Susan Van Kirk has deep roots in the Midwest. The rich history of the Galesburg-Monmouth area has influenced her sense of place in her Endurance Mysteries, however, she never dreamed of becoming a writer. Instead, her passion was teaching, and she taught on the high school and college level for forty-four years. Her first book, The Education of a Teacher (Including Dirty Books and Pointed Looks), was inspired by a college student’s suggestion that she publish one of her teaching stories. Teacher Magazine bought that first story, and Van Kirk decided she enjoyed writing and should pursue it.
Rev. Dr. B. Kathleen Fannin grew up in a military family that moved often. She earned her B.A. in Sociology, Psychology, and Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her Master of Theological Studies was received from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Her Doctor of Ministry was earned at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D. C. Her varied career includes time spent as a Park Ranger (Archaeologist) with the U.S. National Park Service, an economic developer, and a college chaplain. She is the author of seven books, including Paper Trail: Letters from the Civil War (2013), Reverence & Revelry: Remembering God at College (2009), Wonder & Other Life Skills: Spiritual Life Retreats for Young Adults Using the Creative Arts (2007), and Light Running: Poems for All Seasons (2010).
Carine Brown was born and raised in Singapore, and moved to Illinois in 1997. Nature and color have always fascinated her, and she uses watercolor as a medium in a slightly impressionistic fashion. Some of her pieces also include collage which gives a new dimension to her work. Her subject matter varies and includes landscapes, people, birds, bamboos, flowers and abstracts. Brown's work is available in the BCA Artisan Gift Shop.
Heath McPherson was born and raised in Snow Camp, North Carolina. He moved to Iowa to study Animal Science at Iowa State University and worked during his college years as a freelance livestock photographer and videographer. In college, he met his wife Lisa and they currently reside in Danville, Iowa, with their four children Hayleigh, Hayden, Liam, and Lorelei. In 2013, after winning Best in Show at the Des Moines County Open Photography Contest, McPherson began to make his prints available to the public. His work captures unique perspectives found in nature as well as Midwestern history, and is available for purchase in the BCA artisan gift shop. Find out more about Heath and his work on Facebook.
Mary Schuytema was born in Monmouth, Illinois. She works predominantly in the medium of clay but also uses metal, fibers, and paint in her work. Schuytema completed an MFA with distinction at Miami University of Ohio in 1990, and has had solo shows in Cincinnati, Ohio, Galesburg, Illinois, and was a participant in “Six Women, Six Words” at the Buchanan Center for the Arts.
She has run Chickenscratch Pottery since 1993, taught Art History at Hill Correctional Center, and is an Education Developer for a large art supply company. Most recently, Mary has begun teaching art workshops in various media in the Monmouth, Macomb, and Burlington areas through her business “Art Time Out”. Check out more about Mary's artwork in her website.
Barbara Toner was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but has lived in Bettendorf, Iowa, for more than 30 years. She discovered the lure of fused glass creation after her retirement, first dabbling in jewelry, then mosaics and plates, and finally coral and floriform bowls. She enjoys the process of putting together coral bowls because each bowl is a surprise and unique, and each floriform has a beauty all its own, depending on how it folds. Glass has become a passion for Toner, and she can't wait to see what it calls her to create next. Toner's work was selected as part of the Buchanan Center for the Arts 64 Arts National Juried Exhibition in 2016 and is available for purchase in the BCA gift shop. You can find more information about Toner and her work on her website or on Facebook.
Deb Lutz has been an artist all her life and has worked with multiple disciplines including needle arts, Ukrainian eggs, floral design, garden design, quilting, and ceramics until she found her love and passion for fractals. Her dedication to refining the images and the colors is reflected in her finished work. She does her own framing for each unique piece. Although they are digital, no two are ever framed the same. Her love for art goes above and beyond, as she collects frames from all over.
She has learned a great deal through the years, but much of her knowledge was obtained from her time at Western Illinois University where she obtained a degree in Graphic Communication in 2005. In addition to the prints she creates, she also makes calendars, bookmarks, and note cards, and is currently working on a website. You can view more of Lutz’s work on Youtube or Facebook at Deb Lutz Fractals.
Judi Minor’s passion to work with fused glass began over 20 years ago with a desire to make glass stepping stones. Her work has evolved from making stained glass to lampwork beads, having purchased four different size kilns for fused glass items, including wearable art, functional pieces, and wall art.