"Explorations Abroad" - Andrea Van Wyk
August 2 - August 29, 2022


Artist Statement:

As an artist I strive to bring light and hope to whoever encounters my work.  My current paintings are an exploration of organic subjects as close as my backyard or as far away as a rose garden in Edinburgh, Scotland and architectural compositions as close as Pella, Iowa or as distant as Vicenza, Italy or Nimes, France.  My fascination with organic subjects is a result of my mother’s love of flowers and watching her create gardens bursting with color at nine parsonages in New York and New Jersey.  I paint magnified compositions that beg the viewer to explore the unknown detail before them that is often overlooked.  While teaching Art for thirty eight years, my favorite artist became Georgia O’Keefe who I admired for her floral compositions.  My fascination with traveling was a fire lit by my father who took us on family vacations to explore different destinations along the Northeast Coast and Florida.  As a Reformed Church minister for more than fifty years, he made biblical stories come alive for his parishioners by “painting a picture” from the pulpit. It is my desire for my art to encourage the viewer to explore nature as well as the built environment but more importantly I want my work to have an artistic voice and to deliver a positive message of hope as my father did.

The translucent layers of colors are achieved by overlapping different values of acrylic inks, fluid acrylics or fabric dyes.  The canvas maintains its natural texture while it is saturated with color and is permanently stained.  The fluidity of the medium allows me to use watercolor techniques like wet on wet and mingling colors, creating soft edges and subtle value changes.  As gravity pulls the paint down the surface of the canvas, it leaves a trail of vertical lines, evidence of the route it took while it was being created.  As an artist, it is satisfying to relinquish my artistic power and allow these free flowing paths of color to have a life of their own.  I feel that my painting is the most authentic in these areas and it creates a balance of realism and abstraction for the viewer to enjoy. 

Artist Biography:

Andrea (Busker) Van Wyk is an artist that lives and teaches in the Pella area.  She does commissioned work for area patrons of their homes and businesses as well as her own body of work.  Through painting and teaching, she became more and more interested in architecture.  She has done several drawings, etchings, and paintings of storefronts and buildings from Pella and abroad.  She has painted murals in the children’s areas and social hall of Pella's First Reformed Church, the Long Term Care Unit at Pella Regional Health Center, the break room of Precision Pulley in Pella, the Grinnell Veterinary Clinic, and the Ebenezer Reformed Church in Leighton.

Andrea has been an Art Educator at Pella Community Schools since graduating from Central College in Pella, Iowa in 1984, and is currently teaching eight different exploratory art classes at the middle school and Art Appreciation at the high school for Des Moines Area Community College.  She has been the Methods of Teaching Elementary Art and Secondary Art Education instructor at Central College since 1999. Andrea has also taught Art at Pella Christian and Pella Community High School as well as summer classes at the Pella Community Art Center and for Upward Bound at Central College.