Released Aug. 29, 2014

Hello Galena! Features Artists with Connections

Hello Galena! News: Released Aug. 29

During September, the Hello Galena! artists cooperative features works by Casey Folks and Bonnie Geisert. Folks, creator of large drawings, will host a Meet and Greet event on Sept. 13 from 1-4 p.m. at the Hello Galena! shop, 121 N. Commerce St., Galena. Geisert, writer of books for young people, will greet people at the shop on Sept. 20 from 1-4 p.m.

Folks uses the traditional bottle of ink and dip the pen method for his preferred medium of pen and ink drawing. He majored in Illustration at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in Denver. Figure drawing, human anatomy, color theory, graphic design, and art history were among the courses in the two-year, totally art program. "I studied under James Valone, John Lencicki, and Phillip J. Steele, founder of the college," Folks reports.

Folks cannot remember a time when he did not draw. In grade school he filled notebooks with drawings of soldiers, bi-planes, tanks, and countless other images. While being influenced by Dungeons and Dragons during his middle school years, Folks' good friend at the time, Noah Geisert, introduced him to the writings of JRR Tolkien. "Super heroes, mythical peoples, and fantastic monsters ran rampant in my mind," Folks remembers.

Connectivity to the other featured artist begins here. Undoubtedly, it was Bonnie Geisert who introduced her son, Noah, to the literary works of Tolkien, and indirectly influenced Folks as well.

Geisert is a writer, photographer, and teacher, who taught in Galena for more than 20 years. She has received literary awards for two books: "Haystack," co-written with Art Geisert, and "Prairie Summer," the first of her prairie trilogy, illustrated by Art Geisert. Her more recent books are "Lessons" and "Prairie Winter." Geisert is also a contributor of poetry and articles to The Lutheran, Cobblestone, Galenian, and Julien's Journal. Her poetry has been featured in the annual poetry anthology, Gallery, Dubuque, Iowa

Connections to the Midwest are woven into intriguing stories for young readers by Geisert. She was born in Iowa, raised in South Dakota, earned a bachelor's degree in Nebraska, and received a masters from Concordia University in Illinois. Geisert's prairie stories are set in a simpler time and place, yet in "Lessons" the protagonist, Rachel, faces challenges and uncovers secrets to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Geisert is currently working on her fourth novel.

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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