Now showing: Prairie Light by Pam Ohnemus & Cynthia Starkweather-Nelson

Pamela Bradner Ohnemus

Artist Statement:

The natural landscape has always been a powerful focus of my work. Currently I am conducting on-site research at local prairies, depicting the landscape in paint. Prairies have been reduced to isolated fragments that require conservation and preservation. Less than 1% of the presettlement tall grass prairie remains.

Macro and microenvironments fill my paintings, engaging the viewer in their detail. Even while painting tranquil scenes, I achieve active color sensations by layering color over complementary underpaintings. My paintings express delicate sensations through subtle texture and natural pattern.

The tall grass prairie is an irreplaceable tapestry of plant and animal life.  I paint dynamic compositions of Midwest prairie remnants so that the viewer can appreciate and see the need of their preservation before they are lost forever.


I was born in Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada; but have called Davenport, Iowa home for over 35 years.  I graduated from High School in Marshalltown, IA.  I received my BA from the University of Northern Iowa in Art Education with an emphasis in drawing and painting.  I was awarded a free tuition art scholarship for my last two years while attending there.  I completed my MA from Western Illinois in 1999.  I taught art in the Davenport School District from 1980-2013.  I’m teaching adult acrylic painting classes at the Figge Art Museum now. 

Cynthia Starkweather-Nelson

Artist Work:

Starkweather-Nelson’s works explore the intricacies of natural forms she studies in various environments. Taking time to pause and investigate these forms closely she then builds her images with layers of glazing until the sense of inter-connectedness in nature becomes apparent to the viewer. Her “Waterscapes” began with images conceived and created from her studio in northern WI. Following recent travels; she is now working on new sets of series including “Portland Coast”, “Desert Southwest”, and “Crex Meadows”.

Cynthia uses acrylic glazing, fluid and heavy body media, graphite, and pastels to create her paintings, drawings, and prints on paper and canvas. She maintains studios in WI, and AZ


Born in Moline, IL, Cynthia Starkweather-Nelson received a BFA in painting and drawing from Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL) followed by an MFA in printmaking at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN). Upon graduation she was employed as the intaglio printer with Vermillion Editions in Minneapolis. Her work was represented by the Peter M. David Gallery, Minneapolis, MN. She also taught painting, drawing and printmaking at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, MN.