Saturday, August 29, 2015

MMCA Special Exhibit│Passion & Inspiration│Sept 4th - Nov 2nd

Catch the current exhibit at the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts for just a few more days!
You definitely don't want to miss out on the beautiful works of Mark Hirsch or Marjorie King.
To see my thoughts on the current show, check out my review!

Up NEXT @ MMCA... the opening for

Passion & Inspiration!

As the current exhibit wraps up, do not fear, there is still one more show for the 2015 season and it is scheduled to open this Friday, September 4th, in the Special Exhibit Gallery! The third and final special exhibit is titled "Passion & Inspiration" and features Tom Kelly, Jamie Heiden, Chris Abigt, along with several of the Retail Gallery artists (including a few of my own JWebb pieces)!


Please join us for this final opening reception for 2015! 
There will be yummy refreshments and live music by Gypsy Joy. I'd love to meet you!  

Friday, September 4th, from 6:00-8:30 p.m.
158 Main Street
McGregor, Iowa

shhh.... see a little sneak preview below!

I personally cannot wait to see Jamie's whimsical nature photography and to shop the Retail Gallery! With so much amazing art, there is definitely something for everyone!

Hope to see you there!


Friday, August 28, 2015

Art in the Park Elkader │ WOW!

What's one word I would use to describe Elkader's first annual Art in the Park fine art festival...


Last weekend the small town of Elkader, Iowa, nearly doubled in size as over 1,800 patrons and onlookers joined together in Founders Park to partake in the first annual Art in the Park! Live music and entertainment danced through the park; food vendors served up an artistic display of homemade delicious delicacies; smiling volunteers bounced from tent to tent to offer artists water, snacks, and even a break; and people from all over enjoyed shopping through the windy tent-lined sidewalk of local and regional artists!

Festival goers were given People's Choice Award Ballots as they entered the festival. Not only did they get to cast a vote for their favorite artist, they could fill out the ballot and turn it in at the raffle tent to receive a free raffle ticket! This went over quite well and we were able to see that not only were many people from out-of-town, but this was the first trip to Elkader for several of our festival goers!  We were also excited to see that all of our artists received People's Choice Award votes!

The 2015 People's Choice Award went to David Prehm, Booth #27. Prehm is a master watercolor artist from New Hampton, Iowa. His work is influenced by his love for the outdoors and it can be found locally at the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts. David Prehm's paintings have been collected throughout the Midwest, Norway, France, Czech Republic, Japan, New Zealand and Australia! You can also view David's work at Upper Iowa University on the Fayette Campus for a fine art exhibit that opened August 27th and will run through October 3rd. Don't miss it!

The Committee Choice Award was given to an artist whose body of work and booth display exhibited exemplary quality, creativity, and overall aesthetic. It was not an easy decision to be made, all of the artists did such an amazing job! The first annual Committee Choice Award was given to Andrew Wroble, Booth #18. Wroble is woodland manager, a story teller, and an artist from Harpers Ferry, IA. He creates gorgeous treescape ink wash paintings that captivate and mystify. You can find Andrew Wroble's work locally at the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts in McGregor, IA. 

After folks enjoyed the festival, many meandered through our eclectic town, checked out the lovely shops, restaurants, and even popped into the 3rd annual train expo. There were fun things to do for the whole family all weekend! 

As a member of the Cultural and Entertainment District and a founding member of Elkader's Art in the Park, I couldn't have been more pleased with the overall outcome of our first ever fine art festival! We are already looking forward to next year and hope you'll mark your calendars for August 20 and 21, 2016! 

Enjoy these photos of our first annual event!

Photos by Art in the Park's official event photographer Michelle Gifford.

Photos by Art in the Park's official event photographer Michelle Gifford.
Michelle, thanks for taking such great photos of the festival and for all of these wonderful images of my work,! Remember folks, you can find my art locally at Willow Creek and 
throughout the year at various Midwest locations! 

Photos by Art in the Park's official event photographer Michelle Gifford.

Photos by Art in the Park's official event photographer Michelle Gifford.

If you are an artist and would like to apply for next year's Art in the Park, please go to and submit your contact information! Please "like" us on facebook to keep up with festival information and official notices when it is time to apply! We look forward to the future of Art in the Park and cannot wait to see who is juried for 2016!

Special Shout-Outs to:

  • Main Street Elkader
  • My co-committee members: Shannon Dallenbach Durbin, Kris Grover, Kate Chandler, Leslie Gibbons, Roger and Rosemary Thomas
  • The subcommittee co-chairs: Faith Blaskovich, Jim and Laurie Klosterboer, Molly Moser and the Guttenberg Creativity Center, Julie Kane
  • Michelle Gifford, event photographer
  • Our countless energetic and welcoming volunteers! 
  • All of the local businesses, sponsors, and supporters
  • The Iowa Arts Council, The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Our 2015 Main Event Sponsor, Brown's Sales and Leasing, 
  • Our musicians, entertainers, food vendors, and... of course our 2015 ARTISTS! 
  • YOU, our patrons! It would not be a sustainable, successful event without our shoppers who came, viewed, and purchased ART! 
A huge thank you to everyone involved! Our first annual fine art festival would not have been possible without the assistance and encouragement of the entire community! 


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Happy 4th Anniversary to my Zachy!

You all KNOW how excited I am that this weekend is Art in the Park​, Elkader's first ever fine art festival! I've been blabbing about it for a year, in person and online! Just so you know, my husband has been by my side and listened to me through every idea/ minor issue/ each detail/ proofing/ excited update/ late night click of the keyboard/ etc/ etc...

He's not only been by my side and supported me, but he's picked up extra slack around our house. He's cooked most nights for the past two (probably more like four) months. He's not complained that all of our conversations for the last eight months, if not year, have started with "Festival this" or "Art in the Park that." He's been quick to help every time I've asked him to proof a graphic/a post/a banner/anything....

He's been my calm, my rock, my favorite...since our very first date.

As I rush around today to prepare for this festival weekend, I couldn't be more grateful for the support system I have in my husband. I'm reminded of the anxious excitement, peace, love and joy that overflowed on this day four years ago when Zach and I said, "I do!"

I love you Zach! I appreciate all of the amazing qualities (especially your patience) that make you the most wonderful husband and best friend I could have ever imagined. Being your wife is a piece of CAKE and each day your love alone reminds me that I'm so blessed.

♥♥♥ Jillian

Monday, August 17, 2015

Orchid Update & Happiness ♥

orchid update │ reflection

I have to say... this could be the prettiest orchid that I've ever seen! 
So excited that it re-bloomed and thankful I decided to keep watering it over the dormant days.

Just goes to show how a tiny amount of attention can blossom into a beautiful wonderful thing. 

Realizing the blessing in the small things, I often think of my friends Layne (who introduced me to the happiness project) and Heather (who gave me the coolest book of awesome)! You should definitely check them out! What little things in your day make you happy? 


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Celebrate the River at Shepherd Gallery

Be sure to visit Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center to catch the current show! 
Celebrate the River runs through August 29th and showcases a plethora of art that pertains to, was inspired by, and relfects on the Missississippi River! 

Find everything from ceramic vessels, glass art, jewelry, JWebb Original Paintings (yep that's me), fiber, highly detailed graphite drawings, ink, watercolor, prints, torn paper collage, and more! 

If you missed the artist reception then you'll want to mark your calendar for the next one, because it was a blast! The gals at Shepherd Gallery know how to throw a party!-And yes.... wine was involved!

To learn more about Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center, a nonprofit organization in a gorgeous historic rock building that offers art and cultural experiences to Guttenberg and surrounding communities, check out their website by clicking HERE! :) 

Or...Take a look first hand:

Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center
214 S River Park Dr. 
Guttenberg, Iowa

where imagination flows like the river 

Summer Hours: 
Mon 10-5
Wed 10-5
Thur 10-5
Fri  1-5
Sat 10-3
BONUS----- Meet Molly and Cindy at Art in the Park next weekend! The Guttenberg Creativity Center crew will be helping with the Kids Creation Station during Elkader's First Annual Fine Art Festival, next Sat. Aug 22 from 10-5pm and Sun. Aug 23 from 10-4pm! Join us for this ART-filled free event!  With local and regional artists, culinary arts, live music and entertainment, wine & beer tasting, and Kids Creation will be FUN for the whole family!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fox Crossing Commission!

Fox Crossing│a young lady's first commission!

Two weeks ago, I carefully packed up my artwork and headed to La Crosse, WI for Art Fair on the Green. It was my first fine art festival in the Midwest and it was a blast! (checkout the highlights here.) 

One of the coolest things was meeting a young lady, and her awesome family. Not only did mom and dad take home a very special piece titled "Siblings," the excitement and energy they shared as their lovely bright-eyed daughter asked me if I could paint her a fox was inspiring. Seeing anyone's eyes light up when they talk about art makes me happy, but seeing these parents encourage their daughter in her first commission was off the charts! Of course, I said "yes!" 

Mom snapped a quick photo of us as I jotted down the commission notes:

-loosely representational, referenced "a day by the water," likes how that painting "blends"
-FOX- main focus, in the middle of the painting
-trees, woods, water
-small stream

Did this young lady know what she wanted? You betcha! So I headed home from the festival with the task to make a fun fox painting! 

"Fox Crossing" was made possible with the insight and guidance from my collaboration partner, a young art enthusiast! Congrats on your first commission, your first JWebb original!  

aka JWebb

PS Don't forget:

Art in the Park 
Founders Park•Elkader, IA
August 22nd, 10-5pm
August 23rd, 10-4pm

I'd love to know...

Have you ever commissioned a painting of your own?
If you did, what would it be? 
Do you have a special piece of art you picked out yourself?

Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

That Tree and Nature Pottery Exhibit-Check it out!

 That Tree and Nature Pottery Exhibit:
July 3rd - August 31st

Mark Hirsch, seasoned photographer and photojournalist, was skeptical when his friend first told him how great the iPhone camera was. His tune quickly changed after his very first time taking photos with his own iPhone! Like many artists, Hirsch became fixated on his subject, "That Tree": a tree he had admired for years and never once photographed. Now with his iPhone in hand, he took a photo of That Tree nearly everyday for a year. The photographs are breathtaking, ethereal, and exciting! You won't believe the variety of angles and the delicate manner in which he captured the essence of dew, snow, sun, and shadows. This show is a must-see; you'll never believe these photos were taken with an iPhone!

Mark has even made That Tree available in a beautiful large hardback book. Images of That Tree were gorgeously printed and published, available now at MMCA. Pick one up at the exhibit for your home or office!

With titles like "Ink Drawing Landscape" and "Etchings, November 18th" I caught myself trying to figure out if these were actually photographs of ink drawings and etchings! 

I love seeing new work by other artists, so of course I was interested in checking out this exhibition, but I honestly did not think I could be impressed by iPhone photos of a single tree. WOW, was I wrong. You've really got to see these images in person.  The MMCA crew has done it again with another truly mind-blowing exhibit. As if the iPhone photography of That Tree wasn't enough to excite you, you'll be equally wowed by Marjorie King's nature pottery!

Displaying an outdoor theme in the current Special Exhibit gallery, MMCA is also exhibiting Nature Pottery by Marjorie King.  From large to small, King's ceramic works of art are adorned with tons of texture, intricate pattern, leaf and nature imagery. They are rustic yet elegant, delicate yet sturdy, captivating.

The overall impression of both artists' work will make you crave a walk through the outdoors. Hirsch and King's artwork show seamlessly together and I hope you'll make it out to the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts to catch this outstanding exhibit while you still can!

The exhibit runs through August 31st; don't miss out!

As always, don't forget to check out the amazing work of our region's finest artists, showcased everyday in the Retail Gallery!

aka JWebb  ;)