CCAC to resume featured artists in February with exhibit by Biwer-Stewart
By James Grob, firstname.lastname@example.org
The work of Osage artist Lori Biwer-Stewart will be featured at the Charles City Arts Center for the month of February. Her exhibit is entitled “Carved and Pressed.”
The CCAC will hold an artist reception for Biwer-Stewart on Friday, Feb. 7. Admission is free and the event will be open to the public.
The CCAC was closed for the month of January and will reopen on Feb. 1. Hours are 1-5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
“Carved and Pressed” describes the process of her discipline. Biwer-Stewart is a linocut printmaker. This is the second time she has exhibited at the CCAC. The first was about three years ago. Much of her work revolves around female forms and subjects that explore life and experiences from a female perspective.
“She does hand-pulled linocut prints,” said Emily Kiewel, director at the arts center. “She carves them out of linoleum and mixes the colors by hand. A lot of her things are nature — birds, rabbits, rocks and trees”
Biwer-Stewart has received multiple awards for her work.
“I’ll be featuring a lot of my newer pieces,” Biwer-Stewart said. “My recent subject matter includes birds — crows specifically — and Iowa landscapes. With my work I like to take some of the things we see every day, and hopefully people can look at it in a different way.”
She said she often likes to put a little humor into her work as well, and tends to come up with the title before a piece is complete.
“I’ve been told that people really like my titles,” said Biwer-Stewart. “I spend a lot of time titling my work to encourage people to ask me questions about it.”
She works at Curries Co. manufacturing in Mason City, where she does desktop publishing and design. She also teaches some printmaking art classes in Osage, where she and her husband, Mike, have lived for almost 30 years. The couple has a teenage son, Sam, as well as a “rather large cat” named Fang.
She said grew up on a farm near Elma along with two younger siblings and her grandparents right next door.
“I grew up with a lot of beef cattle, and plenty of time on my hands,” she said.
She worked for many years with many different mediums of art before she became interested in printmaking. Though she has no formal training in printmaking, she does have a degree in design.
“I depend on my natural abilities, a large library of reference books, a love of printmaking, and invaluable information from other printmakers to learn and create my images,” she said. “Many of my images include the human figure, or something that may represent humanity itself.”
Biwer-Stewart said she frequently uses the feminine form in her artwork.
“I don’t think it’s a conscious decision,” she said. “A lot of my subjects are so personal to me that using a female comes automatically. Symbolism, such as keys, birds, or doors helps to reveal little pieces of the puzzle and to tell the story.”