Rain Barrel Contest Artist’s Bio – Adult Division

Monika Bullette is a visual artist who works primarily in gouache, collage, and textiles. Inspired by the German Expressionist era, she feels no need to adhere to painting something the color that something is “supposed to be”, it is merely painted what it needs to be – some radiation of its true character. While thoroughly enjoying “high art”, she is also interested in objects of “low art” within their historical development –  in forms such as sign painting, street, outsider, commercial, and primitive art. Monika has returned to painting during a sabbatical from her band, The Sky Drops. She is currently working from her home studio in Wilmington, Delaware.
Contact Information:
Email: bullette@bullette.net

Leah Brooke Curran is a proud Delaware resident. I graduated from Salisbury University in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts. Since graduation I have worked in the construction industry and now work for my father at Tri-Supply & Equipment in New Castle, DE, a locally owned and operated business for 15 years!  Currently, I serve as a board member for the Wilmington Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction. My hobbies include Star Wars and playing with my dog, Wicket, who is a lively cairn terrier. When I’m not working I enjoy shopping and spending time with my family.
Contact Information:
Email: leahbcurran@gmail.com

Diane Calloway is a native Delawarean with Dutch ancestry.  She graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering and a Minor in Fine Art with a concentration in sculpture.  She has been commissioned to paint murals, signs and decorative art in several restaurants and private residences in Sussex County.  Diane is an avid camper and loves to spend time outdoors with her family.    Although she hasn’t produced much art since becoming a mother with a full-time job, she loves helping her children express themselves in the arts.  Mrs. Calloway lives in Laurel with her husband and children and is a Professional Engineer in Georgetown, Delaware.
Contact Information:
Email: dmvbkc@yahoo.com
Phone: 302.249.1085

Susan S. Johnston’s activities in the arts since graduating from Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pa. in 1973 have included teaching art for 15 years in the public schools in Ohio and West Virginia and, also, illustrating for a national publication, HousePlant Magazine, 1992-94. She was an adjunct faculty in painting at Davis and Elkins College and Bethany College and conducted numerous workshops in the region. She is a past state President of the West Virginia Watercolor Society where her emphasis was providing grass roots opportunities for artists to learn and develop as well as for them to exhibit works in their own communities. Through downtown historic preservation programs in communities where she and her husband, Dr. William N. Johnston have lived, she promoted community and business opportunities for artists in Elkins and Wheeling, West Virginia. Since arriving in Dover she has volunteered for the Downtown Dover Partnership on the Design Committee and initiated Arts Programming for the First Friday Celebrations. Her work is featured at the Parke Green Galleries, Dover Delaware. Her watercolors have been accepted in regional and national shows where she has garnered numerous awards. Her work is in public and private collections in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Delaware and West Virginia. In the spring of 2011 her work was featured on the Mezzanine through the Delaware Division of the Arts, Artists Registry Program at the Carville State Building in Wilmington, Delaware. Delaware By Hand juried her work for Master Status and was featured at the Biggs along with other Masters in the Fall of 2012. Her work has been included in the Baltimore Mid Atlantic and most recently the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society National Show, Fall 2013. Solo shows include West Virginia Wesleyan College, Ameriflora 1992, Columbus, Ohio, Ohio University Eastern, St. Clairsville, Ohio, Davis and Elkins College, Bethany College, California State College, California, Pennsylvania, and Tamarack, West Virginia’s State Gallery, Beckley, West Virginia. In November, 2007 she presented a show at Culver-Stockton College, Canton, Missouri and was invited to have a solo show at Iowa Wesleyan College in the fall of 2011. Fall of 2014, she will present a show at Delaware State University.  Since 2000, Susan Johnston has been an organizer and artist for an international organization, “Journees de Peintures.” Art Groups from England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the United States come together once a year in a different country for a week of painting “en plein air” and fellowship. Her husband serves as President of Wesley College and and they have two grown children and three grandchildren.
Contact Information:
34 S. State St., Dover DE 19901
Phone: 302.678.3450
Email: ssj@wesley.edu

Kim Klabe is an oil painter from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware who focuses on painting familiar local sights that capture the essence of Sussex County Delaware. Her work ranges from tightly rendered oil paintings to loose palette knife paintings. She is the Education Director at the Rehoboth Art League and works from her home studio in Rehoboth. She has shown throughout the region as a solo artist as well as in group shows and has been the recipient of several awards for her artwork.  Kim is a graduate of the Antonelli Institute of Art and Photography in York, PA and the University of Delaware, with a B.A. in painting. She is available for commissions and invites you to visit her website at www.kimklabe.com.
Contact Information:
Phone: 302.228.9953

Kim Littleton
Contact Information:
204 7th Street, Laurel DE 19956
Phone: 302.875.5513

Bruce McKinney is a surreal artist who practices his own style of surrealistic art based on the masters of surrealism. Born in Wilmington, Delaware and living in the state for most of his life. He tries to keep imagery pure and simple as it was meant to be not drifting off into fantasy and unreal worlds of gnomes and goblins like from the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. These works also includes outer space as Swiss surrealist artist H. R. Giger created in Alien. These are many of today’s influencing pieces which artist lay claims to surrealistic works. These are commercial works unlike McKinney whose works embodies your soul to create a thought based on the subject before you he says always, “To ask why, creates a need to know which triggers a part in all of us enough to wonder why”. Versatile yes…. as he has worked with high school students in the creation of set designs and art instruction for mentally challenged adults. Early on he taught Drawing and painting Saturday mornings at the Delaware Art Museum and at one time for the Jewish Community Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Bruce enjoys working with a variety of people and organizations. McKinney says, “It is not just a lot of weird images on canvas or whatever medium I choose to create on, but a thought process created to capture your imagination no matter what media”. Cartooning is a very positive work of art for it has open many doors including those at the White House back in 1971 when he received recognition for a caricature of Richard Nixon. Even Kings have used his works at Graceland in Tennessee in 1989. Although he finds surreal interpretation easy Bruce prefers to do the simple designs of sets for theaters for such musicals as the Music Man, Guys and Dolls and even Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on a teaching level with local schools in New Castle County. His art exhibits are an experience as he goes beyond the realm to bring all that can be brought to your eyes, ears, heart and mind. His very first show sold an amazing number of paintings. While at Delaware State University his mentor and friend the late Arturo Bassols encourage McKinney to continue his surrealistic endeavors.  Recently moved to Sussex County originally from New Castle County Bruce Attended Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee and Delaware State University and has a B.S. in Art.

Contact Information:
23020 Huff Rd, Milton Delaware 19968
Email: bemckinney@gmail.com
Phone: 302.684.1864

Alan Rich, for nearly 30 years, by day, runs a Maryland company manufacturing custom printed pressure sensitive labels for packaging and direct marketing/direct response. By night, he is a fine art acrylic painter of abstracts, still life’s, landscapes and whatever else he deems interesting or a challenge.  Born in 1962 in Washington, DC, Alan has been creating or building art since he was 10 years old and is primarily self taught, but has attended workshops and classes to expand his knowledge of becoming a more accomplished artist and painter.  His inspiration comes from simple forms and bright colors. Alan chose the acrylic medium for its quick drying properties and wide array of available gels and mediums for creating different and interesting textures and fluid movements.  Alan has exhibited his works at the Rehoboth Art League’s Member Art Fair, CAMP Rehoboth Abstract exhibit, ArtDC 12×12 and “Red” exhibits and hopes to have a solo show in the summer of 2014.  Alan currently is puddle deep into fluid pours. Started as an experiment, he found a niche in creating colorful and organic paintings that, if you appreciate color and movement, evoke thought and lets your mind wander to see imagery it wants to see and let the colors bring happiness to your mind and body.  No matter how you hang it, there will always be something different you see.  With studios in both Maryland and Rehoboth Beach, DE, Alan’s art is an outlet from the everyday. It is relaxing and invigorating all at the same time. In a world of being connected virtually 24/7, his art gets him to a quieter, more serene place, whether it’s at the beach or at home watching football and painting at the same time.
Contact Information:
19365 Mersey Dr
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Phone: 301.351.0124

Kathi Schiavoni lives in Townsend with her husband Luigi. She works at Priapi Gardens in Cecilton, MD and seasonally at Colemans Tree Farm in Middletown. Kathi paints acrylic on canvas once a month under the guidance of Red Engle at A.C. Moore in Dover. In her spare time, Kathi enjoys reading, going to the movies and spending time with her many pets.

Laura Olds Schmidt is a designer, specializing in graphic, interior, and mosaic design.
Contact Information:
Email: los@udel.edu

Natalie Wipf, 36, living in the Eagle Glen community of New Castle, Delaware. I live there with my daughter, husband, dog and cat. I have worked for the New Castle County police as a 911 public safety officer since 2001. I am an avid gardener and love to bake/cook and craft. We just moved in to our home this past fall and plan to get my own rain barrel to use for my gardens very soon.

Contact Information:
Email: nataliexoxo@yahoo.com