The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 10, 2014

Davis-Kovarik's vision of Strawtown comes to light

A chair in a room. A room with walls. Walls that hold hundreds of years of stories and secrets untold.

Familiar and comfy. So familiar that the natives take it for granted. Hundreds of people drive by every single day. Only a handful (if any) glance to their side and take notice. Unless of course there happens to be giant, colorful canvasses with tulips on them covering the front of the building.

Commonly known as Strawtown, this historic building has sat empty for a while. But according to Lisa Davis-Kovarik, “Life is about to get a little more colorful for this 1853 building!” Davis-Kovarik is bringing to life a dream. A dream of a place where artists can gather together, share their work, collaborate and put it on display for the world to see.

Davis-Kovarik’s vision is for Strawtown Gallery & Gifts to be, “About community more than art.” It is a place where people can take a reprieve from the chaos of life, have a cup of coffee and share life among the beautiful work of some twenty-five different artists: Painters and Print Artists, Pastels and Fiber Artists, Pottery and Jewelry Makers, Photographers and Authors and much more.

Some of Davis-Kovarik’s future plans for the new gallery include classes and workshops, the ongoing making of art and a youth gallery. All too often we forget to celebrate the arts and talented artists. With more opportunities and some education, there is hope to begin to recognize and celebrate the gifts and talents of all people.

Executive Director and Co-Owner, Lisa Davis-Kovarik not only brings a life-long love of art to this new venture, but also many years of experience and education. An artist in her own right, Davis-Kovarik will be the Artist in Residence at Strawtown Gallery & Gifts as well as handling the organization, scheduling and hanging of exhibits and all the administrative duties of the Gallery. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Nebraska and for the last four years has been in charge of the Joan Kuyper Farver Art Gallery and Pella Community Art Center.

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