Loras student “fall” into art

An evening downtown with friends, refreshments and breathtaking paintings, photographs and sculptures. This is what Fall Into Art had to offer for the people of Dubuque last Friday evening from 5-10 p.m.

Artists consisted of local professionals and students from the University of Dubuque, Clarke and Loras. The event had a successful turnout, with buildings all over downtown filled with onlookers, one of them being the Loras College Off-Site Exhibition, which contained art by Loras students.

“The Loras College Off-Site Exhibition gives art and digital design students a unique opportunity to showcase their artwork to the Dubuque community in downtown’s Cultural Corridor,” said Seth Myers, professor of art and digital design. “The students also get to see firsthand how their work can have a genuine impact on the revitalization and development of downtown Dubuque.  The art and digital design faculty are proud of the work the students put in to make this exhibition a success. It is a testament to their commitment to their own creative growth.”

Students displaying their art included seniors Ted Whittman and Molly Devine, juniors Holly Hartman and Sarah Steuer and sophomores Marlon Torres, Kalli Olberding, Mark Fuentebella, Mallory Heims and Shane O’Connell. The art included paintings, photographs, collages, a short film and a hologram.

“It’s an exciting process because we work very hard and it’s very enjoyable,” O’Connell said. “It’s great to see people’s expressions, whether they’re good or bad. Then we know what we did well and what we need to work on.”

It’s safe to say that these Duhawk artists blew attendees away with the talent it took to create the magic of their unique pieces of art. “It’s hard work,” continued O’Connell, “but you can’t be an artist without hard work.”

The pieces of art from Clarke and the University of Dubuque were impressive as well. Sketches of skeletal structures, ceramic sculptures of surreal creatures such as a cat-fly-spider, and papier-mâché masks of animals including a goat, an alligator, a bird and a shark were only several of the works on display at the Clarke exhibit. The University of Dubuque’s exhibit was no less impressive with their photographs, paintings, and collages. Between the three colleges of Dubuque, we should all be proud that we live in a city with such talented student artists.

In addition to the college artists, local professional artists also made an appearance. The Carnegie-Stout Public Library featured three local artists: painter Janet Checker, mosaic beadwork artist Stephanie Failmezger and photographer Dawn Pregler.

Checker’s paintings were in the styles of several cultures including Brazilian, Guatemalan, Cherokee Indian and Mexican. The different color hues used made each piece of art their own distinct cultural style.

Stephanie Failmezger’s mosaic style was one of my personal favorites. The colors of beads she used were brilliant—rich blues and glistening silvers to make one piece that took place under water, the earthy greens and soft browns to make a summery piece, and finally the soft tawny hues of rolled up paper to make a shaded moon and star-shaped beads to look like the night sky. Her work was breathtakingly beautiful.

The third artist, Dawn Pregler, an alumni of Loras, graduated in 1982 with an education major. She was a teacher for 23 years before she retired in 2005. During that time, she would take pictures, and still continues to do so.

Pregler said she was inspired by her father, also a photographer. “If your parents were interested in orchestra, you probably would be too,” she said. “I’ve always loved taking pictures.” Her art consisted of beautiful photographs including shots of trees and mist as well as rivers and oceans. It is truly inspiring.

Overall, Fall Into Art was a beautiful experience with beautiful art in a beautiful city. I will look forward to next year when they do this again. I recommend this to anyone who has an appreciation for art or who just wants a fun, whimsical evening. You will not be disappointed.

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