Fire and Ice: Paintings of the Mississippi River by John Anderson-Bricker

February 17, 2017 - April 30, 2017

Fire and Ice

Experience the Mississippi River from the perspective of an artist who has painted it in every season since 1997. Concentrating on those biannual extremes of our Midwestern climate – the boiling humidity of summer and the deep freeze of winter – this collection of colorful and expressive acrylic riverscapes by Dubuque sculptor and painter John Anderson-Bricker features paintings created over this 20 year period.

Some of the earliest celebrated American artists from the Hudson River School were best known for the spiritual inspiration they found in the forests and mountains along the Hudson River in the Northeastern United States. For Anderson-Bricker, finding inspiration along the Mississippi continues this tradition. His journey to visually explore the man-made versus the natural environments of the river during extreme seasonal cycles evolved to mirror his personal journey through unexpected physical setbacks and discovering his own resiliency to persist and adapt.

With his focus on river and climate, Anderson-Bricker visualizes the sensory experiences of extreme weather conditions along the local backwaters and banks of the mighty Mississippi. According to the artist, “The height of the summer and winter seasons forces [me] to convey an uncontrollable aspect of the natural world. Uncomfortable environmental conditions of heat, humidity, frigidity, and snow afford access to light, color, and textures of desiccation, vapor, reflected light, water, and ice. While the hottest days of summer reveal the manic, overabundant fertility of the season, the ice of winter suggests the absence of living things.”

Anderson-Bricker was born in Michigan in 1967. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1990 from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He taught art in Syracuse, New York for six years before relocating with his wife Kristin to Dubuque in 1997 where he has been an adjunct instructor at Loras College and on staff at the Dubuque Museum of Art. He has exhibited at Art on the River, the DUMA Biennial, and the Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque. His paintings and sculptures can be found in many regional and national private and public collections. He has been active in many local art projects with Dubuque public schools, local non-profits, and as a juror for the city’s Art on the River project.

Image: John Anderson-Bricker, Vapor II: Volunteer Drive, Dubuque, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 48×36 in. ea., collection of the artist.