• 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

Abstract Paintings and Pointillism
Nancy Early, Erie, Illinois

Nancy Early enjoys challenging her creativity, finding the pointillism style meditative and the fluid acrylic style invigorating. She has expanded her artistic endeavors into two distinct bodies of work. Creating smaller whimsical pointillism drawings of mythical animals, landscapes and larger abstract acrylic painting, in which the serendipitous paint evokes memories of a peaceful morning, a view underwater or possibly a fantasy landscape.
For more information about Nancy Early go to her website.


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.


Tamara Shriver, Dekalb, Illinois

Tamara Shriver’s inspiration for her watercolor paintings come from the beauty found in the surrounding countryside. Whether it is a walk in the woods on a sunny day, a drive through farm country, or the cool rushing water of a river, she translates the mood and energy to paper with skill and imagination. Tamara creates colorful landscapes and botanicals by using wet-in-wet and negative painting techniques. Her style is spontaneous, with minimal brush strokes that keep the painting fresh. She is a signature member of the Illinois Watercolor Society.

For more information about Tamara Shriver go to her 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.

Beverly J. Burnett, Bettendorf, Iowa

Beverly Burnett is an accomplished jeweler; designing and creating pendants and earrings out of sterling silver, gold and precious and semiprecious stones. Originally she sold her extraordinary jewelry at art fairs throughout the Midwest, including the Beaux Arts Fair and Rivers­sance Fes­ti­val of Fine Art in East Davenport, Iowa. Beverly is still passionate about jewelry making; however she no longer follows the art fair circuit. Smith Studio and Gallery is the only gallery in the Quad Cities that you can still purchase her beautifully crafted wearable artwork.  


Mixed Media and Collage

Paper and Paint Mixed Media
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.


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

The Dinosaurs are here!

Large Scale Paintings By
Nancy Staszak
June 1st – July 31, 2018

Nancy Staszak is an award winning artist and former educator from Woodridge Illinois. Now retired, she enjoys painting, printmaking, collaging and drawing. Most of her work references the natural world: past and present, seen and unseen, real and imagined.

Most recently Nancy has developed a renewed interest in her painting as she has created a unique collection of dinosaur portraits. Nancy writes, “I am inspired by the traveling exhibits of large, animatronic dinosaurs at the Detroit and Brookfield Zoos.   I have watched families and children walking by these life size creatures and seen how they were amazed. Children shrieked, laughed, ran and moved to get better views. We know the dinosaurs physically by their bones, but imagine and experience them in popular movies. And yet---and yet---they are both terrifying and appealing. I have begun a painted series imagining them in bright, fluorescent colors that suggest an other-worldliness, or a sense of “mythical beasts” I use complementary colors and multiple thin layers of glazes for contrast and harmony.