Biography I was raised in New Jersey, just outside of New York City where regular trips into New York and Philadelphia opened to me a large, somewhat daunting, but very exciting, cosmopolitan world.
With the promise of extensive work abroad, I chose to study at a small liberal arts college in northern New York state: Saint Lawrence University. Four years later, I had spent a productive academic year in Europe, gained an intellectual foothold and appreciation for the major shifts within Western art, and developed a strong interest in drawing and printmaking.
After graduating in 1973, I moved to the Midwest and balanced printing and drawing with theatrical design and painting, as well as furniture design with my husband, Craig Campbell. It was during this decade that we also had our three children: Maggie, Charlie and Willa.
As a family, we made the decision in 1986 to move to Iowa so that I might attend graduate school at the University of Iowa for an MFA in printmaking. For almost twenty years I enjoyed teaching with the excellent faculty at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and for over 40 years have been a working artist, focusing on figurative and botanical subjects. It is with great excitement that I am able to continue this path now in Omaha, Nebraska- a beautiful city where Craig and I began our life as a family.
Statement “The mind… yearns for some hard task, lifelong, longer than life, to concentrate it and make it whole…” —Wendell Berry "Drawing and printmaking are my chosen tools for exploring the most basic aspects of being human. So much has already been drawn, painted, sculpted, by great, historic masters that the “hard task” of the quote above has, indeed, proven to be life-long. And, while it is certainly true that work has given meaning to my life, whether I am achieving the elusive sense of “wholeness” cited by the poet Wendell Berry is up for grabs at the end of each day in my studio. I get close when what is personal in my own work communicates the beauty and complexity I find in life.
Going through my life-sized (or nearly so) drawings, I recall the process that allowed me to finalize each piece. The only consistency in the creation of any of them has been the sustained effort necessary in pursuing the drawing process itself. Using specifically the female form as a vehicle for personal expression, I have explored an ever-broadening use of tools for making marks. I have salvaged fragments of figures—layering them so that they interact and create a rush of visual ambiguity, and in the best cases, mystery in the finished composition. Finally, every time that I believe I’ve landed on something of a “silver bullet” for making a great drawing, it becomes crystal clear that there is no formula for conjuring the ineffable. The lesson is simply that every drawing has its own life. Discipline and similar drawings can aid and inform a work in progress, but eventually, I’ll just be slugging it out with each drawing’s scale, light, composition, and viewpoint. There’s no dignity, no grace—just a push toward something not yet found. So often I just come up with a day spent in the studio confirming how mediocre I can be. The only thing that makes this drowning phase of drawing absolutely worthwhile is an infrequent resolution in a drawing that transcends me, my effort, my thoughts, my emotions, and just sings on its own with the complexity that makes life as rich and miraculous as it truly is."
Education 1992M.F.A. Printmaking, University of Iowa 1990M.A. Printmaking, University of Iowa 1981-86Creighton University, audited printmaking and life-drawing 1974-1975Kansas City Art Institute, evening classes, printmaking and drawing 1973Art Students League, New York City, printmaking 1973B.A., St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York, magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa 1971-1972Facultad de Filosofia y Letras, Madrid, Spain
Selected Exhibitions 2017Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, Ia., “Dialog Human” with Thomas C. Jackson (Upcoming) 20167th Annual Discourse on Drawing, University of North Carolina 2016Coe College, solo show, “A Thousand Calling Voices” (Upcoming) 2015Cedar Rapids Museum of Art Summer Exhibit 2015Verum Ultimum Gallery, Portland, Oregon “Living Mark” 2015University of Northern Iowa Museum of Art, Cedar Falls, Ia. “Drawn Together: Dialog Human 2015”, with Thomas C. Jackson 2014Olson-Larsen Gallery, Des Moines, IA (Solo Exhibition) 2014Icon Gallery, Fairfield IA (with Tom Jackson) 2014Waterloo Center for the Arts, Waterloo, IA (with Tom Jackson) 2014Chait Galleries Downtown, Iowa City, IA (Group Show) 2014Gallery ‘C’ Dubuque, IA (Solo Exhibition) 2013Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE (Solo Exhibition) 2012“Voices from the Warehouse District, V8”, Dubuque, Iowa 2012Olson Larsen Galleries, Figurative Show, (group show) 2011Figge Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa salon exhibition 2010Olson Larsen, December group show 2010University of Iowa, “Botanical Drawings”, exhibited with IA Summer Rep 2009Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, “Beneath the Surface”, group show 2009Olson Larsen Galleries, West Des Moines, Ia., Botanical show 2008Priscilla Steele Studio and Gallery, Marion, Ia. Grand Opening, October 2008Olson Larsen Galleries, West Des Moines, Ia. “New Work”, group show 2008Campbell Steele Gallery, “Spring Gallery Tour”, group show 2007Olson Larsen Galleries, West Des Moines, Spring Invitational 2007Uptown Art Festival, Minneapolis, ‘05, ’06 (best in drawing) 2006Olson Larsen Galleries, West Des Moines, Spring Landscape show 2006Chait Galleries Downtown, Iowa City, Iowa (group show) 2005Augustana College Art Museum, Best in Show, Rock Island, Illinois 2004Quad Cities Arts, Rock Island, Illinois (two person show) 2003“Face to Face”, Peoria Art Guild, Peoria, Illinois 2002Olson Larsen Gallery, Holiday Invitational, group show 2002“New Art”, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, curator, Jane Milosch 2002Arts Iowa City, solo show, Iowa City, Iowa 2002Kirkwood Community College, Area Faculty Show, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 2001Cornell College, Area Faculty Show, Mount Vernon, Iowa 2000Peoria Art Guild, Peoria Art Festival, (best in 2D) (best in show ’90) 2000Mount Mercy College, solo show, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 2000Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver Colorado 1999Henry W. Myrtle Gallery, Cedar Falls, Iowa (solo show) 1999Luther College, solo show, Decorah, Iowa 1999Milwaukee Art Museum, Lakefront Festival of the Arts (best in graphics 98,97) 1999Arts Iowa City, “Corporeal Reality”, (best in show), Iowa City, Iowa 1998Madison Art Center, Art Fair on the Square, (best in show) ‘88, (best in graphics) ‘93
Collections Saint Lawrence University, Canton, New York Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois University of Iowa, Iowa City University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa
Selected Publications 2014Cityview, Des Moines, Ia., “Same Subject, Different Points of View”, Oct. 16, 2014 2014Waterloo Courier, “Dialog Human” April, 2014 2014Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Ia., Gallery C Exhibit Jan. 2014 2009“Beneath the Surface”, Grinnell College, Lesley Wright 2008Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 23, “Cooperative Competitors” 2008Corridor Business Journal, Iowa City, Iowa “Entrepreneur 101” 2007Art Scene (February) Des Moines, Iowa 2006Des Moines Register, Iowa, “Landscape paintings reveal views of nature”, June 11 2005Augustana College, Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition, April 2005Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Iowa, “Celebrate beauty of land, water”, June 5 2004Coe College, Faculty Scholarship and Grants 2004Quad Cities Reader, Rock Island, Illinois 2002Iowa 2002, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art 1999Peoria Art Guild, Peoria Art Festival (poster) 1996Saint Lawrence University, Canton, New York, Third Biennial Alumni Exhibition 1992Cummington Press, Omaha, Nebraska, Dance Music, Barry Goldensohn (frontispiece) 1991Cummington Press, Omaha, Nebraska, A Final Antidote, Louise Bogan (frontispiece) 1986Cummington Press, Omaha, Nebraska, A Voyage to Cythera, Ralph Bobb (frontispiece) 1986Cummington Press, Omaha, Nebraska, Bathsheba on the Third Day, Jane Greer, (frontispiece)
Related Professional Activity 2010-presentModerator, “Talk in the MUD”, Campbell Steele Gallery 2011Moderator Portraiture panel, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art 2007-presentBoard of Trustees, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art 1995-presentInstructor, Drawing and Printmaking, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 1994-presentMarion Arts Festival Advisory Board 1991-presentCo-owner Campbell Steele Gallery, Marion, Iowa 1993-1996President, Marion Arts Council, secured grant (Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation) for installation of public art in Marion Public Library 1994Instructor, Art History, Mount Mercy College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 1988-1993Co-scenic designer Theatre Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids, Iowa