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A Community of Artists

FEATURED Artist - April 2018

Jill Iversen

"The more we teach, the more we learn. The more we learn the more we grow. The more we grow the better we teach.”

"Down on the Farm"

A display of artwork drawn from farm living experiences
expressed in multimedia. 

Meet the Artist Reception: First Friday, April 6, 2018, 5-7 pm

On Display: Valley Art Gallery from April 3 - April 29, 2018 

Gallery Hours:  Wednesday - Saturday 12-6 pm and Sunday 12 - 3 pm

Jill Iversen worked as a ranch hand beginning at age 14 and continued that lifestyle for 20 years. She married and set down roots in that community of ranchers, observing the horses, goats, chickens, dogs, and cats in her daily work with the soul and eye of an artist.  Love and respect for ranch life are embedded in Iversen's vision and it manifests itself in her paintings depicting both beautiful open skies and whimsical animal characters. 

Artist Jill Iversen graduated Art Center School of Design at Pasadena. She is now focused on her career in Art having moved back to the Orcutt area with her husband; himself raised on a local dairy farm.

Jill is proficient in oil, acrylic and watercolor media and is author and illustrator of two children's books. Mrs. Iversen currently holds the position of the artist in residence at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum. There she instructs children in various art processes that truly lead young minds to artful discoveries.

Iversen says, ”I love the way that producing art at the Discovery Museum works as a repetitive cycle. Observe, organize, create, clean up, repeat; but as in any creative process, there is a myriad of possibilities for the outcome. Results are never duplicated!"  

In addition to carving out time to paint and develop ideas for her personal artwork, a recent partnering between VTC Enterprises and the Valley Art Gallery will lead to even more artistic possibilities in the community for the artist.  

Jill Iversen is rapidly becoming sought-after as a skilled art instructor for both children and adults.

FEATURED Artist - March 2018

Laura-Susan Thomas

Show Title:  "Wild Things, They Make my Heart Sing!"

News Release Image: “Who Me” Oil on Board 12x12

Artist Reception: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 5-7pm

Exhibiting:  February 27th – March 31st

Artist’s statement“As artists we have a need to push ourselves and try new things, techniques and even new genres of art, to find our “voice”; Discovering what flows out of us creatively can be a lifelong journey. Currently, I embrace the cute, the funny, the silly, the nerdy (as a long time girl geek far before it was fashionable) as my contribution to the world’s portfolio and the absolute need for art.

I hope the joy, the silly, the beauty and the connection we feel towards our animal cohabitants on this planet we share will help all of us support our wild places by conserving and being stewards of our planet." 

Biography:   After earning a BFA in Fine Arts, Laura-Susan worked for many years as an Illustrator and Designer for Walt Disney Imagineering on such projects as Euro Disney, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Tokyo Disney Seas. She has worked on several online books for children, illustrated for the LA times Kids’ Reading Room and Babybug Magazine. In addition to her illustration work, Laura-Susan is a part-time faculty member at Allan Hancock College, teaching classes for the fine art department in Digital Painting, Drawing and Art Appreciation.

 Community: Laura-Susan teaches art classes for “Art Fund”, Based in Santa Barbara. Art Fund offers free classes to students of high school age throughout the year in all art mediums in North County. She is also teaching for “Arts Alive” this summer; a great new Non-Profit in Santa Maria, offering high school students free art opportunities in dance, drama, music, and visual arts, that are neighborhood based throughout the summer break. Laura-Susan is locally involved with OCAF, Orcutt Children’s Arts Foundation, previously as a board member and now as a volunteer. OCAF is a wonderful organization that helps fund the arts and arts programs in the Orcutt School District.  Laura-Susan is a longtime member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) also serving on the board in SCBWI-CenCal region as one of their  Illustrator Coordinators helping to organize events for emerging and established illustrators in the organization.