Arts on Grand is hosting an exhibit of "Art and Architecture" from July 3 though Aug. 4. The exhibit features watercolors by the late California architect John Loring Perkins and pottery by Storm Lake artist Ron Netten. There will be an artist reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 12. The public is invited, and refreshments will be served.
The paintings of John Loring Perkins (1913-1996) combine the precision of architecture with the freedom of watercolor. Perkins was an outdoorsman who used bold colors and imaginative design in his buildings and landscapes.
A native of Sioux Falls, S.D., Perkins attended the University of Minnesota, where he studied watercolor for four years under Elmer Young, a former student of and assistant to George Bellows. He won ten first mentions in two years' time, which gave him five years' credit in Design.
Perkins worked as a draftsman/field superintendent in his father's firm from 1934 to 1942, and designed military-related buildings during World War II. After the war, Perkins settled in California, where he became a partner in the architectural firm of Balch, Bryan, Perkins and Hutchason.
However, Perkins's passion was painting, and the watercolors in this exhibit portray the Southern California scenes he loved: the beaches, the mountains, and the desert. Perkins wrote: "To the creative--beauty exists in all things ... everywhere and always."
Arts on Grand would like to thank the following family members for lending paintings for this exhibit: Thomas Parliman of Sioux Falls, SD; Sally Parliman Graf of Des Moines; Sarah Graf of Iowa City; Elizabeth Graf Sherburne of Iowa City; and Nancy Parliman Schoenewe of Spencer.
Ron Netten received an MA in art education from Northeast Missouri State University, with an emphasis in ceramics. From 1975 to 2011 he taught art at Storm Lake High School. Currently, he is a full-time potter (Netten Pottery) and an adjunct instructor in art education and artist-in-residence in the Ceramics Department at Buena Vista University.
"Since an early age," says Netten, "I have always been fascinated by this soft, pliable, earthy material and its responsiveness to the touch of the hand. Beginning with a pliable mass eventually ends up permanently frozen in rock-hardness by fire. It is this dichotomy of clay that holds my attention. My enjoyment comes from stamping, impressing and stretching forms and attachments like handles. Making work which can be experienced visually and tactilely is my desired focus."
Netten has exhibited widely and won numerous awards. He is a regular participant in the Artisans Road Trip every fall. His art work is available for purchase at The Studio Upstairs in Storm Lake, the Iowa Artisans Gallery in Iowa City, the Witter Gallery in Storm Lake, and the Charles MacNider Museum Shop in Mason City, as well as the Gallery Shop at Arts on Grand.
The exhibit is being sponsored by Lee and Nancy Parliman Schoenewe.