Artists V - Z
“I first became interested in art at a very early age. My report card in Kindergarten listed my interests as ‘modeling clay and stringing beads’. During my high school years, the ceramics class rekindled my love of clay.
I create some popular and ordinary things like cups, bowls, and teapots, but my favorite things to make are very unusual and unique one-of-a-kind items. That is why I love working in clay; I can squeeze, shape and mold all sorts of things, from the ordinary to the extraordinary; from cups and bowls to sculptures. This is the only art medium in which I have been interested.
It has always been just a mere dream of mine to create with clay, and now is a great time to be creative! My work is displayed at Heartland Art Gallery and occasionally at some art and craft festivals.”
Voted one of Indiana’s top 25 photographers by his friends and some of his family, Tony has been a photographer since he could hold a camera.
He officially opened Tony Straw Photography in 2016 and specializes in taking photos of the things he loves: dogs, wildlife, nature, landscapes, and humans. He is available for hire for pet photo sessions, all human photo sessions (except wedding ceremony photos), Real Estate Photography, Athletic Events, Senior Photo Sessions, Family Photo Sessions, Holiday Photo Sessions, etc…
Cindy Carter grew up in Culver. From a young age, she was exposed to many art
and craft mediums by her mother and grandmothers. Over the years she has done floral arranging, dabbled in painting, macramé, embroidery and cross-stitching.
In early 2018, faced with an empty nest after the last of her three children moved out, she started classes in clay making.
She was immediately drawn into the hand building and wheel throwing processes.
The search for a used wheel and kiln of her own and other supplies began shortly after starting the classes. She has enjoyed setting up a home studio and learning all she can about pottery making. She is anxious to keep learning and honing her skills. She has given many of her pieces to family, friends and some charities.
This is her first time displaying in a gallery, but she has sold some of her work at the Culver Farmer’s Market. She enjoys creating in her home studio in the evenings and on weekends when not at work. She looks forward to sharing her love of making things with her grandchildren. Cindy lives in Culver with her husband Bruce, Lab Ellie and cat Boo.
Any art is an attempt by artists to provide a glimpse into their souls.
“Fine Art Photography is a metaphor for the feeling that the artist is trying to express to the viewer. It’s not about the object, place, or event, but rather about the feeling generated within the artist as part of the process of photography.” P. Myers
For me, there is no greater reward than seeing that someone has been touched by my photographs. It’s like finding a kindred spirit.
I am a representational artist that works in oil exclusively. I am a studio painter that works from photographs. I do a lot of house portraits but no pet portraits. I take pride in the fact that my subject matter varies from urbanscapes to still lifes to interiors as well as landscapes. I love painting
sunsets and winterscapes. My style is realistic with a good dose of painterly flair.
Perry’s Philosophy: “To me, life is a banquet, I want to eat it, and I want to paint it. So how do I choose what to paint next? I can almost taste it!“
Perry started his painting career in 2009 by taking weekly private lessons and an artist was born. His paintings are interpretative in a painterly fashion but are not abstract. He competes in juried shows and has won awards. He also has participated in one and two-man shows, been accepted into Oil Painters of America and in 2019 had a painting juried into Indiana’s most prestigious art show, the Hoosier Salon.
He draws inspiration from nature, his daily experiences and his travels. His subject matter varies from landscapes to urbanscapes to even an occasional still life. He continually creates new paintings, so please, visit his website often.
Gloria Seitz has loved making art since she was a young child. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College in Art Education.
She has been teaching art in many different settings including Heartland School of Art in
Plymouth, Sylvan Way Christian Schools in Bremerton, WA, Good Shepherd Montessori, Bethel College, Arborwood and Juday Creek Retirement Facilities in South Bend.
She offers the opportunity for everyone, kids, through adults to challenge their artistic side and opens her classes up to both; parents with their children and/or grandchildren with their grandparents.
Gloria’s favorite setting for teaching classes has been through her business, New Creations Art Classes, for the last eighteen years. Gloria enjoys working in watercolor, acrylic, pencil, and photography. She is also an accomplished muralist and illustrator.
Elinor Pihl Huggett
I was born in Chicago and grew up in South Bend and Chicago. As a youngster, I spent much of my summertime staying with family friends on farms in Chesterton, Indiana, Minnesota, and South
Dakota where I fell in love with country life, horses, all animals, and the great West.
Ever since I was a child I was frequently drawing but never had any formal training, except for 2 ½ years of drafting at a vocational high school in Chicago.
My mother’s side of the family, the Johnsons, is the creative side. My relatives are singers, musicians, cabinet makers, needleworkers, writers, and artists. All have a love for travel.
After attending Illinois State University I moved back to Indiana, worked for the phone company, spending vacations at a ranch in Michigan and traveling. After I married I settled in Lakeville.
I teach haiku poetry in South Bend and like to accompany my poems with the artwork. I have the need to create, whether it is poetry, artwork, needlework, or writing family stories.
After retiring from the South Bend library, I greatly enjoy spending time taking a variety of art classes at Heartland.
As an artist my work has always been primarily concerned with humanity, specifically, through the portrait. I have inexplicably been captivated with the human portrait for over thirty years. History has shown that despite the trends toward new and fresh forms of expression, portraiture will always hold a high place of value. We, as a species are obsessed with looking at ourselves. My work is somewhat naturalistic but does not strive for pure realism. I prefer to often work in pure, raw color, similar to the Fauvists. I am not interested in achieving a perfect likeness, nor am I interested in tedious detail, but in communicating a subtle emotional power through the gaze of the subject. I use bold brushwork and mark-making to create vibrant and energetic forms. In my work I strive to connect a foundation of draftsmanship with a looser, more playful abstraction. Much of my work flows from a place of searching, seeking out the qualities within all of us which make us congruent, those traits that reveal our true spirit. I am an idealist and a strong believer that people can be transformed by that which they put into their minds, as a result my art seeks to always be optimistic, more joyful than painful, more defiant than fearful.
Watercolors, Pen & Ink, Charcoal, & Graphite
Jon’s an unpretentious midwestern guy, who grew up drawing the local landscape. “I drew a lot of barns”, he recalls. Life provided him a couple of vocational twists and turns, but when he returned to his art, two decades later, both his soul and his palette had evolved to accommodate a much more expansive range of artistic thought. Colorful acrylics of coastal scenes, kept company with photorealistic paintings that often carried a subtle, or not so subtle, philosophical message.
While external objects, scenes, and people inspire Jon, his finished product always bore a definitive stamp of his personal artistic perspective. Strong personal feelings and novel thoughts brought everyday subjects “out of the box”, and into Jon’s artistic light. Often he challenged viewers to look at familiar elements of communal life in a very different way. Jon was rewarded not only by the satisfaction of provocation, but also by many art show prizes awarded by judges.
While many artists tread water in artistic careers, Jon has solidified his artistic reputation by swimming both with the tide of common perspective, and strongly against it.
His newest work, inspired by his recent move back to the Midwest, is a fascinating journey inside an artist who will no doubt continue to evolve.
Watercolors, Acrylics, Pastels, Jewelry, Alcohol Inks
Carrolyne has lived on a farm in Marshall County for over 40 years. She raises hay, perennials, grasses, and cats. She loves taking photos of her flowers and the dragonflies, butterflies, and hummingbirds that visit them. Carrolyne also takes pictures of the countryside, old barns and the scenes along the Yellow River. The paintings she creates from these photos are done in watercolor, acrylic, oil, and pastel. She likes to experiment once in a while with texture or using the media in different ways to create an abstract.
She has taught classes in painting, tole and decorative painting, and nature printing. She also makes jewelry from polymer clay, dominoes, beads and uses woodburning techniques on gourd and wood pieces.
Carrolyne is a charter member of Heartland Artists, serving as co-chair of the Annual Regional Art Exhibit for 25 years. She is currently serving as curator of the Gallery and oversees exhibits and
Oils, Scratchboard, Caning Reed
Bridget is an active Heartland Artist Member. You can often find her in the Gallery as a docent, as she is a frequent volunteer. If she isn’t in the Gallery, her beautiful work is.
She is an avid painter, often capturing natural subjects, like horses and flowers with oil paints. Recently she has been creating ornaments from caning reed. The reed comes from the rattan palm which is imported from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and China. She weaves and twists the reed to make beautiful heart ornaments.
When Bridget isn’t creating, she spends time with her husband, Ralph, who is also a woodworking artist, and tends to her rabbits
Anna Kietzman is a Plymouth native and self-proclaimed “creative…with moments of artistry”. Growing up in her mother’s art studio, she was surrounded by art early on and developed a true passion for the arts in all forms, specifically visual arts and dance.
Living in Chicago for 6 years, Anna held various creative jobs, such as teaching children’s dance and also received a Masters in Education from National-Louis University. She went on to teach 4th grade in Crown Point for 7 years, often weaving the arts into her classroom.
After returning to Plymouth, Anna joined Heartland’s Advisory Board in 2016 and has since taken on the role of President in 2017, while also teaching children’s art workshops, as well as classes in paper quilling. She thoroughly enjoys being part of Heartland and is wholly dedicated to helping grow the arts in the Plymouth community.
Outside of the Gallery, Anna spends time with her two boys, Danny and Davey, her husband Russ, and their dog, Samwise. She also plays competitive tennis in northern Indiana, is an active member of the local Tri Kappa Chapter, and co-chairs the Marshall County Neighborhood Center’s Dancing with the Stars Fundraiser.
Vickie is a retired art teacher and potter. She can often be found volunteering in the Heartland Artists Gallery as a docent and helping with the pottery program.
Vickie is a former art teacher with the Plymouth Schools. She received her B.A. in art education from Purdue and her M.A. in Fine Arts from Notre Dame, and retired in 2012 after teaching for 38 years.
Originally from Bourbon, Vickie has lived in Plymouth for 46 years with her husband George, a retired Fire Chief for the City of Plymouth, and her two sons, Phil and Andy.
Vickie likes to try new things and is always trying or inventing a new technique and loves working with new glazes. When not throwing pots, Vickie enjoys spending time with her 6 grandkids and loves to travel.
Graphite, Colored Pencil, Pen & Ink
Mikayla was born and raised in Plymouth, Indiana. Her parents are Rick and Amy and she has one older sibling who is a recent college graduate. She also has two little Shih Tzus named Rambo and Rocky.
In school, Mikayla has participated in color guard for the past four years and has competed in numerous contests. She loves spending time drawing and painting with all different materials. After spending the past four years experimenting with different mediums, she found that she loves to work with graphite and colored pencil. After high school, she plans on going to college and majoring in art to hopefully become a professional artist one day.
It is our privilege to show Mikayla’s art as our first Featured High School Artist at the Gallery.
Enameling, Acrylics, Photography, Glass
Jayne grew up in Wyoming and Montana and then settled in Indiana. She was always interested in drawing and painting, but like so many others, she was not able to devote herself to it during college,
raising children, and teaching elementary school. Whenever possible, she would squeeze in an art class at IUSB, Ancilla, South Bend Museum of Art and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.
Many years ago she enrolled in an art experience class at Ancilla College. Eight different media were taught including weaving, calligraphy, wire sculpture, hooking, and enameling. She had no idea what ‘enameling’ was but thought all the other things sounded interesting. When she took that first glowing piece of glass fused to copper out of the kiln, she was hooked! She has been enameling ever since.
There are many different forms and techniques in enameling which is the fusing of ground glass to metal- either copper, silver or gold. She chooses to create framed wall pieces and jewelry.
Jayne is fascinated by the many properties and forms of glass. She also creates works in stained glass, fused or slumped glass, glass mosaic pieces and dichroic glass jewelry formed in her kiln. Jayne also teaches enameling at Heartland Gallery, MoonTree Studios and in her studio.
John E. Thomas
Who is John E. Thomas, Photo-realist Painter and Airbrush Artist of Indiana?
John E. Thomas, born in 1951, began drawing in high school. Encouraged by his teacher, he continued his artistic training at Indiana University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree. He furthered his training by attending Notre Dame University where he earned a Master of Arts Degree in painting.
Inspired by the smooth look of the airbrush, he mastered the tool and is known for his large paintings on canvas. The photo-realistic images have won him many awards throughout the years. Included in this list are:
Critics Choice Award – Blueberry Festival
1st Place Professional – Blueberry Festival
Indiana State Fair – Most Popular Award 1978, 1979, 1980
Indiana State Fair – Best of Show
Indiana State Fair – Champion Open Class
Heartland Artist Regional – Young Peoples Choice 1997, 1998, 1999
Heartland Artist Regional – Popular Choice 1997 – 1990
Starke County Fine Arts Commission – First Place 1994
South Bend Michiana Regional Competition – Best of Show, 1st in Painting 1978
Mid States Show Evansville – Best of Show 1974 in the permanent collection
Art Work in permanent collections of:
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Evansville Museum of Art & Science
Bristol Myer Squibb Corporate
He has taught high school art for 43 years while continuing to pursue his own art career. Many of his students have gone on to become professionals in the field of art. His art department, at John Glenn High School, has won 25 national achievement awards from the Scholastic Art Awards in New York.
He continues to paint using a variety of mediums such as oils, watercolor, and acrylics. He paints a mixture of subjects; however, figures and portraits continue to be his favorite.
James Dee Holderread
I grew up in Michigan City/Long Beach and loved the beach and Lake Michigan. I have been married for over 50 years and have two daughters and five grandchildren.
I started stained glass art in 1977. I had two young children and was looking for a creative hobby. I tried several things but it didn’t fill the gap. A friend and later, the mentor talked me into trying stained glass, and I was hooked. I did not feel creative until
I found stained glass. I love the sparkle, the feel, texture, and the challenge!
I have completed large and small projects, repairs and restorations. I have created special pieces for special people and places.:
Holy Family Church, South Bend
Holy Cross Village, Notre Dame
Chapel at Shupert Home
Meditation Room at Andrea House
Franciscan Friary Chapek, Mishawaka
Restoration on the Chapin Mansion, Niles
I work on all media of stained glass, copper foil, lead, and zinc. Copper foil is my choice, I like the gentle lines and versatility of it.
3D projects are my favorite. No two are alike and can be viewed from any direction, giving you not one piece of art but three or more just by turning it.
I retired from a ‘normal job’ several years ago and have been able to devote more time to do the job
I love ‘Stained Glass by Mary’. I strive to create
individual, unique pieces of art that will become family treasures. I hope I can create something you will love and treasure.
All stones are either from the earth, or they are handmade. Therefore, there will be some differences and flaws, which truly show the pieces to be handcrafted and more interesting. These stones and baubles come from all over the world – many from the artist’s travels. Metals are typically real silver, gold-filled, vermeil, brass, bronze, copper and some blackened pieces. Many
of these metals may tarnish over time, but will clean right up with the proper cleaner!
I am happy to answer any questions about the origins and meanings of these pieces.
If any adjustments or repairs need to be made, these pieces are guaranteed for one year. Please know that some stones are not replaceable in the exact color. size, or shape, so similar substitutions may be necessary.
The proceeds from all Mermaid pieces sold here will go toward several not-for-profit agencies in Marshall County on a rotating basis. (Marshall County Neighborhood
Center, Boys & Girls Club, Wild Rose Moon, REES Theatre Project, Heartland Artists Gallery, and Marshall County Humane
Custom requests are available, based upon time constraints.
Watercolors, Textiles, Fabric
Kathy has had a love of art since early childhood and ended up with a career in teaching art. She has also been a seamstress all her life, another art form.
She is a retired art teacher of 38 years. As the only teacher for grades seven through twelfth grade, she had extensive experience in almost all mediums. She believes in forever learning.
She has and is always challenging herself. Textile or fabric is her favorite media and is in her comfort zone. She uses photo ideas from her world travels and enjoys translating those images into mixed media pieces. Nature is usually a theme in her work and represents her love of color and design. She is intense with every detail and it shows in all her creative projects.
As an active member of Heartland Artists, Kathy has taught many of the art classes for all ages. It is important to encourage and support the arts for all ages. Challenging creativity is her goal in every endeavor.
“One of my favorite gifts as a child was a “Learn to Draw” set and I was enthralled by the idea of putting together shapes and shading them. I could create beautiful groupings of objects and shapes that soon became realistic scenes. As an adult, I still had this passion to create and was searching for a creative outlet and discovered an artist in the area who gave lessons. She taught a representational style of oil painting that appealed to me and I studied with her for ten years.
Although I didn’t paint for a number of years, I continually looked at the scenery with my artistic eye visualizing how it would look if I painted it. My love of painting has been intensified through this learning experience, I now see and paint more realistically. I also like to improvise by mixing several techniques to create a new style of painting. I am continually tickled to try new mediums, forms, substrates and techniques and wonderfully surprised at the outcome.
I would enjoy bringing your want/need to an artistic reality through my commissioned work.”
Observation in nature is my flow.
I get happily lost in its process: unearthing the layers, utilizing all of my senses, focusing on transitions, and memorizing the light. I absorb the broad strokes of the horizon, but am truly fascinated by the minutiae. I look for striking patterns in unexpected places. Living harmoniously with the natural world—and with child-like wonderment—is everything to me.
The art it inspires is my joy and my self-discovery.
I thrive on unlocking local palettes, seeing things in fresh new ways and capturing these vibrant notions between brush and paper. By creating art and sharing it, I reveal a piece of myself, and that feels significant and beautiful.
The workings of watercolors themselves hold so much wonder. I use mostly genuine earth pigments and find them magical and natural. I love their unpredictability which keeps me playing, learning and seeking. My art will always be a work in progress.
Everyday my connections to the outdoors grow deeper, whether I’m on my paths through the woods, my long swims, or my country road commute, which slices through fields framed by distant forest stands. My seasonal bird visitors, frequent interactions with wildlife, and passion for gardening constantly unveil new lessons. Pilgrimages to the coasts of Maine and Florida instill awe in me each time—but so does my life on a small kettle lake with its sounds, aromas, reflections and ever-changing light.
I have known from the beginning that I would live a life focused on the visual arts. From those first clouds I eagerly studied as a little girl, to the extra hours and electives with my fabulous art teacher who inspired me throughout high school—all the way to my clear directives in art school and my graphic arts career—I have always recognized what motivates me and makes me feel whole.
I earned a BFA at the Ball State University School of Art with a major in Graphic Design and I am the Art Director at Vanadco Signs. I serve on the Board of Directors at Heartland Artists Gallery and feel driven to help inspire creativity and a love for the arts in our community.
Pastels & Acrylics
Cynthia has a BS in Pharmacy from Purdue University and an MM in Church Music (with highest distinction) from Valparaiso University. Her piano teachers included Norah Hawbaker and Dr. Greg Davis (University of Evansville). She studied organ under Clara Woolley (Ancilla College), Paul Anderson, Dr. Andrew McShane (Notre Dame University), and Dr. John Bernthal (Valparaiso University) and organ improvisation with Dr. Lorraine Brugh (Valparaiso University). She has been an accompanist for the Plymouth High School Choral Department, Missoula Children’s Theatre, Marshall County Chorus, Encore Productions “Messiah”, Culver Military Academy, Maxinkuckee Players, and accompanist for ISSMA District and State Contests for vocal and band students. While at Valparaiso University, Cynthia accompanied University Singers, accompanied Chapel Services, and presented two organ recitals.
Her career paths have been varied, including working as a pharmacist, elementary music teacher, church musician, and retail store manager. Currently, she is an Oblate of St. Meinrad Monastery, plays for Sunday Mass at St. Dominic Church in Bremen, and works full-time at the Countertop Shoppe. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, a National Music Honour Society. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking, water-colour, and pencil sketching. She is married to Mike and they have two sons, Stephen and Anthony.