Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center unveils original art, posters and postcards


Part of area art project promoting Iowa’s natural areas ... The view pictured above from the observation deck of the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center in Lansing was painted by Decorah artist Mary Ann Gloe and is being used on posters, postcards and other promotional material. An August 6 gathering at the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center will offer a view of the original painting and others of area public parks and natural areas that are part of a Capturing the Beauty of Iowa’s Natural Areas Through Art Project. Submitted image.

Public invited to August 6 event at Driftless Center

The Allamakee County Conservation Board (ACCB), Driftless Area Scenic Byway Board (DASB), Northeast Iowa RC&D and well-known Iowa artist Mary Ann Gloe invite the public to gather Tuesday, August 6 at the Driftless Area Education & Visitor Center to view an original watercolor painting, “Lansing from the Driftless Center,” completed by Gloe as part of a public parks and natural areas art and byway promotional project called Capturing the Beauty of Iowa’s Natural Areas Through Art Project. The event is open to the public and begins at 2 p.m. All are encouraged to attend.

ACCB Director Jim Janett noted, “It is a wonderful project for us to partner on with the DASB. We participated because it highlighted the scenic and cultural heritage that our Driftless Area Education & Visitor Center property and facility showcase.”

Gloe will officially present the painting, “Lansing from the Driftless Center,” which was inspired when she toured the Driftless Area Education & Visitors Center and went out to the viewing deck. She said she wanted to capture the graceful curves associated with the Great River Road, the railroad, the Upper Mississippi River Fish and Wildlife Refuge, which all lead to the charm and history associated with the city of Lansing and the Black Hawk Bridge. As a life-long professional painter, a member of the Iowa Artists organization, and the Iowa Watercolor Society, Gloe’s watercolor techniques feature a variation of custom mixed colors to capture a true to life depiction of the view from the Center.

The “Lansing from the Driftless Center” painting is one of seven new pieces of art that were commissioned by Northeast Iowa RC&D, local scenic byway boards and other local sponsors as part of a project to capture and promote the beauty of the parks and natural areas in Iowa scenic byway corridors. The Allamakee County Conservation Board and the Driftless Area Scenic Byway Board partnered with the RC&D to commission the “Lansing from the Driftless Center” painting. The painting is being used in new byway promotional merchandise, such as pictured above.

Other byways and partners sponsored six additional original paintings by Gloe that capture the beauty of Trout Run stream at the Decorah Fish Hatchery, Pikes Peak State Park from a bird’s eye-view, Echo Valley State Park near West Union, Silver Lake in Delhi, and two views of the Backbone Trail at Backbone State Park. Prints of all of the paintings will be available for viewing or purchase during the August 6 event, as well as the entire set of posters and wooden postcards that were inspired by the paintings.

Through the project, Northeast Iowa RC&D used the original paintings to inspire original posters and postcards designed in a style traditionally associated with posters and postcards of iconic parks found in the National Park System. Driftless Area Scenic Byway Coordinator Jared Nielsen noted that the Driftless Area Scenic Byway Board was excited about the project because, “We know byway visitors are looking for local souvenirs and that the Driftless Area Education & Visitor Center in particular was interested in having affordable local memorabilia available to byway travelers and other visitors. The unique posters and postcards that Amanda Streeper from our office designed will help byway and other travelers remember the view and hopefully inspire their friends to visit.”

The Driftless Area Education & Visitor Center, as well as visitor and welcome centers in three other counties, plan to sell all the posters and wooden postcards, which will cross promote four byways and specific parks and natural areas along those byways. Posters and postcards are available for purchase at the Driftless Area Education & Visitor Center or from Northeast Iowa RC&D’s online store at www.northeastiowardc.org. Proceeds will help the Driftless Area Scenic Byway reprint additional posters and postcards and accomplish additional projects along the Driftless Area Scenic Byway.

The overall project was made possible through support from and in partnerships with Northeast Iowa RC&D, a grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs & Iowa Arts Council, artist Mary Ann Gloe, the Allamakee County Conservation Board, the Driftless Area Education & Visitor Center, Iowa Byways™, the Driftless Area Scenic Byway, and other park specific byway boards and local sponsors. For more information about this project, contact Northeast Iowa RC&D at 563-864-7112 or email Jared Nielsen at jared@northeastiowarcd.org.
 

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