Released May 15, 2014

Hello Galena! Featured Artists for June

Hello Galena! News: Released May 15

What do reed, Rit dye, hot water and sunshine have in common? Toni Klingler uses these things and her creative genes to prepare a woven art piece. A three-dimensional artist from Galena, Klinger creates basket in shapes and that sizes vary; no two are alike. Sometimes the smallest baskets are woven from waxed linen and take as many as 40 hours to create. One of Klingler's full-sized, Native American woven vases is in the permanent collection of the Roundtree Gallery, Platteville, WI.

When Klingler combines a dried, hard-shell gourd from her source in California and unusual fungi from her woods, a distinctive piece of gourd art is in the making. With paint, stain or dye inside and out, the result might be a sculpture, vase, or wall art mask. Klingler explains, "A piece of gourd art can take from 4-20 hours. Sometimes, this three-dimensional art takes longer to plan than to actually create."

Klingler's passion for art is contagious. Just ask her friend since college days -- Beverly VanDerZyl, a photographer from East Dubuque. "Toni is not only a talented artist; she is skilled shop manager and persuasive promoter of the arts," VanDerZyl shares. "Four years ago, she asked me to write a few press releases for Hello Galena. Now, I display my photography in the shop and continue to write for the artist organization."

VanDerZyl realized the photography "bug" was passed down to her after discovering boxes of decades-old family photos in her mother's home. Then, in a college course with world-renowned photographer, Archie Lieberman, she was exposed to the philosophy that photography is the window of the mind and a good photo always tells a story. "Before the days of digital cameras, I learned to develop film and make prints in the school's darkroom, usually losing all tract of time and sense of anything other than creating images."

Since the photography course, VanDerZyl has discovered the digital camera and editing software. She develops her artistic skills through trial and error, reading, collaboration, and lots of observation. Her husband, Roger, does the finishing; he cuts the mats and crafts the frames that surround the "stories."

Hello Galena! is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization made up of more than 65 local artists. Their artwork and signature gift items are displayed at 121 N. Commerce Street, Galena, Ill. Artists staff the art-only shop. Check out our handy online map, store hours and directions, or call for more information, call (815) 777-1448 during shop hours.

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