Enjoy Work from 4 Wonderful Local Artists
Teresa Dirks – Nina Irwin – Elisabeth Sauer – Karen Steen
Local Art has always been part of Cafe Trio and we’re always thankful to have the opportunity to share and enjoy some of the area’s very best artists.
Nina Irwin’s work, predominantly landscapes, suggest the subjects of spirituality and the search for truth and beauty. They are conceived from memories of her exotic travels combined with ancient places she has studied in art history. These places are pure and quiet– the stillness broken only by the silent dialogue between place (painting) and the viewer. “I strive to convey, through my paintings and sculptures, the actual feeling of a place–much more than its physical characteristics. Here, the painting suggests a place and feeling – which is expanded through texture and color. I want to transport the viewer to another place and time.”
Nina Irwin works from her painting and ceramics studio in the historic stockyards of Kansas City. She received her B.A. in Studio Art from UMKC and is currently working on her M.A. in Art History. In addition to her studio work, Nina teaches art and art history classes at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. She is represented in collections regionally, nationally, and globally.
Elisabeth Sauer is a Kansas artist who has lived in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. Her work reflects her passion for the expansive nature of the landscape and the sweeping skies of the Midwest and the West. The subjects of many of her paintings are the permanent features of the Midwestern and Western landscapes – their prairies, rivers, fields, rock formations, and skies. She sees man-made structures, such as silos and grain elevators, as integral parts of the landscapes as well.
Sauer finds inspiration in the brilliant and ever-changing colors found in nature. The intensity of the color in her paintings conveys nature’s raw power and evokes the sense of awe one feels seeing a beautiful sunset or a glorious blue sky stretching far to the horizon.
She paints landscapes outside directly from nature [en plein air], as well as in the studio. Places where she has painted en plein air include Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Arizona, New Mexico, California and Italy.
Sauer is primarily self taught but has studied art in Italy, at the Kansas City Art Institute, and at various plein air workshops. Collectors from all over the United States own her work and she has exhibited widely. Her paintings have won awards including First Place in the Raytown Arts Invitational , and the State Street Bank Purchase Prize at the Northeast Cultural Commission, “Cultures Without Borders”, juried exhibit .
My art is a celebration of nature’s web, its diverse life forms and interconnected systems. Humans are tearing at the web, damaging the balance. My work offers a perspective on the intricate network of life — one I hope might contribute to a shift in our relationship with the natural world. Images of plants, insects, microscopic life, zoology and human anatomy inspire my drawings and the shapes I incorporate into my collages and wall sculptures.
As a child, I loved poking around tide pools. Peering down into small worlds filled with life delighted me. I searched through seashore guidebooks to identify shells, anemones, and urchins.
So began my fascination with biology, now the subject of my art. Experimentation with materials is essential in my art practice. Through it I search for ways to portray the qualities of the biological world: diversity, repetition, intricacy, rhythm, balance, interconnectedness. I began my art career as an illustrator. Many assignments were for magazine articles about health and medicine. Now, I combine the technical and conceptual skills I learned as an illustrator with the intuitive approach of a fine artist.
My recent solo exhibition Networks in Nature showed at Cottonwood Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs and the Kansas City Artists Coalition. I won first place in the 2015 group exhibition, HEAT, at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in Kansas City. I have completed commission works for Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Kaiser Permanente’s Largo Medical Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. My work has appeared in solo and group shows in the mid-Atlantic, Southern California and Kansas City regions.