• 124 South State Street
  • Geneseo, Illinois 61254

Gallery Artists

Check out artwork by David Smith, owner and resident artist of Smith Studio and Gallery. David’s highly finished, whimsical paper mache sculptures on display at our Gallery.  When you visit our Gallery you can also enjoy viewing paintings, oil pastel drawings, hand colored relief prints and hand-made paper mache ornaments by David Smith. Consider commissioning David to create a hand crafted paper mache ornaments of a beloved pet or a special person . . . it’s never too early to shop for that special holiday gift.


The Smith Studio and Gallery specialize in representing artist throughout Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. Currently we have over 22 extraordinary 2-D and 3-D artists from as far away as Chicago, southern Illinois, Iowa City and Racine, Wisconsin. We take great pride in bringing Mid-west artists to Geneseo, who otherwise might not be seen in this area.


Acrylic and Watercolor Painting

Painting, “Paper Cuts” silhouettes, and Mixed Media College
Donald Gruber, Clinton, Illinois

Dr. Donald Gruber is a retired art teacher and in 1996 the Illinois Art Education Association recognized him as the Junior High Art Educator of the Year. He is now a full-time artist with gallery representation in Illinois and Texas. He tends to dramatically change his work every few years, constantly challenging himself with new media and ideas. In his work he attempts to portray the humor, absurdities, and insecurities found among the chaos and confusion that defines modern life.
For more information about Don Gruber go to his website.


Watercolors and “Reverse Method Painting”
Julie Purdum, Hanna City, Illinois

Julie Purdum is an indoor person and her husband loves the “Great Outdoors”.  Thanks to their forty plus years of getting lost together on country back roads or traipsing through overgrown cemeteries looking for a long-dead relative's tombstone or homestead Julie has became enthralled with nature’s ever-changing beauty. Julie strives to capture these fleeting glimpses of nature in her small intimate watercolors on handmade paper, and large luminous “Reverse Method” paintings on glass/Plexiglas, which give the images greater depth and luster.
For more information about Julie Purdum go to her website.


Ceramic and Stoneware Pottery

Sally Gierke, Bettendorf, Iowa

Sally Gierke has been a professional potter and muralist for the last four decades. She is concerned with how her ceramic-ware operates in the domestic setting, both physically and aesthetically.  It is important to Sally that her work has passion. She writes, “[The passion] has to come from inside of oneself, from experience, and immersion in a natural surrounding, and be heartfelt in order to have any power for other viewers.”
For more informational about Sally Gierke go to her website.


Hand-made Musical Instruments

Cigar Box Guitars and Banjoes
Sam Schold, East Moline, Illinois

Using mostly Caribbean solid cedar wooden boxes, Sam Schold turns this recycled material into the “sound resonator” of a guitar or ukulele. Sam had builds all of the parts, installing amplifiers in some, assembling his unique creations with special attention to how each instrument sounds and feels. Sam hand played the guitar for over 50 years and says the cigar box guitars sound “tinnier than a standard guitar, and more like a Delta Blues guitar.” Being a strong craftsman, Sam takes great pride in finding the right wooden box and giving it a “musical” life.


Fiber Art and Quilts

Fiber Artist and more . . .
Colleen Curry,
Dohahue, Iowa

Over 18 years ago Colleen switched from a successful career in music to pursuing her love of the visual arts. She has been making and teaching all types of art venues: fiber arts, mixed media, alcohol inks and collage. She has had art shows in the Quad-City Arts Mid-Coast Fine Art, Bucktown Center for the Art, Figge Art Museum, and has had works accepted in shows throughout the United States. Smith Studio and Gallery feature her extraordinary art quilts.



Linda Thevenot, Naperville, Illinois

Linda has a wide background in the field of art.  Starting as a painter she has taken her sense of composition and design and entered the field of jewelry making.  Linda likes to work in silver and non-precious (hypo-allergenic) metals. With almost a decade of experience, Linda is constantly experimenting with new methods and media in the creation of her unique pieces. Linda writes, “I am always asking myself ‘What if?’ as I explore various processes and combine techniques to create unique designs”.


Jewelry, and Mixed Media College Art
Anne McGehee Morris, Moline, Illinois

Anne Morris has worked as a professional artist since 1990. As an art student (Bachelor’s in Art, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL), her specialty was in printmaking, however this turned out be impractical in the real world. She began her art career making jewelry for fun, and donated her first pieces to her church for a fundraiser. Her first art fair sale was at the North Carolina Museum of LIFE Festival. Since then, she has sold her work at a variety of art fairs and has won several awards for her work. She still is making jewelry, however she has evolved into a mixed media college artwork.
For more informational about Anne Morris go to her website.

Mixed Media and Collage

Mixed Media using paper and paint
Heather Shore, Rock Falls, Illinois

Heather Shore focuses on the art of making mandalas, reminiscent of rose windows found in churches. Heather creates complex collages out of cut paper from magazines and acrylic paint. She enjoys the possibilities that these magazine images offer as they are taken out of context, such as pieces of flesh become lush ripples of color and texture. You will discover her artwork taking on more meaning as you identify familiar imagery within her intricate designs.
For more informational about Heather Shore go to her website.


Mixed Media using paper, paint and found objects
Jerri Reimann, Rock Falls, Illinois

Jerri Reimann is intrigued by small things that make up a larger whole - tiles in a mosaic, pieces in a puzzle, bits of paper in a collage, clues that solve a mystery. Her collage work , andes, text fragments, and rhythmic circles and dots. She often uses found and altered papers in this work, as well as painted tissue or papers printed from her own hand-carved blocks. Jerri also works in assemblage using primarily found and reclaimed objects. These came about from a need for playfulness as well as an affinity for repurposing.


Pastel Drawings

Pamela Hamilton, Geneva, Illinois
Pamela Hamilton draws her inspiration from her love of nature, places to which she has traveled and her passion for portraiture.  When choosing a subject she looks for the warm sunlight reflecting on skin or water.  She finds light passing through petals that creates deep shadows, bright highlights and high contrast.  Through her process Pamela is able to evoke a feeling of joy and happiness in her artwork.
For more informational about Pamela Hamilton go to her website.


Ken Tiessen
, Peoria, Illinois
Ken Tiessen has spent his working career as an illustrator. Now in retirement he is focusing on his fine art career, working almost exclusively in oil and pastels, specializing in portraits and landscapes. His landscapes catch the ethereal qualities of light and shading and his portraits capture the character and vitality of the loved one or special moment.
For more informational about Ken Tiessen go to his website.




Photography “SHOT IN THE DARK”
Tom Phelan, Wheaton, Illinois

Tom Phelan enjoys taking his pictures after the sun has gone down. His preference for night photography arises from the unique quality of light that is available, particularly when the moon is present. This subdued lighting requires long exposures and “time” becomes a photographic effect. His goal as a photographer is to document the changing Midwestern landscape. He photographs primarily those places and objects, which are on the verge of disappearing, both literally and figuratively, from our collective consciousness. These objects include farms, farmhouses, barns, tractors-the variety of objects associated with rural life in Illinois. These are not the only objects I photograph, but they are generally the ones I find most interesting. ”
For more informational about Tom Phelan go to his website.


Sherry Pritz, Rosco, Illinois

More than a photographer, Sherry Pritz combines distinctive images with artistic enhancements to create her signature contemporary style. Working in both black and white and color she highlights certain aspects of an original photograph, with results resembling a painting. By selecting and skillfully layering a palette of colors her subjects take on a surreal, sometimes abstract, feel. Resulting in a completely unique perspective. Her work, with an urban appeal, commands attention in business and private settings—as an organic backdrop or a shining focal point. A diverse range of subjects takes viewers from the simplest location in nature to exotic landmarks. Her work is compared by many to Maxfield Parrish’s paintings, "known for their distinctive saturated hues.”
For more informational about Sherry Pritz go to her website.



Printmaking and Collage
Nancy Staszak, Woodridge, Illinois

Nancy Staszak is especially interested in the intersection of nature with the works of humankind----the bird on the wire, or the picket fence and vine tendril growing along it, or a cityscape along a shoreline.  She uses a wide range of printmaking techniques such as carved woodblock/ linoleum relief plates and etched copper plates to create her original prints. Recently Nancy has been exploring collage and mixed media techniques that transform papers and pages from old books and magazines.  


Limited Edition, Hand-Colored, Linoleum Block Prints
Ken Swanson, Racine, Wisconsin

Ken Swanson’s artwork concentrates on hand-colored relief prints carved from traditional linoleum. His compositions illustrate “snapshots” of images that define who he is.  From a single object to a small scene, his simple and refined compositions help Ken remember images from his past so that he might better understand them, and then use that knowledge to improve his future.  His understanding of these images is enhanced by conversations he has with other people. Viewers frequently share how the images help them to recall their own memories.
For more informational about Ken Swanson to her website.



Dennis Carlson, Rock Island, Illinois

Using a wide variety of woods, Dennis Carlson’s wood carvings range from emphasizing the fine details of his subjects to the simple essence of the subject in its stylized form. He received national notice when his stylized tree design was featured in Woodcarving Illustrated and his work has gained in popularity.
For more informational about Dennis Carlson go to her website.



Smith Studio And Gallery

Robert Cholke

On Display and for Sale
August 1 thru September 29

Robert Cholke was born in 1950 in Rockford, Illinois, where he lives today.  With a borrowed camera, and a friend’s darkroom, Robert made his first photographs at the age of 17.  He quickly won recognition for his photographic work – winning local contests and having images published at the national level.

Robert graduated from the Brooks Institute of Photography.  At Brooks he won the prestigious Boris Dobra Award for the unique imagery he brought to his visual work.  In 1979 Robert opened a commercial studio in Rockford.  For many years he traveled the country while on assignments for an impressive list of clients.  Through a long career in photography Robert always made time for his personal work.

In recent years, fine art photography has become the focus of Robert’s work.  He presents and sells his photographs in fine art shows across the Midwest.

Robert states, “I have always felt that good photographers are good storytellers – spinning yarns and evoking emotions without the use of words.  Asking the viewer to use the image, and their experiences and memories, to complete the narrative.”