Wednesday, June 14, 2017

First Impressions | The Left Bank

The past month has been quite a whirlwind for me and my northeast Iowa artist pals. With galleries taking on new work for the summer season, fine art festivals kicking into high gear, solo and group exhibition opening events, photo sessions, and more, I have tons to share! 

Today, I'm excited to share my images from the retail gallery and reflection on the first special exhibit at The Left Bank Shop and Gallery! Be're about to see a TON of pictures!

After setting up my festival tent along the Great Mississippi River for the Guttenberg fine art festival, my super supportive husband, mom-in-law, and Emmajean drove up the river with me to McGregor for opening night at The Left Bank.  I just had to get to the opening to see all of the gorgeous work displayed in its entirety for the first time of the season, and to support my fellow artists on their opening night!

"First Impressions" June 2nd - July 15th 

Here are some images from the First Impressions exhibit:

Pictured are First Impression featured artists Kris Grover (left) and Linda Sulzdorf (right) in front of Kris's torn paper collages. 
 It's fitting that Kris Grover's vibrant "paintings" would be found in an exhibition titled First Impressions. Take a closer look! While one's first impression of Kris's artwork could be that she is painting images of animals and wildlife with sheer joy and vivid hues, there is actually much more to it. Kris not only does an under-painting, but on closer inspection you'll notice they are actually created by a process of torn paper collage. Kris uses found paper, papers she's painted, stamped, and marked on, and paper with words and images that are symbolic to the piece to create these lighthearted and loving gems. She offers originals and limited edition prints of her artwork. 

Like Kris, Linda Sulzdorf offers a vibrant color palette as well with her newest ceramic creations. I am drawn to the yellows and other bright glazes found on this Mad Woman Pottery.  
Kris shows off one of Linda's newest ceramic pieces.
If you look closely, you'll notice that Linda has added a new element to some of her ceramics: she has recently started weaving into her pottery. I absolutely love this new work and look forward to seeing more! 

Up next: something I honestly know nothing about... fiber art by Danita Doerre! 

I'm always so intrigued by art media that I am unfamiliar with, and I am in AWE of these soft sculptures by Danita Doerre. I find these fiber creatures absolutely fascinating! The whimsical pieces screamed at me to touch them, but I restrained myself! 

Doerre works with several different natural fibers.  You'll just have to get over to the Left Bank to read Danita's artist statement for yourself. It's quite beautiful to see a person's life and passion felted into such charming artwork.I really do love these and look forward to returning to the gallery so that I can have another look at them! 

Striking photography by Kathy Doyle

This image shows the scale of Debra Hall's impressive glass sculptures,back left.

Like Danita's work, Debra Hall's is equally foreign to my painter/photographer mind. I am especially amazed at the size of Debra's glass sculptures, not to mention her use of dramatic color and layering which gives these pieces a significant tone and emotional feel. 

Terry Beck's masterfully carved wooden spoons beg to be picked up!

Julie Burroughs photographs the landscape and wildlife of the Upper Midwest and the things that inspire her in her daily life. She hopes her photographs inspire you, the viewer, to take a closer look at the world around and discover the wonder hidden in the details.

It's safe to say...First Impressions totally wowed us all, including Emmajean!

First Impressions totally wowed Emmajean!

Can you believe after a super long day setting up for one art event that these guys happily rounded out the day with more art? I seriously don't know what I would do without the encouragement and support from my family.

Here are a few images from the retail gallery:

One of the truly awesome things about attending opening nights for special exhibits is getting to spend time with the artists. It gives you a chance to hear the artist's thought process about a piece, to learn about a new technique they may be implementing, and to delve into their perspective and see how it compares with your initial response to their artwork. So folks, opening night is not just about the yummy refreshments, lovely music, and ambiance; you can actually learn and connect with the artists! (Although, yummy snacks are great, too!)

Can you spot a JWebb or two?

There is so much to look at and discover at The Left Bank! 

Me with my talented friend Kris Grover. :)

If you didn't make it to the opening night, you can still see this fantastic special exhibit until July 15th, and you'll want to mark your calendar for the next opening. It's a great time to meet the artists and enjoy refreshments and the atmosphere!   

Remember- The Left Bank gallery is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm for your shopping pleasure! :) 

Keep checking back for more info on upcoming art events in NE Iowa. 



  1. WOW--Nicely done, Jillian.... Thanks for capturing memories of the event, and for your kind words.

    1. Thank you for making beautiful artwork and letting me photograph it/you! I was glad I made it to the opening. Thanks so much for checking out the blog and leaving me a comment! :)