Dennis Peterka, Waverly, Iowa
Dennis Peterka's paintings are beautifully subtle and defy adequate representation in a digital format. We encourage you to come and see them in person!
Dennis Peterka was born and raised in southeastern South Dakota along Lewis and Clark Lake. He received his B.F.A. in Art Education from the University of South Dakota in 1969 and his Masters Degree in Art Education from the University of Iowa in 1976. Dennis began his teaching career at Carroll Kuemper High School in Carroll, Iowa with later positions at Boone Jr.- Sr. High School, Waverly-Shell Rock Community Schools, and the Davenport Museum of Art (now called the Figge Museum of Art) in Davenport, Iowa. He also worked as an adjunct professor of art at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. He retired after teaching for 37 years.
Highlights during his career include being a recipient of a summer Fulbright Grant to Belgium and Holland, and being one of sixteen art educators chosen from throughout the United States for the Marie Walsh Sharpe Teachers as Artists Program at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Dennis has exhibited his work in competitive and one man shows. His work can be found in collections throughout the United States and England.
For me the process of art making is an adventure with the media. Sometimes that process is directed by specific imagery and at other times I let the media suggest the painting and direction---sort of subconscious to conscious ordering. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that the natural environment hasn’t figured into much of my work. Being raised in the rural Midwest has provided me with an abundant source of subject matter to use as inspiration.
Each painting begins as a very physical manipulation of the media. But, just as changes within the elements in nature alter its appearance, so does the process of painting determine the evolution of my work. As the painting develops I begin to fine tune the composition. The initial imagery becomes less and less important. Things appear in the works that are not planned. Some of these “surprises” can become wonderful additions; others not. So, I need to pay attention.