Mary Mayhew RCAA’s September Artist of the Month at Vigo County Public Library

Mary Mayhew is an enthusiastic painter who is inspired by people, nature, light and color. She finds satisfaction in capturing on canvas the beauty she sees in the world around her, people, and their relationships.

“Summer Travels” by Mary Mayhew

Drawing and painting help her to more fully see and know a subject. The more she studies a subject the more there is to notice about it. A seemingly simple object such as a flower or an eye has so many intricacies and subtleties that are missed with the casual glance. Representing that object in paint makes her stop long enough to more fully appreciate its depths and beauty.

Mary is fascinated by the effects of light; how it changes colors, reveals forms and directs our view. She thoroughly enjoys the painting process and finds it fulfilling to create her own personal record of the world she lives in.

Mary Mayhew

Although she is British by birth, Mary has lived in Terre Haute for 23 years. She trained as an optometrist in England, but put that aside to raise and home-educate her children, all but one of whom have now graduated.

Mary’s grandchildren often feature in her paintings! She has continued learning from books and videos, and painting as an amateur artist throughout her life. Recently, she has been taking lessons from Kari Rajkumar of Paris, IL. She feels fortunate and blessed to be at a stage of life where she is able to spend more time painting.

Mary has had paintings accepted to the past two years of the Swope Art Museum Annual Juried Shows, and has won awards in three years in the River City Art Association Annual Juried Exhibition, plus first place in painting in the Wabash Valley Art Guild Show 2022. She has also had paintings accepted to several juried shows at Arts Illiana Gallery.

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Winners in RCAA 14th Annual Juried Exhibition

River City Art Association recognized the talent of 25 Indiana and Illinois artists during its 14th Annual Juried Exhibition opening reception on Aug. 5 in the lobby of host sponsor First Financial Bank in downtown Terre Haute.

Exhibition juror Rhonda Yochum, a retired Vigo County School Corp. art educator with degrees in photography and fine arts from Indiana State University and Indiana University, announced winners from 73 entries in six categories.

Best of Show 2022-Yellow Tree-Donna PomfretWEB

Best of Show went to an acrylic painting, “Yellow Tree” by Donna Pomfret.

First-place medallions were awarded to Jo Rich-Vadas of Marshall, Illinois, for her gouache painting, “Ojai Poppies; “Faithful and True,” a pastel drawing by Lisa Methany; Cathie Laska of Terre Haute for a mixed media entry titled “Santa Fe Red Peppers”; Marcia Norman of Terre Haute for her glass wall hanging, “Dancing Jellies”; Todd Stokes of Dennison, Illinois, for a 3-D etched glass and wood entry, “Sunrise, Sunset”; and in photography, “Mura Indigenous Community Protecting the Rain Forest, Brazil” by Alex McNichols-Torreledo of Terre Haute.

Stokes also received second place in 3-D for “Rain Dance,” and third place for “Straight Line Breeze,” both created with etched glass and wood.

Five more second-place honors went to Laska for her soft pastel drawing, “Early Morning Hawthorn Park”; Lynne Dunnavant of Rosedale, for her oil painting “Queen Anne’s Lace; “Crystal Forest,” a glass entry by Edith Acton of Terre Haute; “Evening Sunset,” a mixed media piece by Richard Acton of Terre Haute; and Clinton artist Thomas Wright for his photograph, “Sliver of Light.”

In addition to Stokes, four more third-place awards went to Clay City artist David V. Gill’s oil painting, “The Fitch House – Sunset”; “Study of Triangles” in glass by Edith Acton; “Turtles All The Way Down,” a mixed media entry by Jan McVay of Tangier; and “Approaching Fear Head-On,” a photography triptych by Sheila K. Ter Meer of Brazil, Indiana.

Other participating artists include Willa Barksdale, Debra Butler, Kara Cress, Steve Harrold, Jean Kristeller, Mary Mayhew, Dian Der Ohanian Phillips, Sandy Ridge-Fisher, Elise Spaid-Roberts, Susan Thiemann Wynne and Regan Zerwig.

All entries in RCAA’s exhibition can be viewed during regular banking hours through Aug. 31, when the Artists’ and People’s Choice awards will be announced and join winners in a September display in the lobby of First Financial’s Springhill bank.

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Terre Haute photographer featured in RCAA Community Outreach Gallery

Debra Butler is the River City Art Association featured artist photographer exhibiting at THSB now until mid-December, 2022.

The Hometown Savings Bank, formerly Terre Haute Savings Bank, welcomes the public to stop by the branch at Poplar and 25th streets during banking hours to view Ms. Butler’s Exhibit of Ten Photographs.

Debra is pictured here with “Summer Sunday Echo Park,” one of the photographs in her exhibit at the THSB.

Ms. Butler grew up in Terre Haute, and recently returned after 45 years in California. Her photographs reflect her love of the natural world as she focuses her camera on capturing the beauty she sees in a flower or scenic view. She states that her hope is that by sharing her images at THSB, someone in the middle of a busy, and maybe stressful day, and maybe even someone who never visits an art gallery, might find in one of these photographs that moment of joy that art can give to an otherwise routine day.

Stop in and see RCAA member Debra Butler’s exhibit now through mid-December.

THSB is one of several Community Outreach Galleries in Terre Haute curated by RCAA.

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Graphic designer RCAA’s July Artist of the Month at Vigo County Public Library

Kara Cress of Terre Haute is River City Art Association’s July Artist of the Month at the Vigo County Public Library.

Kara grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. She is a graduate of Prairie State College in Visual Communications and Eastern Illinois University in Graphic Design. As a graphic designer, Kara has designed continuously in the Wabash Valley for over 35 years, and has won several state and national awards.

After spending so much time in the structured graphic design world, Kara decided it was time to rekindle her original love of drawing and painting. “3 years ago I (we) converted a bedroom into a small studio and I’m trying to loosen up and find my style. I guess it’s, who do I want to be now that I’m grown-up?”

Kara is interested in all things creative, and is currently exploring abstract and “lots of color”. Many of her art pieces involve nature and florals. Much of her current work is done in watercolor and acrylic.

Kara is a new member of River City Art Association, but has had artwork in the Wabash Valley Juried Art Exhibition, Arts Illiana Small Art Show and TREES Inc. Photography.

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Call for Artists for 14th Annual Juried Exhibition

2022.14thAnnualRCAAExhibitionPostcardRiver City Art Association invites Indiana and Illinois artists to enter it’s 14th Annual Juried Exhibition to be displayed Aug. 5 through 31 in First Financial Bank Plaza at Sixth Street and Wabash Avenue.

The competition is open to ages 18 and older. Entry deadline is July 15.

Exhibition juror Rhonda Yochum holds degrees in photography and fine arts from Indiana State University and Indiana University, and is a retired Vigo County School Corp. art educator.

Fees are $20 for RCAA and Wabash Valley Art Guild members, $30 for nonmembers, and $15 for students (with valid student ID) for up to three entries per artist.

Participation requirements and delivery instructions are below. Download the entry form in PDF format 2022 RCAA Exhibition_Entry Form

An opening reception is set for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Aug. 5 with an awards ceremony at 6:30. Admission is free during the reception and regular banking hours through Aug. 31.

Artists who place in the exhibition will have the option of displaying their artwork in a “Winner’s Show” in FFB’s Springhill branch Sept. 1 through 30.

For more information contact RCAA vice president Todd Stokes at or 812-870-8252.


Entry must be entirely original, completed within the last five years, and not previously entered in a juried RCAA exhibition.

All two-dimensional artwork must be suitably framed and wired for hanging. Art with “sawtooth hangers” and “clip frames” will not be accepted. Gallery-wrapped canvas paintings or photographs qualify.

RCAA reserves the right to reject work that is not suitably framed or is not suitable subject matter for public display.

The entry form with non-refundable fee (and copy of student ID) are due July 15 and can be mailed to RCAA 14th Annual Show, P.O. Box 3605, Terre Haute, IN 47803; or, emailed to and payment made at time of drop-off.

Deliver artwork to FFB’s Sixth Street entrance between noon and 2 p.m. Aug. 1 and 2. Art/artist identification tags must be attached to the back or bottom of each piece. Artists can pick up entries between noon and 2 p.m. Aug. 31.


A native of Terre Haute, Indiana, Rhonda Yochum has studied and recorded equine imagery for more than 30 years, experimenting in a wide variety of media including acrylics, pastels, watercolors and photography. More than 40 years ago, after studying with Ansel Adams and working as an assistant to Ruth Bernhard, she began to develop different photographic techniques for her subjects, embracing mixed media.

Currently she is using a digital camera and 35mm camera for her wild horse imagery. Rhonda has had exhibits both nationally and internationally in group and solo exhibitions, including Soho Photo Gallery, NYC, and Banff Gallery in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Her work is in permanent museum collections and private collections throughout the United States and other countries, where she has instructed and assisted in art and photography workshops.

Rhonda retired from art education with the Vigo County School Corporation in 2018. She currently exhibits her work throughout the art and equine communities. She received Best of Show at the 2020 Midwest Photography Exhibit at the Link Art Gallery in Paris, Illinois; and in 2021, she judged the Link Midwest Photography Exhibit.

Her educational background includes BS, MS and MFA degrees in photography and fine arts from Indiana State University and Indiana University. In 2004 a grant from Eli Lilly allowed Rhonda to begin her lifelong quest to study and create art concerning America’s wild horses. It is her desire to educate the public through her art and photography about American Wild Horses, our living legacies.

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RCAA Membership Show in Paris gallery opens June 17

Bottle Cap Paintings-Elise Spaid-Roberts
Bottle Cap Paintings-Elise Spaid-Roberts

More than 30 works by members of River City Art Association will be featured June 17 through July 15 in the Link Art Gallery at Paris, Illinois.

An opening reception is scheduled 5 to 6:30 p.m. CDT June 17 in the gallery at 132 S. Central Ave. Regular viewing hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

The Terre Haute-based artist collective has about 25 members. Mediums include fused glass and clay wall decor; pen, ink, graphite and pastel drawings; oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings; etched glass; mixed media; traditional and creative photography; wood carvings and other sculpture.

Eden, oil by Mary Mayhew

Participating artists include Edith and Richard Acton, Debra Butler, Dian Der Ohanian Phillips, Lynne Dunnavant, Mary Mayhew, Jan McVay, Elise Spaid-Roberts, Todd Stokes, Sheila K. Ter Meer, Thomas Wright.

Rising Hope-Oil painting-Lynne Dunnavant-ForLinkGallery
Rising Hope, oil by Lynne Dunnavant

RCAA was established in 2008 by founding members Debbie Martinez and her late husband Marty, Ruthann Brady, Adrianus Fraza, Kit Fisher, and the late Rob Robbins and Monty “Indiana” Jones. Membership is open to Indiana and Illinois artists, age 18 and older.

In addition to hosting an annual juried exhibition in August, RCAA promotes an Artist of the Month in the Vigo County Public Library. It also showcases members in RCAA’s community outreach gallery in Terre Haute Regional Hospital and curates Wabash Valley artists for outreach galleries at two other Terre Haute locations.

The non-profit organization meets at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. For location, like River City Art Association on Facebook. To join RCAA, call vice president Todd Stokes at 812-870-8252 or download a membership form on this website.

For more information on the RCAA membership show in the Link Art Gallery call 217-466-8130 or visit

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Watercolor artist RCAA’s June Artist of the Month

“Mystic Melody,” Best of Show, RCAA 13th Annual Juried Exhibition, 2021

River City Art Association’s June Artist of the Month is Jan McVay of Tangier, Indiana. A sampling of her many talents will be on display through June 30 in the Vigo County Public Library at Terre Haute, Indiana.

Jan is a resident of Parke County, Indiana. She went to college in Ohio majoring in art and education, taking the opportunity her junior year to study in Switzerland.

For 24 years Jan taught art and photography at Southmont High School near Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Several years ago she took a watercolor class in Provence, France.

As an active long-standing member of the Covered Bridge Art Association in Rockville, Indiana, Jan’s main medium is watercolor. In addition, Jan is a photographer and dabbles in a variety of other art forms.

Sub-Marine Jan McVay Abstract April CBAA

In August 2021, Jan’s work received Best of Show and a 1st Place in RCAA’s 13th Annual Juried Exhibition in Terre Haute, IN. More recent, Jan’s “Sub-Marine” mixed media piece received a Second Place in the 2022 Abstract April show in the Covered Bridge Art Gallery.

Other “water-themed” works in Jan’s exhibit at the VCPL will complement the library’s summer reading program, Oceans of Possibilities.

“Growing up in Miami, I spent a lot of time around the water.  Also I like solitude which is difficult to get in Miami.  Maybe that is why I moved to rural Indiana.  My art work has a variety of styles and techniques.”

Beach Medley: Many different elements are used here over a simple watercolor painting.  Shells are embossed in the sand.  A variety of debris from the beach, and a gull feather round out this piece.This is how I envision Sanibel Island in 1960 when I camped under the Australian pines.

Beach Hut: Depicting a hot quiet midday, this watercolor speaks to my condition.

Pelicans at Black Point: This is a color photograph even though it looks black and white.  Pelicans are my favorite bird. These guys were sitting on the end of the empty boat slips. I love the silhouette effect against the bright water.  Black Point is a favorite location for me south of Miami along the bay.

Coconut Grove Boardwalk: The straight geometric lines in this scene are what attracted me. Acrylic paint is my choice for such straight-edge work. I changed the dimensions of the boardwalk to suit my composition and was most surprised the next time I was on locations to see how short it really is.

Moon Over Miami: This is all collage, no painting.  It employs very limited color, contrast of values and a lot of texture.

Wet Sand: A young girl plays in the sand.  I think that is me.

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