"Explorations" - Andrea Van Wyk
August 2 - August 29, 2022

Exhibition Description:

Magnified florals and architectural details make up Andrea's current body of work that focuses on organic subjects she explores when gardening and compositions in the built environment that she discovers when traveling.

Artist Biography:

Andrea is an artist that lives and teaches in the Pella area.  She does commissioned work for area patrons of their homes and businesses as well as her own body of work. Through painting and teaching, she became more and more interested in architecture. She has done several drawings, etchings, and paintings of storefronts and buildings from Pella and abroad. She has painted murals in the children’s areas and social hall of Pella's First Reformed Church, the Long Term Care Unit at Pella Regional Health Center, the break room of Precision Pulley in Pella, the Grinnell Veterinary Clinic, and the Ebenezer Reformed Church in Leighton.

Andrea is working on a body of work depicting scenes from her past travels as she continues to study and photograph the architecture, nature and culture wherever she goes.  Andrea has served as the primary leader for People to People, a student ambassador organization.  She has traveled with students to France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Australia, and New Zealand.

The daughter of a Reformed Church minister, Andrea was influenced by urban culture on the East Coast as she grew up but appreciated the organic roots of her ancestors in the midwest, watching and learning from her mother who loved gardening and quilting.  After moving with her family from the Catskills to Iowa in 1976 and later marrying a farmer, she found herself painting farm scenes and Pella's architecture.  She recently started to merge her lifelong experiences together and is exploring ways to represent them.  She is magnifying organic shapes as well as architectural forms, capturing the essence of their beauty or juxtaposing these shapes in order to create complex patterned compositions.  Her current works emphasize color and shape, bringing the forms to life with a balance of intensity, contrast and value.  These compositions are analogies for Andrea’s life as she represents her experiences with oil paint or acrylic inks and expresses her love for natural form and their similar compositions in man-made forms.

Andrea (Busker) Van Wyk has been an Art Educator at Pella Community Schools since graduating from Central College in Pella, Iowa in 1984, and is currently teaching eight different exploratory art classes at the middle school and Art Appreciation at the high school for Des Moines Area Community College.  She has been the Methods of Teaching Elementary Art and Secondary Art Education instructor at Central College since 1999. Andrea has also taught Art at Pella Christian and Pella Community High School as well as summer classes at the Pella Community Art Center and for Upward Bound at Central College.  

For most of her career, Andrea has been a member of the National Art Education Association and the Art Educators of Iowa.  She was involved with New Art Basics, a research project through the Department of Art and Design at Iowa State University where she earned her Masters in Art Education in 1997.  She earned the status of Signature Member of the Iowa Watercolor Society and is currently a member of the Des Moines Paint Pushers group.

Andrea and her husband, Mike, live on a farm east of Pella.  Mike continues to farm, coach for Pella High, and is a Farm Bureau Financial Services Agent.  They have two children, Sarah Flaherty (married to Dan) with four grandchildren, Anneke, Quinn, Graham, and Rowan, and a son Ross (married to Madelyn) Van Wyk.  Andrea continues to teach, creating a sense of awareness and appreciation for the visual arts in her students.  Andrea’s future plans are to continue to educate students about art, spend as much time as possible with her family and paint every day.