If It Weren’t for Ruth Simonson and Reigelsbergers . . .


(For background information to this post, please scroll down to the first post in this blog, “Watercolors to John Deere.”)

Last September, my father’s (Deane Gunderson) former farming neighbors, Joe and Norine Reigelsberger, returned to my father three of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) watercolors. (Mother passed away in 2004 at the age of eighty-five.)  Each painting was of an Iowa grain elevator including one at Gilmore City, one at Pocahontas, and one at Rolfe, painted in 1951, 1949, and circa 1950, respectively.  I am fortunate to now display these paintings in my home.

Last spring after I left the three paintings at Wild Faces Gallery (aka “Mona’s”) in Rolfe for Mona Majorowicz to frame, Ruth Simonson from Rolfe was in the gallery.  Ruth noticed Mother’s paintings and took a quick interest in them…again.  Ruth later said, “I liked the colors and I remembered seeing the paintings when Marion had them.”   Ruth mentioned to Mona that she wondered if I might ever consent to having prints made of the paintings.   Mona mentioned Ruth’s interest to me, resulting in Ruth and me connecting.

For Ruth and me, the enthusiasm for having prints made of Mother’s paintings is mutual.  However, because the labor-intensive and professional process warrants an investment, I told Ruth that if she could drum up interest covering two-thirds of the investment, I would take a gamble on covering the rest.  Ruth’s “drumming up” efforts were met with immediate interest.

(A note for now is that at Wild Faces Gallery in Rolfe, Iowa, prints of nine of Mother’s watercolors are available to the public with all profits going to the Rolfe Public Library, where Mother worked for thirty-five years.  One of the paintings/prints is of a gorgeous ear of corn.  If you have an immediate need-to-know more info, you may contact me at mariongundersonart@gmail.com or contact Mona.)

UPDATE January 26, 2013: To date, prints of 35 of Mother’s watercolors are available. Also, to date, over $5,000, via sales of the prints, has been given to the Rolfe Public Library. Part of this, along with private donations, funded the digitizing of 101 years of Rolfe newspaper archives so that they are now available online.

Prints may be ordered directly from me by contacting me at mariongundersonart@gmail.com . They may also be viewed and ordered at http://www.mariongundersonart.ecrater.com. The Rolfe Public Library and Wild Faces Gallery in Rolfe have a small inventory on hand.

I learned this past spring that Ruth was in the Barr Art Association with Mother.  The next several posts will include information about Barr Art, the “good story” Ruth told me today about how she became involved in Barr Art, and images of the nine paintings/prints.


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