My art career began over 22 years ago. I worked in oils for a few years and then began noticing the beauty and freedom of watercolor. I tried out the medium and fell in love! At that point I began studying with such notable artists as G. Bruce Johnson (who studied with the famous Irv Shapiro), Joe Fettingis and Harry Ahn. I now paint in my home studio, both in watercolor and acrylic; nature being my favorite subject. Private individuals have been commissioning and quietly collecting my work for over 20 years. I have donated paintings to WNIT fundraising auctions, the Granger Rotary and the SBRMA. I have held one woman shows at Fernwood Botanical Gardens, Niles, MI., Moontree Studios at Ancilla College and a duet show at the Hoosier Salon. At the Chesterton Women’s Club Art Show at the Chesterton Art Gallery, I won 2nd place and 3rd place at the Heartland Artists Gallery Juried Show in Plymouth, IN. I also was awarded the honor of becoming a member of the Indiana Artisans, recognized by the state as being the best in Indiana.
Sharon was born in Goshen and raised on the farm. Growing up in the country instilled a love for landscapes and the beauty of the countryside. The ever-changing clouds and various tree forms are of great interest. God has created tremendous beauty around us and Sharon desires to communicate this to others. Color has always been intriguing to her, whether in clothes, design or the world around her. She is self-taught, learning by studying books on painting and through Utube demonstrations. She has also taken workshops from professional artists such as Diane Tesler, Diane Overmyer, David Allen, Greg LaRock and Phil Monteith. She enjoys the history of earlier famous artist too. Sharon is an experienced award winning artist. Acrylics are her preferred medium; however, she enjoys pastels and oils as well. Her visions, using exuberant color and technique, represent the perfect day and lend to the “wish I was there right now feeling”.
Staci, originally from Belleville, Illinois, moved to Elkhart with her husband, Doug, in the summer of 2016. She has a degree in fine arts, with an emphasis in photography and electronic publishing. Throughout her life, Staci has enjoyed finding new ways to express her creativity using various artistic mediums. Whether it’s through a paintbrush, the lens of a camera, or crocheting with yarn, she enjoys reflecting the beauty around her in creative ways.
Shana has taught at EAL for over 12 years. She was an active EAL Board member for several years. She has exhibited in the Main Street Showcase of Art. Her list of accomplishments includes Midwest Regional Museum of American Art Award winner, and being published as an Illustrator for a children’s book.
Tommie Freeman is a native of Elkhart who has spent a lifetime exploring a variety of mediums; graphite, oils, acrylics, acrylic plaster and photography. Tommie became interested in art as a small child, beginning with drawing and then teaching herself how to paint. As a working adult, she had acquired different skills through a variety of creative fields, enhancing her art work and experience.
Her work has been exhibited at the South Haven Center for the Arts and she has been commissioned for portrait work. She has a preference for painting modern portraits and figures in oil and acrylics, however she also enjoys painting abstract nature elements and landscapes with plaster.
She currently resides in her downtown studio and is working on an urban series of oil paintings.
Being basically a self taught Artist, I’ve painted for 40 yrs using many different local northern Indiana interests as subject matter. I’ve enjoyed painting everything from amish farmsteads, to local landscapes, and historic land marks. I use transparent watercolors as my main medium in the painting process. Recently, I’ve have also included water soluble oils as a additional medium interpreting my subject matter in a Tonalisum style, to expand my creative process. I strive to represent what I paint in an realistic, honest, and straight forward manner. All, while trying to give the viewer, an accurate feel for the realism of the subject, the temperature, atmosphere, and mood captured in that particular moment.
For over 20 years I’ve had a deep-seated desire and passion for pottery. It has driven me to continue to learn and try new techniques, taking classes, watching others, and reading books, magazines, etc. I believe once you learn how to express and execute your personal visions in clay, you become empowered in ways that go far beyond the walls of the ceramic studio.
I have a home studio where I do most of my work, but also enjoy teaching at the Elkhart Art League. Additionally, I have a fulltime job, but find I could not live without pottery to deal with stress and balance in my life.
Julie is a native of Elkhart and has been recognized for her talent in Watercolor, Acrylic and Mixed Media. Initially taking lessons from several Art Instructors including Steve Johnson with the Elkhart Art League and Jim Borden with the South Bend Art League. Basically self taught, she has been recognized with awards from Juried Art Shows in Elkhart, Plymouth, and Ft Wayne. For many years, she has also been involved in Art Festivals in Indiana and Illinois. She is a Past President of the Elkhart Art League and has been teaching art for over 20 years.
Phil has taught pastels and printmaking for many years in regular classes as well as in workshops and lecture-demonstrations to all age levels, both in school classrooms as well as in studio classes. His work is in private and public collections in twelve States, as well as the corporate collection of the Bayer Corp., and the Midwest Museum of American Art.
He is a juried artist member of the Society of American Graphic Artists, New York, NY, a juried signature member of the Chicago Pastel Painters, Chicago, IL., a member of the Great Lakes Pastel Society, Grand Rapids, MI., and a juried signature member of the Pastel Society of America, New York, NY. Additionally, he is a member of the Northern Indiana Pastel Society, South Bend, IN., and is a Life Member of the Northern Indiana Artists, South Bend. The Elkhart Art League is thrilled he continues to teach and support us.
Ellen Ridenour is a native of Bogota, New Jersey, and she moved to Indiana as a child. Ellen has a BFA degree from The Raclin School of the Arts from Indiana University in South Bend, Indiana. Ridenour has shown her work in numerous exhibitions and has won many awards in her photography, printmaking, fiber and encaustic works. She is a forever student in the arts and has taken workshops from Columbia (Pam Smith marbleizing,) Elena De Ville (teaches encaustic at Ringling school of Arts and Design,) and Gregory Wright (encaustic; Truro, Cape Cod.) Fiber art and letter press from Kathee Kiesselbach.
John E Thompson
John E. Thompson teaches Graphic Design and Computer Art at Indiana University South Bend. He has been working in comics, design, and illustration for over twenty-five years and has had work exhibited most recently at the Art of Valor Exhibition at the South Bend Museum of Art in South Bend, Indiana, the 2nd Detroit International Festival of Animation at the Tanget Gallery in Detroit, Michigan, the Original Comic Creators Art Show at Studio 659 in Whiting, Indiana, and the 38th Elkhart Juried Regional Show at the Midwest Museum of American Art in Elkhart, Indiana. He has had comic work published in National Lampoon, the Seattle Scroll, 24-Hour Comic Book Day Highlights, and currently works with M.D. Henderson on the Dark Guardian Shepherd published by Remarkable Comics in Elkhart, Indiana.
Robert R. (Bob) Williams
Robert R. Williams was born in Northeast Ohio and grew up on the Pennsylvania/Ohio state line just 7 miles from Lake Erie. He has spent most of the last 43 years living in the St. Joseph Michigan area. He holds a BSEE degree and did not attend art school but has taken numerous studio art classes and workshops over the years. He has specialized in portraits since art class in seventh grade. He was one of the founders of the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph, has a studio there and has taught portrait classes there for more than 15 years. He has won purchase awards at the Midwest Museum Juried Regional and has won first in category in the MAAC at the Box Factory and has won several awards including Best of Show at the Art Barn in Valparaiso and the Chesterton Art Center and had a piece accepted into a national show of the Pastel Society of American.
Kathleen Wolfe is from Middlebury, Indiana, and is a self-taught artist working primarily in pastels and oils. Kathleen has always had a love for the landscape and her work centers around the glorious flowers found in her garden as well as ponds, creeks and marshes found during her travels. She particularly enjoys painting water and the many shadows and reflections that are superimposed upon the water’s surface. Kathleen learned oil painting while taking classes at the Elkhart Art League during the 1980s. She has studied pastel with Phil Monteith, Ron Monsma, Cathy McCormick, and recently attended a five-day seminar with nationally acclaimed pastelist, Richard McKinley. Kathleen is a member of Northern Indiana Pastel Society, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Elkhart Art League.