"The Great River Road"

Paintings and drawings by Douglas Eckheart
Photographs by Larsh Bristol
Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts
September 1 - October 14, 2005

There will be a Gallery Reception on Saturday, October 8, 2005 at 3:30 p.m. All are welcome.

The Great River Road

The Great River Road is a collaborative project by Waukon photographer Larsh Bristol and Decorah painter Douglas Eckheart. It was conceived in 2004 in response to an initiative from the Quad Cities Art Center in Rock Island, Illinois. Over 800 artists in a 4-state region were invited to submit slides of their work and resumes of their exhibition histories to be considered for future exhibits at the Art Center. Bristol and Eckheart were selected through a juried process to fill the January and February 2005 exhibition period.

The Great River Road and the Mississippi River have long been sources of inspiration to both artists. For several years they had discussed the possibility of working collaboratively and the competition at the Quad Cities Art Center provided the impetus to act on their shared interest. In Eckhearts words, he and Bristol are "visual soul mates" and believe that eastern Iowa is equal to any place in the world for incredible images of landscape, wildlife, clouds, water reflections, color and light.

Douglas Eckheart

Douglas Eckheart has lived and worked in Decorah for 36 years. He is a professor of art at Luther College with over 60 one-person and 40 group shows to his credit in New York City, Chicago, Des Moines, Malta and Norway. He has served as an artists-in-residence, keynote speaker, juror for regional and national competitions, department head, gallery director and curator. He has been featured in American Artist as well as on Iowa Public Television’s Living in Iowa program. He has served internationally as a visiting artist and in spring 2006 he will lead the Scandinavian/Baltic Program jointly sponsored by Luther and Concordia College. Doug earned his BA degree at Concordia College in Moorehead, Minnesota, and his MFA degree at Bowling Green University in Ohio.

Larsh Bristol

Larsh Bristol learned the complexities of documentary and scenic photography from Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Murphy in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Together with Murphy and the Jackson Hole News, Larsh shared two more Pulitzers for photography. He eventually returned to the mid-West and began using his camera to document the life and land of the Upper Mississippi River Valley. He has provided images for three best-selling books of Iowa photography as well as numerous calendars and magazine articles. He is currently working with retired Luther College professor Cliff English to research and record the demise of the commercial fishing industry on the Upper Mississippi River. Larsh earned a BA in Journalism from the University of Wyoming in Laramie in 1974.

2005-2006 Douglas Eckheart and Larsh Bristol

paintings and drawings by Douglas Eckheart photographs by Larsh Bristol September 1 - October 14, 2005