained an additional Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education.

In 2011, Buck retired from the Bondurant-Farrar Community School District, where he taught high school art classes for thirty-six years. He now devotes full time to Streamliner Studio, a freelance art business. Buck works with pastels, creating drawings with predominantly railroad and landscape themes. His artwork hangs in a wide range of private and corporate collections around the United States, and his images have been selected for book covers, calendars, brochures, greeting cards, and magazines.

Buck lives in Ankeny with his wife, Mary.


October 12, 2019-December 6, 2019:  Originality: Past and Future by Dennis M. Dake

"We cannot escape our origins, however we try."  - James Baldwin 

In my artistic life, I am always searching for original sources of inspiration that propel me into my studio.  This exhibit for the Gallery in the Round consists of artwork completed over the past 10-11 years, including study drawings and paintings in a recent series about family ancestors.

Upon her death in 2010, my mother, Charlotte Baum Dake, bequeathed to me a valuable visual resource, her family photo albums.  Searching for the most authentic roots for my continued artistic expression, I have found great pleasure in visually exploring generations of family heritage presented in these old photographs.  The drawings and paintings presented in this exhibition include some of the experiments I have conducted to explore and communicate visual thoughts about my maternal lineage.  Who are these people from whom I am descended?  Looking into the faces of these ancestors and thinking about my own short tenure on this planet is providing the inspiration that, I believe, will carry me into the future.  These sources of inspiration involve looking back simultaneously to the unknowable past and projecting forward from these roots and into the equally unknowable future.

ARTIST BIO:  Dake received degrees from Upper Iowa University (BA) and the University of Northern Iowa (MA).  He served on the faculty of Iowa State University's College of Design as a professor of art and design for over 30 years, ultimately retiring to emeritus status in 2008.  During his time at Iowa State, Dake developed courses in art education, the neuropsychology of artistic thought, painting, design and mixed media art.  As a Professor Emeritus of the Art and Visual Culture Department, Dake has worked largely with university and K-12 schools, in interdisciplinary education between art and neuropsychology, and effective methods of art history instruction.Dake lives in Ames, with his wife, Dot.  He is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames, and currently serves on their board of directors.  He also chairs the art exhibition committee of the UUFA.



August 17, 2019-October 12, 2019:  4 from '69 by Stewart Buck, Rex Heer, Karen Kellogg, and (the late) Mike Stohlmeyer

2019 marks fifty years since these four artists graduated from Ames High School. They are delighted to share their creative work in coordination with the 50th reunion of the AHS Class of 1969.

Stewart Buck was born 1951 in Ames. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1973 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. He continued at ISU and in 1975, he completed his Master’s Degree in Design, and also obtained an additional Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education.

In 2011, Buck retired from the Bondurant-Farrar Community School District, where he taught high school art classes for thirty-six years. He now devotes fulltime to Streamliner Studio, a freelance art business. Buck works with pastels, creating drawings with predominately railroad and landscape themes. His artwork hangs in a wide range of private and corporate collections around the United States, and his images have been selected for book covers, calendars, brochures, greeting cards, and magazines.

Buck lives in Ankeny with his wife, Mary.

Rex Heer, also an Ames native, received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and a Master’s degree in Education—both from Iowa State University. During his 43 years of employment at ISU his work included creation of a wide variety of artwork, including: visual interpretations of scientific concepts and models of seminal works related to teaching and learning; wildlife illustration for various publications; architectural rendering; animation; interactive multimedia; and virtual world environments.

In 1975 Rex began the [decades-long] project of building his own cabin in the middle of 60 acres of the woods overlooking the Des Moines River valley, where he derives much inspiration for his paintings—primarily acrylics—and photography. He still lives there today. Additional artwork can be viewed at



Karen Kellogg, an Ames native, received her Bachelor of Arts in English with a teaching degree from Iowa State in 1974. She chose to develop a career in construction and facilities management. It began for the Department of Transportation and the Department of Human Services in Des Moines where she supervised inmate crews for demolition and construction in the two male high security prisons in Iowa. For the last 21 years she managed maintenance staff and construction projects for residence halls for the Department of Residence at Iowa State University. She also taught a diversity class for six years at the university called Dialogues on Diversity.

As a lifelong resident of Iowa, Kellogg wanted to go beyond the Heartland to explore the rest of the world. She has explored 49 states and 21 countries. Kellogg’s photographic inspiration derives from nature, architecture and her extensive travel. Her fine art has been in juried shows and exhibited in museums, galleries, group shows and individual exhibitions in the Southwest, Northwest and the Midwest. Her photographs are in corporate and private collections.

For more information, you may email Karen.

Mike Stohlmeyer received his art degree in design at Iowa State University in 1976, which was just the beginning of what became a lifelong study of painting. He painted in a style that is a blend of realism and impressionism. A native of Iowa, he loved to capture the rural scenery of the Midwest. Inspired by the beauty of God's creation, his works are strong in design, composition, with a rich color palette, making his compositions national award winners. Three paintings were juried in the 2006 PaintAmerica’s Top 100 national competition and were on tour for the following year. Michael was a prolific painter and painted throughout a long illness ending in his death in 2012 at age 61.


June 24, 2019-August 17, 2019: Sharing Schnitts with Linda Emmerson: 40 Years of Paper Cuts

Emmerson became enchanted with the “intricate, evocative and bold images” of “Scherenschnitt” (paper-cutting) during a visit to Switzerland in 1976 and utilized her background as an architectural draftsman and technical illustrator to create her own unique paper-cuts.  Rather than working with the traditional scissors, she uses a scalpel. Her enthusiasm for England, history, travel, and Iowa’s “Beautiful Land,” inspire her subject-matter; she notes that “cornstalks and bicyclists often figure in my paper cuts.”



May 4, 2019-June 22, 2019: U.S. Geological Survey by Margaret Whiting

Margaret Whiting explores contemporary issues related to land use, encouraging thoughtful consideration of the laws that regulate American society's impact on the land.  She uses discarded law books, science books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and maps as her media.

"I placed human anatomy textbook illustrations onto early 1900s geologic survey maps to show striking visual similarity between our bodies and the natural landscape. Humans are connected with the land on many levels. Today more than ever we must protect the natural environment to safeguard our own health.

I am fascinated by the repetition of patterns found in nature. Geologists and medical illustrators have used identical color combinations, patterns, textures, and even the same words.

Humans superimposed their own patterns on the land. Oil wells, copper mines and veins of coal can be seen in these old maps. Man has certainly altered the land since these maps were printed. The human impact on the land affects human health since air pollution and disposed waste will ultimately lead back to us."

Whiting grew up on the Mesabi Iron Range of Northern Minnesota and now lives in Waterloo, Iowa.  She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Technology from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Art from the University of Northern Iowa.  She worked as a medical technologist in hospital laboratories and taught workshops in weaving, papermaking, and bookmaking.  Whiting is active in several environmental organizations and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club.  Her works have been featured in exhibitions across the country and internationally.



March 29, 2019-May 4, 2019: Natura Moderna by Amy Harris & Deborah Pappenheimer, ISU Dept. of Art & Visual Culture

For the past several years, Harris & Pappenheimer have been collaborating in their own studio work experimenting with various surface design processes on both textiles and paper. These processes include indigo vat dying, shibori, and deconstructive screenprinting to name a few. The collaboration involves the exchange of partially made pieces back and forth allowing each other to continue developing the work until both have agreed it is finished. Many of the processes they use, they are doing for the first time, an exercise in experimentation/ chance taking and learning new things.  The exhibit displays the results of this continuing collaboration and much of their independent work.


January 5, 2019-March 29, 2019:  Art Exhibition Committee Collects

This exhibit is a sampling of works, by a variety of artists, from the private collections of current members of the UUFA Art Exhibition Committee. Members selected representative pieces to demonstrate the aesthetic and artistic qualities of art they choose to live with. This art nourishes their daily lives and informs their decisions in selecting artists for exhibition in the Gallery in the Round. 

We, the members of the committee, hope viewers enjoy viewing the variety and diversity of art included in this exhibit. Perhaps this viewing experience will help them better understand the way this committee has worked since the 1980s to meet its mission statement goals on the role the Gallery in the Round plays in enriching the spiritual and creative life of the UUFA.



October 27, 2018-January 5, 2019:  Intent. Invent. Print. by David Brown

"I'm fascinated by the creative process and have independently studied art and design my entire life. I've worked in literally scores of jobs from carpenter, cabinetmaker, woodcarver, architectural draftsman, part time musician, editorial cartoonist, illustrator, poster designer to dishwasher, landscape laborer, truck driver, building official for two major Iowa cities and in other related and unrelated fields.

I create from sources I find everywhere - photos I’ve taken, photos other people have taken, advertising, movies, books, magazines, other people's drawings and paintings, my drawings and paintings. Any images I can combine and rearrange and transform are my raw materials.

My intent is to create colorful, original artwork that amuses, delights and maybe occasionally inspires."  ~David Brown



September 1, 2018-October 27, 2018:  A Quest for Harmony by Fred Vallier

“At the urging of friends and fellow artists, I assembled a sampling of my art endeavors for display at Gallery in the Round at the UUFA.  Some are recent works while others represent endeavors of the past.  The show might be considered a “retrospective” of my work. 

I grew up in the Monterey Bay area of CA in a family that valued landscape beauty as part of its identity, a background that has never left me.  My field of speech/language pathology and the communication problems associated with brain injury brought me to Iowa and a faculty position at ISU that dictated a cerebral career.  I had a parallel passion in the concrete world of natural and constructed beauty which I satisfied by engaging in visual arts: painting, woodworking, carving, landscaping, and architectural design energized by memories, dreams, and visions.

For this show I chose pieces that were inspired by the surge of the Pacific as well as that of the New England coast where my wife and I spent many summers pursuing her literary activities. Other works were inspired by the beauty of New Mexico, while several paintings remind of us our Midwest heritage.”  ~Fred J. Vallier



July 14, 2018-September 1, 2018:  Boxed Words by Kathy Svec

“My artworks showcase the beautiful words of authors I’ve read. I use hand-bound books and other writing ephemera accompanied by collaged illustrations, tucked in to shadow boxes and other embellished containers. Reading the words is an important part of experiencing my work – each piece tells a story.”  ~Kathy Svec



May 19, 2018-July 14, 2018:  Seeing Stories by Joe Geha

Most of my life I taught and worked at creating narrative art as a means of expressing emotion.  If these paintings I’m presenting at the Gallery in the Round have a common trait it’s that they all somehow seem to evoke a sense of story—laundry hanging on a line in a windy yard, a woman sitting alone in a subway car, me at age four, standing on the sidewalk in front of my father’s grocery.  I’ve come to realize that I love to paint not only for the satisfaction of working with light and color and shape, but also because, for me, it’s yet another way to tell a story.  ~Joe Geha



March 24, 2018-May 18, 2018:  Left/Over Objects by Tina Rice

"Objects are rich sources of inquiry; they invite us to observe closely, pose questions, forge connections, and anchor ideas in the concrete."  ~Sherry TurkleThings We Think With

My work begins with a thing left behind; an object or image.  Humans surround themselves with things: things of necessity, things of luxury, things to accomplish tasks, things to add meaning, things to make us comfortable, things to remind us of something.  We make things, use things, buy things, give things, care for things, discard things.  Every aspect of modern life includes objects.  The variety and scope of ideas about objects is fascinating to me.  The appeal of objects has been attributed to many things, including their unique existence, their spirit, their reflection of their owner, their materiality, and their form.  I think about the inherent community engagement of every object: the way it was made, the people who made it, and the hands that may have touched it.  My artwork is informed by visual analysis of found objects and images.  My work is a response to specific objects and images that I appropriate from others to explore stereotypes, to use symbolically, and to use as a silent collaborator.  Certain abandoned objects, like articles of clothing and furniture, represent stereotypes and offer clues about their prior lives.  As I regard the stereotypes of a business suit, for example, I think of politicians, lawyers, salesmen, men on buses, and my own father.  A business suit isn't a neutral article of clothing.  It is loaded with meaning that is interpreted differently from person to person.  I am interested in how my assumptions about these objects are different from others' and I use this to inform my sculptures.  Men's suits may also show details about their previous owners.  I once bought a suit from a thrift store that had an old funeral program from another state in the pocket.  I have purchased other business suits that carry tags from the dry cleaners or smell like cologne.  This evidence of the former owner reminds me that someone else once had a relationship with the object.  As I use these items that used to be meaningful to a stranger, I prolong the object's value.  I extend its lifespan and shift its purpose from commodity to art object.

Graffiti is another type of abandoned object I appropriate for my work.  I photograph and incorporate the symbols, illustrations, and text left by strangers into my collages.  I assume the marks left by everyday graffiti artists are meaningful to them, but often their message is unclear to me.  This vague content is appealing to me because I can adopt and alter it to communicate my own message, or I can use the images to spread their cryptic message.  Whether I use it as a theme for my own work or just pass it on, I feel like the unknown vandal will appreciate me sharing their work.  This intentional, but ambiguous vandalism is put out in the world to be seen, so I consider myself an advertising assistant for the original artist.  This absurd type of commercial advertising is appealing to me as it mocks the ridiculous advertisements I see every day.  Like abandoned clothing and furniture, graffiti was once significant to the original maker and my work extends their voice to a wider audience.  ~Tina Rice



January 27, 2018-March 24, 2018:  Works by Art Staniforth

A painting is a silent story.  As a storyteller refines and embellishes a table, so that it becomes dynamic, even cryptic.  A painting should have secrets to discover beyond the first impression.  Hidden within the shapes of paint and often incongruous juxtapositions of color are the notions of technique that created it; the moments of assiduous care and the instances of chance and luck.  Hidden even deeper in the painting, like the storyteller's metaphors, are the stories of other paintings adored by the painter and incorporated into the one in front of you.  Not just other paintings, of course, but all the things of the world and all things imagined.

Staniforth was born in Ames and grew up near the Skunk River.  He attended Meeker Elementary, Central Junior High, Ames High School, Iowa State University, and finally, after some traveling adventure, a few years of teaching, and a Peace Corps stint in Jamaica, he attended the University of Iowa College of Dentistry.  He and his wife, Jayne, returned gladly to Ames in 1984.  Their three children attended Meeker Elementary and Art feels blessed to have his hold stomping grounds beneath his feet.  He has painted for over fifteen years.



December 2, 2017-January 27, 2018: Iowa: A Place by Kristen Greteman

Created by the Land Ordinance of 1785, the Jeffersonian Grid began to form the land of Iowa into square-mile sections. Intended to develop the nation into that of “yeoman farmers,” this land division system drastically reshaped the landscape of Iowa, from native ecosystems of prairie, wetlands, and oak savannas to agricultural plats, more easily sold and purchased by the mass of immigrants that moved west over the next 150 years. This system developed for platting and selling became the arbitrary division of land across this state, unravelling organic ecosystems into squares with little thought for the natural mechanisms of the environment. This piece, Division of Land, contemplates the spatial separation of Iowa in another way: through the watersheds. A watershed is defined as a region that is drained by a system of waterways. Consider the consequences if the county borders were that of the watersheds. How would your life be different?

Ms. Greteman is an artist, aspiring architect, and avid traveler with a passion for finding beauty in the everyday. She grew up in Iowa and loves calling this state her home base. Kristen earned professional Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Science in Architecture, and Master of Community and Regional Planning degrees from Iowa State University.



October 7, 2017-December 1, 2017: Works by Mary Thompson Riney

“Why do I paint?  Because I must!  From preschool and on, I have craved what my eyes interpret as beautiful.  Combine that with the compulsion of Asperger Syndrome and there was no other road for me to take.

Having Asperberger’s, I had to work and struggle to learn every technique, medium, and style that I saw.  It’s a need to be perfect.  Fortunately, early on I realized that perfection is impossible, but creating is a wonderful, never-ending experience.
In this exhibition, I have shown only non-representation work – my escape from “picky picky”!  Please enjoy the dynamics, color, textures, patterns, moods…”  ~Mary Thompson Riney

Ms. Riney recently moved to Ames from the Denver, Colorado area where she created art, exhibited, and taught art courses for many years.  She holds a BFA from Kansas University, an MA from the University of Northern Colorado, and most recently taught at Araphoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado.  Her works include paintings and drawings in watercolor, acrylic, pastel, pen and ink, and collage.


August 12, 2017-October 6, 2017: Fall Interval by Lianne Westcot

Lianne Westcot’s paintings reflect her love of the Iowa landscape.  Lianne grew up in rural Iowa and spent her youth working outdoors.  However, it was going away to college that helped her appreciate the beauty of the land that had surrounded her all her life.

Now she says, “I love painting the views, vistas and vignettes that I see around me every day.”  Sometimes she sets up an easel and paints out of doors, a practice that is called “plein air” painting.  She usually paints in her Swisher, Iowa studio with acrylics, but sometimes uses water colors, pencil, or ink.

Lianne has a degree in graphic design from Iowa State University, where her studies included the fine arts of drawing and painting.  She had exhibits at several Iowa galleries, the Iowa State Fair, and other spaces.  Her work is sold at juried art festivals, including the Octagon Festival in Ames.  She also gives lessons to youth and adults. More information on Westcot and her works can be found at



June 16, 2017-August 12, 2017: Explorations: Painting on Clay, Metal, and Paper by Mary Weisgram and Norma Wolff

This show features clay wall art and vessels by Weisgram and paintings on metal and paper by Wolff, including digital reinterpretations of Wolff's prior paintings. 

Weisgram is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict and Mankato State University, and has been a studio potter since 1973.  Wolff received degrees from Butler, Michigan State, and Indiana Universities, and has returned to painting after a near forty year hiatus.  As members of CASA (Creative Artists’ Studio of Ames), they both have been interacting and influencing each other’s works since 2001.



April 21, 2017-June 16, 2017: Pastel Works by Mary Ann Kainlauri Shao

This show features Ms. Shao’s signature irises, vibrant landscapes, and other colorful subject pieces.  The artist hopes that viewers will feel light and refreshed, like having walked in a sunny garden, or perhaps enchanted, having caught a glimpse of a glorious sunset. 

Ms. Shao’s early artistic influences were those of her father, architect Eino Kainlauri, and the amazing colors of the Nordic landscape of Northern Finland. Ms. Shao received a Bachelor of Fine Art degree, with honors, from the University of Michigan and she has studied pastel technique PSA Master Pastelist, Mary Muller, and IAPS Eminent Pastelist Terri Ford.  She is a member of the Iowa Pastel Society. 

Additional information on Mary Ann’s work can be found at



February 26, 2017-April 20, 2017: Passing Voices by ISU MFA Integrated Visual Arts students

An art exhibition of six MFA Integrated Visual Arts students will be on display February 26 through April 22 at The Gallery in the Round, 1015 North Hyland Ave in Ames.

“Passing Voices” is an art exhibition of six MFA Integrated Visual Arts students from Iowa State University.  The show includes works by artists Tina Rice, Rachel Deutmeyer, Anna Segner, AJ Zandt, Robert Jinkins, and Xin Chen. It features works in drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, mixed media, sculpture, and furniture. The subject matter of the artwork is as varied as the artists who create it, covering issues of exploration, record keeping, family history, nature, and human interaction.



January 1, 2017-February 25, 2017: Works by Jon P. Baldwin

"I have found that being creative has always been something that has come naturally, even as a small child. My mother still has a clay sculpture that I made as a preschooler of baby Jesus. Throughout the years, my expression of art has been “manic” in nature; movement within my pieces has had an unfinished look, creating what has been described as, 'the paint that wants to run away.'

My influences have been linked to Van Gogh, Dali, Pollock, and Rockwell. Each has a different meaning to me and plays into the style that I have come up with. However, Van Gogh will always be the artist with which I can most greatly relate; the urgency in his paintings gives me a sense of balance.

Fast expression, whether of frustration or calmness, can be seen in my works.  They are a timeline, or draft of a timeline, of my feelings.  Lost love, sadness, and joyful times can all be seen in my work.  There is madness amongst all of us; mine happens to be art.” -Jon P. Baldwin



October 15, 2016-December 30, 2016: Life of Sierra Leone by Radford Davis

“As a photographer, I want to capture the hope, the art, the beauty and the energy that surrounds and dwells within a people and place, or otherwise I’m not telling the full story,” states Radford Davis as he describes how he documents peoples’ rich stories through photography.  Davis is a National Geographic winner of the #Endpoverty challenge and he brings to photography not only the beauty of art, but a specialized knowledge from his experience as a Veterinarian, a professor of Veterinary Medicine and Public Health, and working for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

In 2010 and 2012, Davis traveled to Sierra Leone to improve animal and public health. His focus in 2010 was on rabies, transmission by dogs, and what was being done to prevent the loss of life. In 2012, he assisted the government in developing a Community Animal Health Worker program—training villagers to provide basic animal health services. As part of his travels he documented his experience through poignant photographs showing people and animals in a country that has only five veterinarians and suffers from poverty, poor health care, illiteracy, and malnourishment.  Davis said, “The Community Animal Health Workers provide animal health expertise when no one else can. This is a much needed program, and I hope for its success.”
Davis hopes to travel to Haiti in 2017 to document the impact of rabies on people and animals, as well as the ongoing struggle with cholera.

For more on Davis' works, please visit  



September 4, 2016-October 15, 2016: Well-Loved Quilts from the Heartland

This exhibit displays quilts owned and cherished by members of the Friendship Force of Central Iowa.  The exhibit is part of a quilting exchange that will bring approximately twenty visitors from England, Canada, and all over the United States for home visits and study in quilt making in Cedar Rapids and Ames.  Quilts range from a century-old crazy quilt made by great-grandparents to a modern t-shirt quilt made in memory of a UUFA member.  Each quilt has a story, often serving practical purposes in our homes, with an emotional appeal and beauty that makes them family treasures.  

For more information on the Friendship Force of Central Iowa, please visit Friendship Force International online.



July 9, 2016-September 3, 2016: Apocalypse and Elephants by Nick LaPole

Apocalypse and Elephants is a series made up of relief prints, complementary zines, and hand-drawn animations. Following two unique narratives, each perspective seeks to address the themes of regret, grief, and the process of moving forward. Whether two companions traveling through the void or a solitary character exploring a desolate landscape, past mistakes and present revelations play a major role moving forward.

Nick LaPole attended Grand View University from 2010 to 2014 and will be attending the Pratt Institute in the fall.  He has exhibited his work in a number of venues in central Iowa including for two years as an Emerging Iowa Artist at the Des Moines Arts Festival.
Based in narrative, his art encompasses drawings, animations, and prints. Through these mediums, Nick probes his thoughts, strengths, and shortcomings in order to visualize them onto a tactile surface. His mark possesses an energetic, obsessive quality, adding a bit of vigor to otherwise 2-D forms.  Striving to participate in the world around him, Nick seeks to maintain connections with his peers and the art community at large. He currently lives in Des Moines.

To learn more about LaPole and his works, visit



May 14, 2016-July 8, 2016:  Waking Up to the Dream by Daishin McCabe

Waking Up to the Dream is the title of Eric Daishin McCabe's calligraphy exhibit. The Ames Zen Buddhist priest says that his work is “my way of gently reminding you to wake up to this wonderful place.”

A Zen saying, “one chance, one encounter,” informs how Daishin works.  The saying means that we only have one moment to do anything; that moment is right now.  In Zen calligraphy, this translates into not going back over lines to touch them up or make them more beautiful.  Daishin says, “Our mind is often overly critical of our actions.  Zen doesn’t give this mind a chance to arise.  What is done is done.”  Daishin’s calligraphy is typically done on rice paper, with sumi ink.  His Zen teacher, Dai-En Bennage Roshi, recommended adding pictures and English to his calligraphy to make it more accessible to his audience.  Despite the spontaneous and accessible nature of Daishin’s work, it is has deep spiritual meaning.  

To learn more about Daishin and his works, visit



March 20, 2016-May 14, 2016:  Transitory Nature by Josianne Ishikawa

Ishikawa's master's thesis, integrated media exhibition incorporated creative nonfiction video essay, traditional photography, digital arts, encaustics and textiles, and reflected the range of processes, mediums and techniques she has studied throughout her graduate studies at Iowa State. 

“My art philosophy is based on the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi. Wabi connotes rustic simplicity or understated elegance. It can also be the natural flaws that occur in the process which give an object its uniqueness and grace. Sabi is beauty or serenity that comes with age such as a patina in the natural wear and aging of objects or the change of light and color from one season to the next. If an object can bring a sense of melancholy and spiritual longing, then that object can be said to be wabi-sabi. It is defined in art as ‘flawed beauty’ or the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and the profundity of nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay and death.

Wabi-sabi can be a place, an object, a feeling or a philosophy. It can be subject matter that questions our desire or attachment to things to obtain a deeper insight, a heightened perspective and appreciation for their beauty in their qualities of randomness, humble simplicity, rough textures, organic shapes, muted colors, or rough patterns and scratches.

I combine my art philosophy with a mix of traditional studio and contemporary media: photography, textiles, paint, encaustics and creative non-fiction videos. Integrating these media make it possible to communicate not just through images or the written word, but also through the composition of sound, narration and pacing.

At the heart of my work is the unseen aesthetic, quietly waiting to be discovered through the three simple truths of wabi-sabi: transience, impermanence and imperfection… nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is ideal.”

In addition to the display at the Gallery in the Round, a video essay exhibition was held March 21-29 in Gallery 181, first floor of the ISU College of Design building on the west side of the Iowa State campus. 

For more information on Ms. Ishikawa’s work, please visit



January 30, 2016-March 19, 2016:  Zimbabwe Artists Project

ZAP’s complementary goal is to communicate with Americans about Zimbabwe’s history and culture, as well as about the artists’ lives. Through our videos and through the photographs of the artists and the stories that accompany each piece of art, we offer connections with rural- and urban-based Zimbabweans. Negative stereotypes give way to images of African women as strong, talented, and accomplished.  

ZAP has three primary programs: health care assistance, special projects, and education assistance.

Health Care Assistance Program: We help the artists gain critical access to health care. When an artist or immediate family member is in need of medical attention, ZAP provides support, funding, and transportation.
Special Projects Program: ZAP has assisted many individual artists with their personal challenges, such as rebuilding fragile houses, or providing seed money for entrepreneurial projects. We have also supported the larger community by completing a clean water project, and supplying a generator, textbooks, and other necessary supplies for local schools.
Education Assistance Program: In Zimbabwe there are over 1,000,000 children who have been orphaned. Most of them have lost their parents due to AIDS. The children are taken in by relatives who are often unable to pay for their school fees. ZAP has provided school fees, uniforms, other educational assistance, and encouragement to over 100 children in the Weya area.

For more information, visit  



November 29, 2015-January 23, 2016:  People Say I'm Too Pragmatic by Carol Whipple

Carol Whipple holds a Master of Science degree in Sociology from Oklahoma State University.  Her artistic interests include painting, drawing, and photography.  Carol has shown her work at The University of Kentucky Hospital, The Kentucky Theatre, The Nest-Center for Women, Children and Families, Alfalfa’s Restaurant, and The Collective, all in Lexington, KY.  The month of August 2014, Carol’s work was featured at Wheatsfield Cooperative, in Ames.  Carol was awarded the Kentucky Foundation for Women Artist in Residence for Visual Arts in the summer of 2012.  Carol is currently the House Director for Chi Omega Sorority at Iowa State University.


September 29, 2015-November 28, 2015:  Works by Guy Kyar

‚ÄčA primarily self taught artist, Guy Kyar draws upon many years of experience in farming, where he developed his love of design and skills in handling many different materials.  His works have been featured at several exhibitions, primarily in the greater Des Moines area, including the Polk County Heritage Gallery, the Viaduct Gallery, and the Des Moines Women's Club Annual Exhibit.  He has also presented solo exhibits at the Fitch Building and the West Des Moines Barnes & Noble, as well as several other venues.

"I have a love of design and I enjoy using geometric and organic shapes combined with line, color, and found images.  I rarely start out with a finished image in mind.  My process begins with the application of one element, and I then respond to that element with another and follow along until the stopping point presents itself.  I then hand the work to you, the viewer, to continue the process."



July 29, 2015-September 27, 2015:  Works by Richard H. Dutton

Dutton is a lifelong artist and art educator who taught art at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa for over thirty years and served as Chair of the Performing and Visual Arts. Richard retired from college teaching in 1999 and has since traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and overseas with his wife Karen, where he has discovered the inspiration for his work. Richard and Karen moved to the Hallsville, Missouri (near Columbia) area eight years ago.

Richard continues to paint primarily in watercolor but also works in oil and acrylic.  He believes that an art work has to transcend the subject matter and take on a visual entity of its own.

Dutton’s paintings can be found in many Midwest art collections, including banks, businesses, and private collections. Two examples are the Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, Iowa, and Hy-Vee Headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.  Additional paintings can be viewed online at



June 7, 2015-July 26, 2015: Physical Places, Mental Spaces by Alyssa Tauber

"My work explores my relationship with my environment - both physical and psychological.  Each influences the other.  Physical spaces affect our emotional states and, conversely, our emotional states affect our physical environment.  I use these relationships to examine my connection with my environment, and as projections of my mental state, but ultimately to search for my Self - and I hope the viewer will do the same.  Personal experience, literature, psychology, and other artists, such as Edward Hopper and Giorgio de Chirico, have all been important to my work. ~Alyssa Tauber

Tauber was born in Ames, Iowa, and lived there until the age of five, when her family moved to Des Moines. She attended The University of Iowa for her undergraduate degrees, receiving a BA in English and a BFA with Honors in Art. In 2013 Alyssa earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from Illinois State University. Currently she lives in the Des Moines area and teaches adult-level classes in printmaking and drawing at the Des Moines Art Center. Alyssa’s work has been shown nationally and internationally, including the Monotype Guild of New England’s Third National Juried Monotype and Monoprint Exhibition, the Limerick School of Art and Design in Limerick Ireland, the Polk County Heritage Gallery in Des Moines, Iowa, and the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Des Moines, Iowa.



April 20, 2015-June 3, 2015: Learning with my Hands by Scot Schuckert

“I am interested in issues of craft, artisanship and the materiality of things we make. An understanding of materials and how they go together is essential to quality in making. Knowing how things go together is an understanding of materiality, physical and spatial relationships. I believe we need to “see” materials beyond just what they look like, toward an exploration of what they represent,” says landscape architect and artist Scot Schuckert of Ames, IA. Several photographs documenting his earthworks and sculptures from a series titled "Learning with my Hands : Of Craft, Materiality, and the Physicality of Making" were displayed.

Schuckert has worked as a landscaper since 1993, and completed his master’s degree at Iowa State University in 2013.Interested in local landscapes, he researched and explored Pammel Woods as part of his master’s creative component. Working primarily with stone and wood, he created ephemeral installations that explore issues of space, craft, and the materiality of things. As a student Schuckert received The American Society of Landscape Architects Iowa Chapter Student Merit Award in 2013 and the Barbara King Scholarship.

“Like design, the construction of a dry stone structure is reiterative. Fitting a stone involves picking a stone for placement. Placing the stone may involve turning, or it may need to be trimmed. Perhaps the stone just won’t work, so it needs to be set aside for use later. ” says Schuckert. He adds about his installation titled Horizon, “Horizon is really about “seeing” a larger context within a bounded space or “realizing” one idea within another.” Schuckert and the gallery committee will host a reception for his exhibit on Saturday, April 25th from 6-8 p.m. at the gallery. The public is invited.



March 7, 2015-April 16, 2015: Doily World and Other Quilts by Clara Oleson

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Art Exhibition Committee announces the upcoming exhibit “Doily World and Other Quilts” by Clara Oleson of West Branch, Iowa. 

“Doily World”, is an installation of dozens of antique crocheted doilies, their makers unknown, each honored by its transformation into a mini-quilt to hang on the wall. In her artist’s statement, Oleson says that her own mother crocheted doilies, but “she had no time to go to high school, college, Law School, only cook, clean, sew, wash, iron, comfort, direct, yearn, want, laugh, be ill, die.” The installation pays homage to the silent, nameless, even saintly women whose homes were the only arena in which to express “hearts made for Beauty.”

In addition, we will exhibit several of Oleson’s art quilts. Oleson has had several solo exhibitions of her quilts, including ones at the Muscatine Art Center in Muscatine, Iowa and at the Grace Institute in New York City. She is a retired lawyer who worked for years as an adult labor educator through the University of Iowa’s Labor Center.



February 1, 2015-March 5, 2015:  Studio Affinities

A selection of current work by faculty from the Department of Art & Visual Culture (formerly Integrated Studio Arts) at Iowa State University.  These pieces represent a wide range of creative investigations and expressions in a variety of media and areas.

Participating artists include Dean W. Biechler, Christine Carr, Barbara Caldwell, C. Arthur Croyle, Nathan D. Edwards, Cindy Gould, Brent Holland, April Katz, Ingrid Lilligren, Chris Martin, Joseph Muench, Sandra Quintero, Paula Streeter, and Nancy Thompson.


December 13, 2014-January 30, 2015:  Ames Is 150: His Story, Her Story, Our Story

Ames, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames, and the Ames Historical Society present: “Ames Is 150: His Story, Her Story, Our Story”, a juried visual arts exhibition at the Gallery in the Round. 2014 is the 150th anniversary of the founding of Ames, Iowa. Visual artists from Ames and beyond were invited to submit works that explore and engage with the history of Ames, and/or depict an event or historic structure in Ames. A four person jury selected 10 works from the submissions. The exhibition is augmented with historic artworks and information panels from the collection of the Ames Historical Society.

The exhibition has two parts.  For the first part, visual artists were invited to submit works that explore or engage with the history of Ames, or depict historic events and structures in our city.  The Ames Historical Society provided access to their archives to any artist interested in researching a particular subject.  In the end, 10 pieces from 7 different artists were chosen from all the submissions.

The second part of the exhibition consists of historic artworks by important Ames artists and collectives.  These works are from the archives of the Ames Historical Society and the personal archives of Ursula Ruedenberg and Jane Graham.  They are accompanied by information panels explaining their historic significance.

Daniel Marks, "Brookside Train", 2014.     Velma Rayness, "Hillside in Winter", 1971.


November 2, 2014-December 12, 2014: SCAPES

An exhibit featuring the works of artist Jennifer Drinkwater.  



September 20, 2014-November 1, 2014: Open Book Series: Kathy Svec Assemblages


August 11, 2014-September 19, 2014: Watercolors by Terry Dooley

The works of watercolor artist Terry Dooley feature scenes on the High Trestle Trail and its bridge, as she lives nearby in Madrid.  Painting wildlife, trees, and architectural structures in nearby Des Moines are a challenging, enjoyable venture for Ms. Dooley.


May 17, 2014-June 28, 2014: Steve Hosch

"Since I can remember, I’ve had a passion for art and history. As a kid, growing up in Northeast Iowa—if I wasn’t illustrating, painting, or otherwise doodling away my free time—I was exploring the wooded hills and valleys that surround Elkader, my hometown. These excursions usually resulted in me dragging home “treasures” of some kind: animal bones, interesting rocks, knotted and twisted chunks of wood, the rusted refuse of yesteryear, anything that caught my eye. Nowadays, though my driver’s license says otherwise, that treasure-hunting kid is still alive and well.  

While creating art with found objects and other castaway treasures is certainly the intersection of my passions, it’s more than that. It’s also about catharsis and transformation. My art is about transforming clutter, both figuratively and literally. Picasso once said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” For him it was “dust”—for me it’s clutter. Finances, relationships, mind-numbing jobs, mortality, and other potentially stressful factors affect our lives and clutter our brains. Since delving into assemblage and collage art in 2010, my process as an artist has been an attempt to transform the clutter in my head and heart into art. My clutter-to-art process not only helps fuel my creativity, but it also feeds my need to seek answers.

Ironically, much of my art is about literally transforming clutter. I love searching flea markets, garage sales, and antique shops, and discovering rusty bits and pieces, society’s rejectamenta, faded photos, and other seemingly mundane objects. In my workspace these finds speak to me (sometimes darkly, but often through humor) and I piece them together—generally in a manner they were never meant to appear—to form a work of art. At their core, my assemblages are satirical; they’re my small attempts to butcher society’s sacred cows."      ~ Steve Hosch


April 5, 2014-May 16, 2014: Familiar Scenery, Beautifully Rendered

An exhibit of works by Pat Hykes, a prolific oil and watercolor painter whose works have been sold across the nation and around the world. Pat began dabbling in oil in the early 1970s, between raising her children and teaching elementary school. Since then she has sold upwards of 6,650 oils and watercolors of flowers and rustic Iowa scenery. Patrons of the Octagon Arts Festival may recognize her artistry, as she has been showing at that venue for 23 years. She also runs her own gallery in downtown Ankeny. 


January 11, 2014-April 5, 2014: Works by Mike Mittermeier

Mike Mittermeier has had a long and distinguished career in the visual arts. Until recently his work has been more on the commercial side. He began his journey in the early seventies as a cameraman, negative stripper and creator of ad layouts for the phone book. Working for the largest commercial studio in Omaha, Nebraska, he provided production art for finished ads, designed and modified type, and designed marker layouts and storyboards used for advertising commercials. As he continued in the advertising field, his position went from production art to illustrator and designer and then to several art director positions. From there he moved into the publishing field where he stayed for sixteen years.

In recent years, Mike moved his career into freelance illustration and design, becoming an award-winning illustrator in wildlife art, fine art and advertising. His primary medium is watercolor, which he mixes with airbrush, pen and ink, pastels, graphite, and collage.



December 1, 2013-January 11, 2014: Landscapes by Dennis Dykema

A former professor of art at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Dykema retired in 2001. He now lives in Spirit Lake. The surrounding prairie and wetland inspire his work, which he says falls on a “continuum from representation to abstract.” His bright and richly textured works bring to mind Van Gogh’s later landscapes. He uses paper for his medium-sized oils and canvas for larger pieces. Dykema’s paintings have been exhibited in far-flung locations, from his studio in Spirit Lake to Des Moines to Washington, DC to Poland, to Swaziland. His work is in many museums and other collections, owned privately, publicly, and by corporations. 


September 10, 2013-October 17, 2013: Tibet and Nepal: Sacred Lands

Karen Kellogg’s photography exhibit, "Tibet and Nepal: Sacred Lands," reflects both the locale and the spirit of her work. Kellogg was born and raised in Ames. Her years of studying photography began with a course at Iowa State University. While Ames remains her home, she has traveled extensively with her camera. She says, “My photography is a silent meditation” giving a feeling of “connection between the inside and the outside, the part and the whole, the spirit and the universe.”

Nepal introduced Kellogg to the Newari people, but Tibet stands out for her. In fact, she says, “Tibet changed me forever.” Kellogg visited Tibet’s ancient culture nestled between mountains, traveling through “Shangri-La by way of high mountain passes, crossing rugged land with no obvious roads.” She visited monasteries, a sky burial, and many other holy sites.

Photographs by Kellogg have hung in galleries in Iowa, New Mexico, and Oregon. They have been selected for more than 10 juried exhibits. She received a First Place Overall at the Heritage Gallery in Des Moines. Kellogg credits her camera with giving her “permission to become the explorer.” She invites the public to become vicarious explorers by attending her exhibit.


July 29, 2013-September 5, 2013: The Master's Apprentice: Two Years at the Tamarind Institute

Master printer Asa Wentzel-Fisher developed his body of work as a master’s apprentice at the Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, NM. His show features printer’s proofs created in collaboration with prominent artists from around the country. The artists include: Hung Liu, Sandow Birk, James Siena, Jim Dine, Tony Delap, Willie Cole, Allison Saar, and others.

During collaboration, proofs are pulled with the final objective being a perfect impression of the work. The Bon a Tirer (B.A.T.), otherwise known as the printer’s proof, is compared to each impression as the definitive guide for quality and fidelity. After collaborating with an artist, the printer traditionally keeps the B.A.T., following the French tradition. 


June 16, 2013-July 27, 2013: Useable Art: Modern Quilts

“Useable Art: Modern Quilts” is a juried show, including approximately 15 pieces by members of Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild (DMMGQ), many of whom live in Ames.  Exhibit curator, Greta Anderson, comments, “Art quilts distance themselves from the bed…modern quilts are both utilitarian and improvisational.” Some but not all modern quilting pieces are destined to cover beds. Modern quilters often use traditional patterns in innovative ways. They almost always use commercial fabric and machine quilting.

DMMQG members recently participated in a challenge to find creative ways to use the newest designer fabrics. As a result, the same fabric has been incorporated in more than one of the works in the show. DMMQG is a chapter of the National Modern Quilt Guild. The national guild’s website says the modern quilt movement has gained traction since the late 1990s. It defines the modern quilt aesthetic by its use of “bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work.”

Anderson describes modern quilting as “part of the Maker Movement, the idea that we are all makers.” 


April 24, 2011-June 11, 2011:  Daring to Be

“Daring to Be,” a photography exhibit focusing on thirty women from the Yucatán region in Mexico, by Jann Freed and George Ann Huck.

Freed, professor of business management at Central College in Pella and Iowa Sister States volunteer, and George Ann Huck, professor emerita of Spanish at Central College, collaborated on the book, "Women of Yucatan: Thirty who Dared to Change their World," and the exhibit. The book profiles 30 women who have dared to challenge gender inequalities set against them at birth in their native Mexico. The idea for the book emerged during the semester Freed taught at Central’s Yucatan program. The two paired up to interview 30 women in this patriarchal society. The profiles, supplemented by photographs, describe the women’s accomplishments and motivations as well as the obstacles they have confronted.

The bilingual photography exhibit has been displayed in more than 25 locations around the state of Iowa since 2000. The exhibit was shown in Mérida Yucatán in 2004, with most of the profiled women present. This project was supported by grants from Central College, Humanities Iowa, the Iowa Arts Council, and Iowa Sister States Program.

Back to top