‘I want to support artists’: Iowa Artisans Gallery highlights local artists in its Second Sunday Series

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Second Sunday Series: Gordon Kellenberger

Iowa Artisans Gallery — Sunday, Aug. 12, 1-3 p.m.

Iowa Artisans Gallery, August 8, 2018. — photo by Zak Neumann

Iowa Artisans Gallery is a home for Midwestern and local art in Iowa City, and the next artist the gallery is spotlighting in its Second Sunday Series has deep Iowa roots.

Painter Gordon Kellenberger lives and works in the Amana Colonies, where his family has been part of the community for four generations. Kellenberger’s pastel paintings are rich in color and usually feature Midwest landscapes. For the Second Sunday Series, he will be giving a demonstration and answering questions at the gallery on Aug. 12, from 1 to 3 p.m.

The gallery hosts a new artist every month for its Second Sunday Series. In July, Ellen Huggins was featured with her multimedia collage work. Huggins is an emerging artist who works at the gallery.

“That was our first emerging artist show. So I want to be doing more of that,” said Annie Temple, owner of Iowa Artisans Gallery. “I’ll work with them to show them what goes into thinking about the show, getting ready for it, getting the word out…I’ll work with a young artist and give them a little Second Sunday show and then their work is up for a couple of weeks after that.”

Twelve artists combined their efforts to open Iowa Artisans Gallery back in 1984. It was originally a nonprofit organization until it gained enough traction after several years to become a for-profit retail business.

“It’s been here 34 years and it’s still thriving,” Temple said. “We’re pretty happy that we’ve got a great spot and Iowa City is so supportive.”

All of the staff at the gallery are artists themselves. Temple specializes in fiber art, especially eco-printing.

“It’s just a really cool process. You basically pick your leaves and put them on the fabric and you have to roll them up very, very tightly… And then they actually steam or boil for about an hour. And then there’s also things you can add to the process to bring out the print. Iron is one thing, it makes it a darker print, like a black. There’s a lot of chemistry involved,” she explained.

Temple became the gallery’s owner in May 2017 after taking over for five of the original founders. “I want to support artists. That’s my first reason for doing this,” said Temple. “[W]e give them a place for their work.”

The paintings of Gordon Kellenberger on display at Iowa Artisans Gallery, August 8, 2018. — photo by Zak Neumann

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