Todd Stokes RCAA’s September Artist of the Month at Vigo County Public Library

Sycamore Rising

Glass etchings by Todd Stokes are featured throughout September in River City Art Association’s Artist of the Month gallery space in the Vigo County Public Library at Terre Haute.

The Terre Haute artist’s display is a sampling of his award-winning artwork inspired by trees, the Wabash River, and how the passage of time affects the natural world around him.

“Artists see the world differently. We are all looking at the same world but each one of us has a different filter so our brains register only what our filters allow,” said Stokes, who also works out of his studio in Dennison, Illinois.

“We all might be looking at the same tree and say … it’s a tree. An artist’s eye looks at it and sees the texture of the bark, the proportions of the limbs, the spread of the canopy, the detail of the leaves, the beautiful greens as they change from full on sun to the brilliance of back lit translucence, and the tree’s relationship to other features in the landscape … not just a tree.

“Using these elements — texture, shape, mass, proportion and color — the artist boldly approaches abstraction. He manipulates these elements in certain combinations to create interesting, evocative and visually striking pieces.”

Stokes likes to construct pieces that capture the essence of what happens due to time’s passing: “the erosion of a river’s bank, the budding of  new growth made possible by the decay of the fallen leaves of autumn, and the fading of memories as we travel along the timeline of what we call life.”

Flicker by Todd Stokes in the “Red” show at Arts Illiana Gallery

The “constructive” aspect of  making art, sometimes giving himself technically difficult problems to overcome, are challenges Stokes loves to conquer.

“Some of the most difficult challenges have led me to create the most  fulfilling pieces.”

Also this month, Stokes has glass etchings in the “Red” exhibition  at Arts Illiana Gallery  in Terre Haute; RCAA’s “Art Currents” membership show in the Link Art Gallery in Paris, Illinois; and a show in First Financial Bank’s Springhill Banking Center featuring award-winning artwork from RCAA’s 11th Annual Juried Exhibition in August.

RCAA meets at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the library at Seventh and Poplar streets. For more details, call Stokes at 812-232-0048.

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Artwork by RCAA members Steve Harrold, Sheila Ter Meer in Swope Art Museum 75th Annual Wabash Valley Exhibition

River City Art Association members Steve Harrold and Sheila K. Ter Meer have artwork in the 75th Annual Wabash Valley Exhibition, today (Sept. 6) through Oct. 20, in Swope Art Museum at Terre Haute, Indiana.

The exhibition opens at 5 p.m. with food and cash bar in the reception area just outside the Hulman and Schell galleries on the second floor of the museum at 25 S. Seventh St. Award announcements at 6 p.m.

From nearly 470 entries submitted by 165 artists,  this year’s distinguished juror David Butler selected a variety of styles and media, choosing 57 works by 45 artists. Butler is  former director of the Swope Art Museum (1995-2000) and current Executive Director of the Knoxville Museum of Art.

“Butler was impressed with the quality of the entries, which come from artists in five states,” the Swope said in its invitation to artists.

“My choices were … driven by a desire to include a diverse mix of subject, media, style and approach,” Butler said.

Admission to the exhibition of contemporary art and opening reception is free.

Congrats to both RCAA artists! Look for their artwork:

Steve Harrold, West Terre Haute, Indiana, She confessed, 2018, oil on canvas.

Sheila Ter Meer of Brazil, Indiana, Vegas Elvis 1977, 2018-19, dye sublimation print on aluminum, floated off black acrylic. This same photography-based digital art abstraction was one of 35 entries selected this spring for the “Anything Goes” regional juried exhibition in Arts Illiana Gallery in Terre Haute.

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RCAA membership show ‘Art Currents’ opens Sept. 6 in Link Art Gallery

Standoff at the Dock of the Bay-acrylic by Eloise Lovell of Rosedale, Indiana

“Current” events in the art scene at Paris, Illinois includes a membership show by River City Art Association.

The exhibition, “Art Currents,” opens Friday, Sept. 6, in the Link Art Gallery inside the former Bicentennial Art Center and Museum at 132 S. Central Ave.

A free reception to meet the Wabash Valley artists is scheduled 5 to 6:30 p.m. CDT.

The show will feature paintings, drawings, quilt artistry, intarsia art, photography, glass etchings, fused and shattered glass, clay, and mixed media by several of RCAA’s award-winning artists.

Some of the artwork will have a water or river current theme.

They include an acrylic by Eloise Lovell of Rosedale titled “Standoff at the Dock of the Bay”; “Mansfield Mill,” a watercolor by Lynne Dunnavant of Rockville; and a glass etching titled “Writhing River” by Todd Stokes of Terre Haute and Dennison, Illinois.

Writhing River-glass etching-Todd Stokes

“This piece represents the Wabash River as it meanders and cuts through the landscape following the path of least resistance as it finds its way down to the Ohio, the Mississippi and to the Gulf of Mexico, eating away the banks on either side as it sees fit,” Todd said, explaining his glass etching.

“The current is represented by three etched ribbons. They intermingle and play off of each other as they build momentum creating the power to move anything in its way. Earth and stone are no match for its power. Time works its way into the equation through the endless pounding and ceaseless motion of the current as it follows gravity’s lead.”

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT Tuesday through Friday. “Art Currents” can be viewed until Oct. 4.

RCAA meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the Vigo County Public Library at Seventh and Poplar streets in Terre Haute. Membership is open to Indiana and Illinois artists age 18 and older. For more information visit or contact RCAA vice president Todd Stokes at 812-232-0048.

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RCAA congratulates Lynne Dunnavant for her Best of Show!

Coal Bluff by Lynne Dunnavant

Congratulations! to River City Art Association member Lynne Dunnavant of Rockville!

“I’m excited and honored that I received Best of Show at the Little Italy Art Show for my Coal Bluff painting! Wow, very thankful and blessed!” Lynne said in a recent post on her Facebook page.

The art show takes place during the Labor Day weekend festival in Clinton, Indiana.

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People’s Choice Award winner in RCAA 11th annual juried exhibition added to September show in First Financial Springhill bank

People’s Choice Award: Jane Lubbehusen’s watercolor titled Quanisha

Winning artwork in River City Art Association’s 11th Annual Juried Exhibition in August will be featured again in a September show in the lobby of First Financial Bank’s Springhill banking center at 4500 S. U.S. 41.

The opening reception is set for 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 31st, at the “winner’s circle” in the bank lobby.

The display features “Burdsal’s Barn,” the Best of Show acrylic painting by Dian Der Ohanian Phillips of Terre Haute; 15 first-, second- and third-place paintings, drawings, mixed media, photography and glass designs by Indiana and Illinois artists; and two honorable mention paintings.

Winners of the Artists’ Choice and People’s Choice awards are included in the Springhill show.

An “Untitled” ink painting by Elizabeth Hood of Brazil was chosen by artists attending the Aug. 2 exhibition reception, and a watercolor titled “Quanisha” by Jane Lubbehusen of Terre Haute was voted the People’s Choice by patrons visiting the bank through Aug. 26.

Event sponsor First Financial and marketing officer Sally Whitehurst invite the public to the reception in the Springhill lobby and to view the art show during regular banking hours through Sept. 30.

For more information visit or contact RCAA vice president Todd Stokes at 812-232-0048.

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Winners in RCAA’s 11th Annual Juried Exhibition

Best of Show: Burdsal’s Barn, an acrylic painting by Dian Der Ohanian Phillips

River City Art Association celebrated the talent of 26 Indiana and Illinois artists during its 11th Annual Juried Exhibition opening reception on Aug. 2 in First Financial Bank in downtown Terre Haute.

An impressive 72 entries by emerging and professional artists will remain on display through Aug. 29 during regular banking hours.

First Financial marketing officer Sally Whitehurst hosted the reception and awards ceremony with many of the exhibiting artists from the Wabash Valley attending the First Friday event.

Juror Chester Burton

Chester Burton, professional artist and senior instructor in the department of art and design at Indiana State University, selected winners in five categories as well as Best of Show.

Best of Show winnings, sponsored by First Financial, went to Dian Der Ohanian Phillips of Terre Haute for her acrylic painting titled “Burdsal’s Barn.”

The backstory on her painting: While driving on U.S. 40, near the Clay-Putnam County Line Road, “I noticed a nice old barn with two ghost signs still visible,” Phillips posted on her Facebook page. “The’Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco’ sign is well-known to anyone who drives through American byways. However, the Burdsal’s Paint sign was unique. To my horror, one day the barn was gone! Luckily, I had taken a photo, and that was the inspiration for the painting. Happy ending.”

Artists Choice-ink painting by Elizabeth Hood

First-place medallions were awarded to David V. Gill for his painting, “Todd House”; Alexandra McNichols-Torroledo for her photography entry, a platinum palladium print titled “Tu Kansjewesx Nasa Indigenous Band”; Jane Lubbehusen for a pastel, “Running Free,” in the drawing category; Valerie Funk for a mixed media entry in fabric and threads, “MCM Composition #5 Staccato”; and Edith Acton for a fused glass wall hanging in the ceramics/glass category titled “Elegant.”

Second-place honors went to Ruthann Brady for a mixed media entry titled “Yuugen Cove”; Eloise Lovell for her drawing, “Red Family Tangle”; Steve Harrold for his painting, “Samantha”; Thomas Wright for his “Golden Reflections” entry in the photography category; and Todd Stokes for his etched glass piece titled “Geo Trees.”

Third-place recognition went to Monty “Indiana” Jones for his drawing, “Big Red”; Jennifer Kirk for a photography entry on canvas titled “Off the Wall”; Elise Spaid-Roberts for her painting on pennies, “Painted Pennies”; Todd Stokes for a mixed media piece, “From Winter’s Decay”; and Edith Acton for a wall hanging in fused glass titled “Burst of Color.”

Two honorable mentions also were awarded in the painting category: “The Three Musers” by Der Ohanian Phillips and “Satisfied” by Mary G. Mayhew.

The reception ended with the Artists’ Choice Award going to Elizabeth Hood of Brazil, Indiana for her “Untitled” ink painting.

Voting for the recipient of the People’s Choice Award will end Aug. 29.

The exhibition also features artwork by Richard Acton, Marvetta Bee, Bryan Bromstrup, Lynne Dunnavant, Marcia Norman, Sandy Ridge-Fisher, Jimmie R. Tabor, Sheila K. Ter Meer, Jo Rich-Vadas and Spencer Young.

Winning artwork will be featured again in September in the lobby of First Financial’s Springhill banking center at 4500 S. U.S. 41.

For more information visit or contact past president Todd Stokes at 812-232-0048.

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Artwork by RCAA’s Sheila K. Ter Meer featured in August at Vigo library

Chihuly Glass Ceiling by Sheila K. Ter Meer

A mix of representational and abstract photographic works by River City Art Association member Sheila K. Ter Meer will be featured throughout August in RCAA’s Artist of the Month gallery space at the Vigo County Public Library in Terre Haute.

The Brazil, Indiana, native is a self-taught artist honored for her nature photography and expressionistic digital designs at regional, national and international juried exhibitions.

She has artwork in the Permanent Art Collection at Indiana State University and at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, an abstract in the “Red” exhibition currently in Arts Illiana Gallery, and an abstract recently selected for Swope Art Museum’s 75th Annual Wabash Valley Exhibition opening in September.

To satisfy her childlike enthusiasm for fantasy and whimsies – anything playful or fanciful, as an artistic creation – Sheila takes creative license with many of her traditional images to design one-of-a-kind photography-based digital art abstractions for emotive or expressive purposes.

Sheila combines digital processes with traditional photography techniques to intensify the colors and contort the form. Brilliant designs in black negative space liken some of her artistic expressions to blacklight and scratchboard art.

Once an abstract design is complete, the first image or emotion evoked by her mind’s eye often determines its title. Much like the Rorschach test, the subjectivity of her “inkblots” is open to interpretation by the viewer.

To make many of her unique art pieces command even more attention, she tries to think outside the frame. Stripping away conventional parameters and exposing the image on canvas, leather, Masonite, acrylic and aluminum, she believes, creates a unique presentation and dramatic viewing experience.

Middle Child Born on the Libra-Scorpio Cusp by Sheila K. Ter Meer

Sheila’s display in the library will include abstract “Middle Child Born on the Libra-Scorpio Cusp,” recently invited to be in the “Self Portrait 2019” international juried exhibition set for October at Specto Art Space gallery in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

She also will show “Chihuly Glass Ceiling,” a photograph that received a First Place in May at the Wabash Valley Art Guild Spring Art Show in Clabber Girl Museum at Terre Haute; and “Tennessee Whiskey,” a double exposure image awarded Second Place in the Covered Bridge Art Association Associate Members’ Show in July 2018 in the CBAA Gallery at Rockville.

Also at the library will be abstract “Party Girl,” awarded First Place in RCAA’s 10th annual juried exhibition in August 2018.

In addition to her display at the library, Sheila has two award-winning photographic works in the current show at The Link Art Gallery in Bicentennial Art Center at Paris, Illinois; two new abstractions in RCAA’s 11th Annual Juried Exhibition currently in First Financial Bank Plaza in Terre Haute; and several award-winning abstractions in a solo exhibit in RCAA’s Community Outreach Gallery in Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

In November, she will be the solo artist in The Gallery at Clabber Girl Museum.

Sheila shares her photographic works and digital abstract designs on Sheila T Illustrated, her website at

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