Transfiguration, olive brown charcoal and pastel on paper, 41" x 59", 2006

Of himself, Justin Nostrala writes,"I was born on February 18,1964 in Des Moines, Iowa.  In 1986 I received a Bachelor of Arts Degree, with a focus in Painting from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. Shortly after college I lived in New York City until about 1988.  While in New York during this period I studied painting at Art Student's League and attended a couple of classes (Painting and Lithography) at Parson's School of Design. After this time in New York I lived for a while in Minneapolis and then St. Paul, Minnesota.  In Minneapolis I worked out of a studio in the downtown area, and when I lived in St. Paul I lived and worked at The Northern Warehouse Artists' Cooperative. In about 1992 I returned to New York City and continued to live and create there until about 1995.  After returning to Iowa I enrolled into the Graduate Painting Program at The University of Iowa where I received a Masters of Art degree in 1998 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1999. Upon graduation from The University of Iowa I taught design, art history and photography at Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa.  After this one-year assignment I taught design, drawing, painting, and art survey for a year at Mount Union College in Alliance Ohio. I have been back teaching at Simpson College since 2001.  As a tenured Associate Professor I am teaching drawing, painting, basic design, color theory and art survey classes.  I have an art studio in my home in Indianola."

Of his work, Nostrala writes, "For most of my artistic life I have been a painter.  I usually painted oil on canvas.  The most recent paintings I did depict figures reclining in peaceful, colorful environments.  In about 2003 I became interested in working with charcoal on paper.  Drawing with charcoal has become particularly interesting because I find it easier to focus on value and design.  I also like the flexibility and the sense of immediacy that the medium allows.  The subject matter in my charcoal drawings evolved out of the general theme I explored in painting. I depict people in my work because I have always been interested in human nature especially regarding belief systems.  My work stems from thinking about the way we practice living with each other and ourselves.  These charcoal drawings of people praying are the culmination of ideas I have been exploring for a number of years."

This page was first displayed
on July 18, 2008

Find us on Facebook