Former Keokuk art teacher has monthly FMAAA exhibit

This painting is an example of the work of Don Hetzel, a former Keokuk art instructor who has the September art exhibit at Fort Madison Area Art Association.

BY BRIAN RIGGS
Fort Madison Area Arts Association Director

Don Hetzel of Coralville is well-known to FMAAA as he taught art at Keokuk High School for nearly four decades. 

In 2012 he retired and relocated closer to his children.  His return to Lee County brings an assortment of abstract paintings as well as realistic landscapes. 

A reception for the show occurs September 4th from 5-7pm.  Two Rivers Insurance is the sponsor for the exhibition.

Don considers himself an expressionist artist.  You have to learn “how to see” than express what you see on the canvas.  His “marks” cause him to react to the canvas.

Surface Tremors represent the strike that is made on a canvas and how it flexes and moves like ripples on the water.  Don finds inspiration in abstracts, landscapes, and human figures.   For his abstract work he prefers to pour the paint, not drip like the method employed by Pollack.  He paints mainly in acrylic but will use oil and tempura from time to time.

Don uses very little black in his paintings.  Too much black can make a painting look dirty or smoky.  So he will use blue to bring down a bright color like orange.  He prefers to stand when painting, usually lasting for a two-hour session.

Don earned his Education degree and BFA in printmaking from University of South Dakota.  He later received his MBA in lithography from Western Illinois. 

He is a consummate artist that is a must see during FMAAA hours of operation Tues-Thur-Fri-Sat from 12-7pm at 825 Avenue G.  Or you can see Don’s work at Iowa Artisans Gallery at 207 E Washington St in Iowa City or at The Lost Canvas at 719 Main St in Keokuk.

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