Gretchen Olberding

My first job out of the University of Nebraska was a Social Studies teaching position at Chas. Culler Jr. High in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a multicultural teacher, I introduced my students to the arts of each culture in our world. Later, after leaving Lincoln for small town Sandhills territory, I became an elementary Art teacher. On my own, I experimented in all media. I started fusing glass, then experimented with Precious Metal Clay. More recently I began creating jewelry from earth metals of silver, bronze copper and brass. My latest work is my “Pastiche Collection”, of enameled copper, which means “a mixture of different things.” A pendant might have elements of brass, copper and bronze in its presentation. Wielding the hammer to create texture is cathartic as well.

My love of nature compels me to photograph and paint the landscape, capturing the light, shadows and colors that move me. Growing up in Nebraska, I loved the wide-open land and rivers, and began painting those magical moments that caught my attention. Now, retired in Arizona, I have hiked in most deserts and mountains in Arizona & Utah. Recapturing those scenes in soft pastels is my other passion.

My journeys and love of challenges has led me to earn my pilot’s license and fly a Cessna 182, fly a powered parachute, hike over 350 miles throughout Arizona, and zip-line down Big Mountain in Whitefish, Montana. I am working on getting my golf handicap down into the teens. I won’t jump out of an airplane, though. Life is quite the ride!

RECENT HONORS & AWARDS:
* Arizona Art Alliance Juried Member Show, First Place in Jewelry Category, 2013.
* WHAM Member Show, “Seasons & Holidays”, 2016 – 2nd Place, overall.
* WHAM Gallery Show, “I’m Feeling Blue”, 2015 – Award of Merit.
* Arizona Pastel Artists Association Fall Show, 2015 – Honorable Mention, Judge Desmond O’Hagan.
* Arizona Pastel Artists Association Fall Show, 2013 – Honorable Mention, Judge Robert Carsten.

RECENT JURIED EXHIBITIONS:
* Desert Museum Show, Tucson, AZ Jan – April, 2017.
* Sonoran Small Works Show, Cave Creek, December, 2016
* Arizona Pastel Artists Association Spring Show, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
* Arizona Pastel Artists Association Fall Show – 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
* Surprise AZ Invitational, West Valley Arts HQ, Nov – Dec. 2015.
* Arizona Watercolor Association, Fall, 2015, Member Exhibition.
* West Valley Arts Council, “Animals, Animals” Juried Exhibition, Jan – Feb, 2014.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS:
Gallery 9, Lincoln, Nebraska, Juried Member, 2016.
Arizona Pastel Artists Association, 2011 to present. Membership Chm & Treasurer.
Arizona Watercolor Association, 2015 – present
Arizona Art Alliance – Juried member (Jewelry) 2010-2013.
WHAM (What’s Happening Art Movement), Surprise, Arizona, 2013 – present
West Valley Arts Council, Surprise, Arizona, 2013 to present
President, PebbleCreek Art Club, Goodyear, Arizona, 2013, 2014
Nebraska Association of Art Clubs, 1995 – 2006. Board Member, 1998.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: