The Warren Cultural Center in Greenfield is hosting an exhibit of my work from now until January 28th. The exhibit features some of my newest pieces with the theme of swirls and spirals.
Thanks to Mandy Billings from the radio station KSOM who interviewed me before the show opening. She shared the following in her article about the show…
“I really decided to develop a body of work with that theme and the reason is because the spiral is the symbol of growth and transformation and so I wanted to explore that even more because I think we have a lot of change going on in our world and the spiral then becomes a visual metaphor for all of that change going on,” explained Van Zee.
“I believe it’s really important for artists to be really reflective on their lives and be authentic in their work and so that’s kind of where the artwork arises from; just sort of what’s going on with me internally,” said Van Zee. “Sometimes it’s kind of hard for people to grasp maybe what that means and so I like to call my work emotional and spiritual landscapes because I think that that is helpful for people as they view the work.” To read the rest of the article, visit KSOM’s website.
Ed & Eva’s is a retail gallery that features the work of local Iowa artists and is a part of the Warren Cultural Center complex. You will be able to find some of my With Passion art pendants and small paintings at Ed & Eva’s year around.
Thank you to everyone at the Warren Cultural Center for warmly welcoming me and my work. It was a pleasure to meet you all.
So excited to find out that both of my entries into the Iowa State Fair Fine Arts Exhibit were accepted. Both “Garden of the Soul” and “From Above the Wind and Waves” will be available for your viewing at the Fine Art Exhibit at the Cultural Center on any day of the great Iowa State Fair to be held August 11-21 in Des Moines, IA.
To be honest, there is a part of me that can’t believe I just wrote that opening paragraph. You see I’ve been going to the Iowa State Fair for as long as I can remember. Throughout my entire childhood, my dad had a booth in the agricultural division of the fair, so we would spend long days wondering through all the fair attractions while he worked. At night, if he wasn’t too tired, he would take me for one ride on the double ferris wheel-equally terrifying as it was electrifying-spinning wildly and flying over the fair grounds seeing for miles. As a teenager, I would occasionally get to invite a friend along to spend the day with me at the fair. Vivid memories of our bodies covered in stickers advertising political candidates, looking for treasures in the Shopping Mart, posing for photos in the Victorian dress up booth, meeting on-air TV personalities in person to capture their signatures-all a part of an Iowa girl’s annual trek to the fair.
I have continued the tradition of visiting the fair as an adult, bringing my own children to make their fair memories (riding a horse for the first time, flying down the Big Slide on a burlap mat, admiring the big bull, riding a boat in the pitch black at Ye Old Mill) and I never miss a trip to the Cultural Center to take it all in. In my years of teaching art to kids, I would love to check out all the kid’s art works that were displayed-looking at the talent and cruising for ideas I could use in my own classroom. I created my own dollhouses as a girl so I don’t miss a chance to see the amazingly detailed doll houses that are displayed. Several year ago on a whim, I decided to try to enter some of my photography to the photography exhibit at the fair. To my great surprise, some of my photos were selected. I’ve entered several more times over the years, always delighted to walk the aisles and see when my work showed up.
But, the fine art exhibit…that was the “someday”, the never gonna realistically happen “someday” part of the fair that tempted me-dangled out there in front of me as a “What if?”
“What if I actually started seriously painting my own paintings rather than dreaming about it?”
“What if I actually started to do what I had been so busy teaching for so many years?”
“What if I got brave enough to enter?”
“What if I get rejected?”
I did get rejected the first time I entered a painting a couple of years ago. But, I tried again. So in this fortieth year of life, I can say that there are still “What ifs?” that God is placing and answering in my life. There are still things that I have to learn and there are still surprises waiting around the corners of my life. Sometimes I get frustrated about living in what other people call “fly-over country”. I lament the lack of opportunities that are available in more rural areas. I can get restless with right where I am. But, I am resolved to continue to make the decision to take a long walk with my camera to capture the beauty and depth of my home and pick up the brush to paint what I have to say. And, I am delighted to make another trip to the Iowa State Fair to revel in all that makes this place I live, this Iowa, a continual field of yet-to-be discovered treasures, good old-fashioned fun and dreams for the future.