April, Pastel, 19" x 19", 2014

Ellen Wagener was born in Maquoketa, Iowa, and grew up in nearby DeWitt. She received her B.F.A. from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1989. She worked and taught in Iowa for many years and now resides in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Brunnier Art Museum at Iowa State University, University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson Museum of Art, U.S. Art in Embassies, U.S. Capital Rotunda and in group exhibitions across the country. Her work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Figge Art Museum, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, University of Arizona, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the Dubuque Museum of Art. She has completed commissioned works for the U.S. 9th District Federal Courthouse in Cedar Rapids and the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, and has received numerous awards, including a grant from the Louis Comfort Tifffany Foundation in 2007.

This pastel is part of a new collection of Ms. Wagener's works installed at the Genesis Hospitals in the Quad Cities, under the guidance of Dawn Wolhford-Metallo from Quad City Arts. It was among the paintings included in shows at the Figge Art Museum, Dubuque Museum of Art, and Iowa State University during her "Tour of Iowa" exhibition.

In her own words:

Landscape painting is a method that expresses my inner response to and reverent feelings for nature. I look for connections between things—how one color flows into another, forms engage and separate, how one point in space influences another. The changes focused along the horizon are constant; they are governed by the seasons, the weather, or the cyclical nature of the agrarian landscape. There are no grand gestures, just subtle variations that, when combined, create a certain splendor inherent only to the Midwest landscape. I am seduced by the direct sensual colors and geometric patterns of the cultivated land.

Ever Changing Land: The Art of Ellen Wagener

This page was first displayed
on April 17, 2017

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