As a child growing up in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in New York State’s textile-rich Mohawk Valley region, Betsy Johnston wove countless potholders and throw rugs. After graduation from SUNY Oneonta, she lived in Dublin, Ireland, where she was introduced to weaving. She continued weaving in Manhattan’s garment district and subsequently became an award winning juried artist. When not at work as a Registered Nurse or biking long distances, Betsy can be found at one of her four looms, Janome sewing machine, spinning wheel, or knitting, crocheting, or doing bead work. Johnston’s work is available for purchase in our BCA gift shop.
Jerry Granaman started taking photographs in the mid 70s with a used camera and a roll of black and white film. It was love at first sight when the film was developed. Photography is a hobby that he never tires of, as there is always something new to learn and ways to improve his work. Twenty years ago, he walked into the French Quarter in New Orleans and another love affair started—this time with a city. Combining the two worked out well, as he was able to enjoy the many wonders of New Orleans while working on his photography skills. To this day, he attempts to build a photographic record to convey the passion and love he has for New Orleans, the French Quarter, and the artistic, Bohemian, and Caribbean influenced lifestyles the city offers.
Peggy West holds a certificate in Botanical Art & Illustration from the Morton Arboretum and studied intaglio printmaking at Western Illinois University. She was a resident at the Prairie Center for the Arts in Peoria in the spring and summer of 2016. Her original illustrations and prints are included in the collections of Ball Seed Company, the Western Illinois University Art Museum, Prairie State Winery, and private collections. She has exhibited throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri, and in 2016 launched collaborative exhibits at the Foster Gallery for Christianity and the Fine Arts in Peoria and the Buchanan Center for the Arts in Monmouth.
Miriam McAuley grew up in East Africa surrounded by diverse, beautiful tribes. Through this experience she gained an appreciation and respect for learning about people and their cultures. From the time she could hold a crayon, she was drawing scenes from her life and imagination. Early on she saw her art as imitating and honoring God as the master artist. She also had a love of photography passed down from family members who inspired her to capture life on film when she couldn’t draw it quickly enough. Most of her drawings and photographs celebrate people, as she believes people are God’s highest creation and worthy of study. Through her drawings she hopes to communicate to others their inherent worth and the beauty of their diversity.
Knowing that she wanted to return to Africa to live and work, McAuley studied at Dordt College in northwestern Iowa, receiving a BA in fine studio arts, as well a minor in psychology. She believed the combination of these disciplines would be useful in cross-cultural work. One of her goals after university was to travel, especially to places where she could use her new camera. She has done just that - a semester in the Middle East, a summer in Italy, and visits to her home in Africa provided some of these opportunities. From 2014-2016, she settled amongst a very traditional people, the Samburu of northern Kenya. Joining in the arts of the Samburu, through many hours spent threading beads and asking questions, McAuley strove to learn how art communicates culture and affirms the beauty of her Samburu neighbors. She also discovered that drawing came in handy in language study as she sketched pictures to help her gain vocabulary. From drawing her new friends to photographing their colorful world, McAuley delighted in interacting cross culturally through her art. McAuley is currently living in Illinois, preparing to begin a one-year artist residency in North Africa. While there, she hopes to learn more about the traditional art forms of a new culture, as well as spending time developing her own artistic skills. McAuley's work is available for purchase in our BCA gift shop.
McAuley is currently living in Illinois, preparing to begin a one-year artist residency in North Africa. There she hopes to learn more about the traditional art forms of a new culture, as well as spend time developing her own skills. During this one-year residency, she will have the opportunity to be mentored by working artists, learn from traditional artisans (opportunities for tile work, weaving, embroidery, metal work, calligraphy etc.) and further develop her own style of work. This will involve studio time as well as time spent out in various communities sketching and interacting with local people. A few months of language study once arriving in North Africa will better prepare her for these interactions. McAuley is hosting “Africa Bound”, a fundraiser and art auction, to raise funds for her artist residency. Join us 6-9pm Thursday, November 2 at the BCA for a night of refreshments, coloring, a silent auction for artwork by McAuley and friends, and a peek into more of McAuley’s artwork! Donations accepted in cash or check please, made out to Miriam McAuley.
"Folk Artists are more intent on conveying a message to the public at large, be it the religious nature of man, the joys of life, or more poignantly, the emotional and social distress they harbor. For the Folk Artist, meaning precedes technique." -- The Dial Fall/Winter 2007
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.