Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy, 2967 State St., Bettendorf, has a fresh new look, plus the addition of new art and the release of spring and summer classes.
Artist Dee Schricker, no stranger to the Quad-Cities art scene, has joined the gallery’s stable of artists. In 2006, she opened Boho Chic Gallery in Bucktown Center for the Arts, downtown Davenport. There she and photographer Heidi Brandt devoted over 10 years to their one-of-a-kind retail store.
Brandt remembers, ”Dee and I shared the goal of turning our passion for art into a successful business. Dee is a fearless artist and a great businesswoman. She is also a great advocate for the arts by offering her time and talents to many events and projects. I am so happy that her art will be back out in the community for display!”
Brandt moved her work to Bereskin just after the gallery opened and Bucktown closed in early 2020. Bereskin added, “It is wonderful to have our art family back together. The energy from the artwork gives the gallery such a wonderful look and feel.”
Schricker is an Iowa native living in Blue Grass, who works in a variety of mediums — including paint, clay and fiber. Her work is abstract and contemporary in style, giving free rein to the viewer’s imagination. Her mixed-media creations interact, yielding bold and exciting results.
“My recent work is abstract nature and hints of metallic,” she says. “I love having the artistic freedom to try new approaches. I often use new techniques in mixed media to achieve the look I want to express. When someone purchases a piece of my art, I am truly honored.”
Schricker has been an artist since high school. In 1996, she quit her day job and began to focus on art full-time starting with Raku pottery and fiber art.
“Eventually, I opened my own gallery and began to paint again,” she says. “I would tell young artists to be fearless. Try new mediums and techniques, and always create for yourself.”
“In 2018, I closed my gallery and quit selling for family medical reasons. The next three years were hard but with God, family and friends, we all made it through,” Schricker says.
Known in the area for her exquisite Raku pottery, the artist adds: ”I never wanted to quit creating but the Raku work was physically demanding and I opted to concentrate on my favorite medium, acrylic painting and mixed media. I have missed the art community. Missed the creativity artists give to each other.”
Pat Bereskin said, “She may not be making Raku like before, but she is training the next generation of artists by supplying support to our teachers and staff.” The Bereskin Art Academy added Raku Pottery to their schedule last year with enough students to add additional classes to meet the demand.
Troy Swangstu and Dee Schricker will be the featured artists at a public reception at the gallery on Friday, Feb. 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., under the exhibit title, “Bullish New Year.”
Swangstu has been a vested partner in the raising of grass-fed beef in the Kansas City area. His day-to-day interaction with these robust creatures makes then an easy subject matter for his paintings. One can experience the power of the cattle in ways that reveal the passion and reverence by the artist.
Swangstu grew up in Bettendorf and credits his art teacher, Nick Digioia, with his artistic development and talent. It was Digioia’s spark that this artist needed to motivate him to excel in artistic endeavors. He graduated from Bettendorf High School and then studied at the Kansas City Art Institute with a major in painting. He worked at various museums and galleries and exhibited locally in Kansas City as a student.
All three siblings have shown work at Bereskin Gallery and in galleries coast to coast. Troy and his sister have been on the gallery’s list of artists for the past three years. Tragically, brother Eric died suddenly a few years ago. Troy’s artwork is described as “transparent layers of spirited, reactive brushstrokes that dance among moments of academic forms and theories, leaving behind expressionist pages full of learning outcomes and opportunities.”
Coincidently, the spring class brochure will be available at the Feb. 4th reception. Sign-up for summer classes and camps begins March 1st. The brochure for those classes will be available. Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy has a full range of 45 regional artists in the gallery and over 35 classes offered this winter for all ages and abilities.
For additional information about Troy Swangstu, Dee Schricker, classes or other information, contact Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.bereskinartgallery.com. Hours are 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.