New art exhibit lets viewers experience wildlife

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
(Sentinel Photo by Beverly Van Buskirk) A visitor to the Le Mars Arts Center looks at the August exhibit, “Back to Nature” by Hubbard, Nebraska artist Deb Gengler-Coppler. An artist reception will be from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 12, at the arts center.

LE MARS — The August exhibit at the Le Mars Arts Center, “Back to Nature,” will give visitors a feeling of looking wildlife in the eye.

That’s the closeup feel one receives from the works of Deb Gengler-Coppler of Hubbard, Nebraska.

Gengler-Coppler has 30 pieces of artwork on display, with most for sale.

An artist reception will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 12, according to arts center administrator Judy Marienau.

“We invite everyone to come and view these beautiful pieces and meet the artist,” Marienau said.

“We will have some prints available for purchase. The pieces on display are all beautifully custom-framed.”

Most of the pieces are also for sale.

Three of the pieces are prints of work which have won awards and are now in collections.

With the exception of the prints and a couple oil paintings, all the pieces are done in pastels.

Gengler-Coppler explained pastels is actually pure pigment, which is formed into and compressed into sticks.

“If you crush a stick, and put oil in it, you would have paint,” she said. “If you put water with it, you have watercolors.”

Gengler-Coppler who has local connections, lived in Remsen and attended St. Mary’s School through the seventh grade. The family them moved to Cherokee.

Her trip to Le Mars to put up the exhibition brought back many memories.

“I recall being here, running around with cousins, playing with them,” she said. She also made a stop in Remsen last week, too.

Gengler-Coppler grew up a horse lover, and focused on western art.

Travels to the western United States got her to experience wildlife and changed her focus.

“What really got me hooked was several trips to Yellowstone. Then I ventured further west to Arizona, western Colorado, wherever it takes me,” Gengler-Cooper said.

“It’s really exciting, when all of a sudden you catch an animal in its habitat and see something others don’t see because you are there, capture an image on camera, bring it back and paint it.”

Looking at those pictures in her studio when she’s painting takes her back to the outdoors and she remembers the setting where the photo was taken.

“I’ve been pretty lucky and blessed to have these experiences,” she said.

Gengler-Coppler has exhibited across the United States and is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America. She has received numerous honors and has been featured in several publications.

The “Back to Nature” exhibit will be on display through August.

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