Artsy daughter making local impact – Empty Nest by Curt Swarm


We moved Annie, along with her brother, to Mt. Pleasant from Colorado, completely against their will when they were teenagers. They thought we, the parents, had lost our marbles. They would attend a Christian school rather than public. As native born Coloradoans, “What was there to do in Iowa?” they asked. So, being the good parents, we bribed them. For Annie, she could have a futon bed. For our son, I would install the NFL channel so he could watch the Denver Broncos.
It worked. They now thank us for their Christian School education. Annie met Mrs. Peck, the Christian School art teacher and fell in love with art. She received an art scholarship from Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee and off she went. She hasn’t looked back.
Except when it was to return to Mt. Pleasant 16 years later, with her husband, Nils, and two sons, Thorsen and Conan. The two boys, ages four and five, would be enrolled in, yep, the Christian School. Nils had secured employment as a supervisor with Great Prairie AEA. In Annie’s words, “Mt. Pleasant is the town God chose for me twice. I think I got the message.”
As Annie’s father, I couldn’t be more pleased. I have both my kids and their kids in Mt. Pleasant to spoil.
And Annie, fresh from art-smart Milwaukee, has sort of taken Mt. Pleasant by storm. (Of course, your realize, I’m the proud father.) She is a new member of the Mt. Pleasant Arts Impact Group for Henry County. She has her art on display for the month of June and half of July at Southeastern Community College. There will be a reception for her on Thursday, June 28th at noon. She will also give a gallery talk at this time.
Her work, in oils, reminds me a lot of Vincent Van Gogh, which isn’t surprising, as Van Gogh is Annie’s hero. (No, she hasn’t lopped off an ear.) I would say her art is a cross between Van Gogh and Salvador Dali—especially some of her latest 3D work like, “Room to Think.” Check out her art exhibit at Southeastern Community College.
As if that weren’t enough, “Chair-ish The Arts” is being held on June 14, in Central Park in Mt. Pleasant, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. A group of artists, including Annie, have hand painted chairs that will be awarded prizes and sold to the highest bidder. There will also be a band concert.
And there is also, “Colors of Summer”: A group exhibition on July 20, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Iowa Wesleyan University Gallery. It’s an evening of Henry County Artists and culture benefiting the Friends of Henry County Health Center. Tickets are available at Browns Shoe Fit in Mt. Pleasant.
Annie will be exhibiting her work in the Mini Gallery of the Burlington Art Center for the month of August. Opening reception will be August 3rd, from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Last but not least, Annie is the featured artist for the month of November at the Ft. Madison Area Art Association in Ft. Madison. Opening reception will be November 9th, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Artist talk and Luncheon will be November 30th at noon.
To view Annie’s art, visit her website at She can be found on Facebook and Instagram under “Oil Painter Annie.”
Did I mention that she also teaches art in her home studio for ages “tween” through adult? Unlike her father, her good looks are exceeded only by her talent.Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at or find him on Facebook. Curt’s stories are also read at 106.3 FM in Farmington.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: