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Remembering Ilze Siltumens-Holzer
August 22 - November 5, 2006
Much admired as a "new regionalist" this presentation of works by the late Ilze Siltumens-Holzer (1955-2005), who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in January 2005 at the age of 49, highlights her landscapes of the rural Midwest in the style of which she was so well-known.
Ilze Siltumens was born December 17, 1955 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She received her B.F.A. from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 1992. Under the direction of nationally acclaimed artists Tom Uttech, Bill Nichols, and Adoph Rosenblatt, Ilze studied painting from 1993-95 at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Ilze exhibited frequently throughout the 1990s and early 2000s in the Milwaukee area. In 2002, she moved with her husband, James Holzer, to Hannibal, Missouri where they owned and operated the Red Hat Gallery, now known as The Gallery of Fine Art.
Her paintings have been exhibited in Latvia, Russia, Cuba, and throughout the United States. She has work in many private collections in the U.S. and Europe. Ilze's work has been nationally recognized including honored as one of the first visual artists from the United States to exhibit in Cuba.
Georgia O'Keefe once said, "The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work."
Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to create. I get my ideas from what I am passionate about -- I paint what I love. As a child I always had an interest in the water. When other kids wanted to be teachers, doctors, policemen, I wanted to be a sailor. I was fascinated by boats and water -- the architectural balance of the sails, the mystery of where the boats were going, the melodic movement of the waves and the serenity of the lake.
My second love is my garden; having won the mayor's landscape award for the city of Milwaukee gave me first-hand knowledge of the work involved in creating a wonderful garden. I take what I do with my hands and record a blend of truth, fiction, and my emotional response to my garden.
I show the common things in life in an uncommon way. My floral series builds on my strong figurative training to bring the flowers to life. My palette knife allows me to say things that I cannot express in any other way.
As artists we are often asked to put into words what our work is all about and it is difficult to put into words what I express with my paint. I often want to say if I could put into words what I put on the canvas I would have been a writer not a painter, but just as a good book creates a dialogue between the reader and the writer, I too create a dialogue between the viewer and my art, and the more meaning I am able to implant in the art the deeper that dialogue can be.
The value of any work of art is not in its price or its history but in its inherent energy, its ability to act as a catalyst of responses in the viewer. Likewise, the most successful viewer is not one with the best education or finest taste, but one who can respond to the work with the greatest sensitivity. Just as you finish a good book and it stays with you in your mind for years to come, I hope you find a painting or two that will stay with you and that I have been able to make you see what I have felt.
(above: Ilze Siltumens-Holzer, Forest Series #1,
1998-99, oil on hardboard, 29x31 inches. Courtesy of The Gallery of Fine
Remembering Ilze Siltumens-Holzer is organized by the Dubuque Museum of Art.
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