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Artist Profiles

Liz Quebe

Lisbeth Quebe has loved drawing since she first picked up a crayon.  As a child, she took oil painting classes from a neighbor in her home town of Decatur, Illinois, and went on to major in art at the University of Colorado.

A career in marketing and communications in the architectural industry offered creative opportunities in writing and graphic design, but left no time for drawing and painting. When she retired and moved to Soldiers Grove in 2002, Liz Quebe picked up a brush for the first time in 35 years. 

Liz loves the challenges of painting en plein air.  The quickly changing light, the many shades of green in spring and summer, the rich hues of fall and the harvest--all draw her outdoors, alone or with other painters, intent on capturing a small part of the special area in which she lives.  The rolling hills of the Driftless Area, the creeks and streams, and the iconic family farms offer countless opportunities for painting. 

She also loves to paint still lifes.  She likes to use items that resonate with people because of the subjects and the memories they prompt.  She uses many family heirloom--her grandmothers' linens, her grandfather's pocket watches, her mother's dolls, her father's old tools.  A scene from the kitchen, or newly picked flowers, are universal pleasures that she likes to catch on canvas.

Liz's most recent interest is painting animals, especially cows.  Living in an area with small family dairy farms means subjects are not hard to find.  Her husband serves as photographer (cows are notoriously bad at posing) and she uses his images as the basis for her paintings.  She strives to capture not only the likeness of the animal, but a little personality too.

Liz is fortunate to be married to a talented woodworker.  Her husband Jerry crafts the beautiful frames that set off many of her paintings.

Her first public exhibit was held at VIVA Gallery in Viroqua in October 2009, where she is now a member.  She has been part of several group shows in the area and has exhibited at the Stockholm Art Fair,  the Driftless Area Art Festival and Art Fair off the Square, Madison, all in Wisconsin.  She is represented by Outside the Lines Art Gallery in Galena, Illinois and Dubuque, Iowa; Plum Bottom Pottery & Gallery in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin; and State Street Gallery in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Jerry Quebe grew up in a small farming community in North Central Iowa.  At age 8, he won a camera in a school-sponsored sales contest.  He still has his first photograph and he’s been a photographer ever since.

A career in architecture gave him an eye for composition and design.  He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1965 from Iowa State University.  He practiced architecture with major firms for 37 years, specializing in health care facilities. 

Jerry retired in 2002 and, with his wife Liz, moved from Chicago to Soldiers Grove. They split their time between volunteer activities and their art endeavors.  Along with photography, Jerry is an avid woodworker.

Jerry Quebe

Jerry initially worked with slide film (35mm), and for a decade did extensive underwater photography as well.  His first experience with digital photography came in 2000 and within two years he was using this media exclusively.  He works in color as he prefers to present nature in her true colors.

In recent years, Jerry’s photography has been widely used to illustrate the beauty of the Driftless Area.  His photographs are featured prominently in the new website, Driftless Wisconsin, a joint effort of Crawford and Vernon Counties and the Kickapoo Valley Association.  His photographs also illustrate the website for the Village of Soldiers Grove, the Kickapoo Valley Association map, and other publications about the area.  His photograph “Food, Fence, and Fall” won the professionally juried 2007 Best of Show in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve’s photography contest, and his “Snowshoes” was selected as the January photograph in the 2010 KVR calendar.  His first public exhibit was at VIVA Gallery in Viroqua in July 2010, where he is now a member.