Bridgeview, oil on canvas, 36'' x 150'', 2006

Fred Easker has been painting full time since 1994. Like most artists he has previously worked at other things including secondary school art teacher, museum educator and director of an historic house museum which was completely renovated under his guidance.

He actively participates in the life of his community working on boards and organizations involved in the arts and humanites and currently serves on the Board of Trustees  of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and on the Linn County Historic Preservation Commission.  He was awarded the Friend of the Arts Award from the Marion Fine Arts Council in 1993. Easker resides in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Easker earned both a BA and MA in Art Education at the University of Iowa. His  work is included in museum, corporate and private collections throughout the Midwest and has appeared in a number of periodicals and books including three times in New American Paintings.  Last year he was a featured artist on Assignment Iowa: Iowa Masters on Iowa Public Television.  Early this year his work was featured in The Iowan magazine.

At the University of Iowa his work can be seen at the Tippe Business School and the Univeristy of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  Reproductions of three paintings  were installed for a time in the lower rotuna of Old Capitol.

About his work, Fred writes, "Most of my paintings since 1990 are based on the rural landscape within an hour drive from my home. A gently rolling former prairie, I am attracted to its melodious, abstract and subtle beauty and understated energy. It is an area to which I am connected; it is where I grew up. I have worked to develop a personal response to this familiar environment, endeavoring to make something extraordinary from what some would call banal.

"More recently I have spent more time in Northeast Iowa, a less subtle landscape—bordered by the Mississippi River and with larger geological features, many untouched by the smoothing action of glacial drift. Having recently purchased property with a view of the great river, I am bringing a prairie vision to a strikingly different landscape, trying not to be a tourist.

"The paintings are less photographic than they appear when reproduced at a reduced size and have a non-photographic, palpable sense of space. I want the observer to be drawn into that traditionally depicted space by my attention to detail and by the intimate, painterly manner in which the images are created and to discover and experience the visual delights illusive to the casual observer. While the paintings depict specific places, they are also meditations on observed qualities that interest me and hopefully evoke a spiritual response and appreciation beyond technical skill or familiarity with the subject matter.

"I believe that the art object, no matter its physical appearance, is a metaphor for the artist. On my canvases are images of the Iowa countryside. More importantly the paintings represent me in the world. They are my story. I endeavor to tell an honest one."

Bridgeview was commissioned by the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Fred Easker's website

This page was first displayed
on October 14, 2008

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