2009-12-23 / Local News

Brouwer selected for Indiana Artisan

By Jennifer Archibald Staff writer

Painting along the Wildcat Watercolorist Rena Brouwer of Delphi is inspired by nature’s bounty and wildlife in Carroll County. One of her favorite places to paint is along Wildcat Creek. File photo by Jennifer Archibald Painting along the Wildcat Watercolorist Rena Brouwer of Delphi is inspired by nature’s bounty and wildlife in Carroll County. One of her favorite places to paint is along Wildcat Creek. File photo by Jennifer Archibald Carroll County artist Rena Brouwer has been jury selected into the Indiana Artisan program.

Indiana Artisan currently has 138 members and represents 46 counties. Brouwer is the first and only artisan from Carroll County.

The recent announcement of her selection came from Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman and the Indiana Arts Commission.

The Indiana Artisan program promotes fine and handcrafted art as well as valueadded food products made in Indiana. The program is a joint venture of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, and the Indiana Arts Commission.

All applicants to Indiana Artisan are juried by a standing panel of business development, retail, arts, and culinary professionals. Selection is based on a unique link with Hoosier history or heritage, originality, design/quality, technique, and marketability.

“Out of the 124 art applications to the program, the art jury panel that reviewed all applications in October selected just 26,” said Eric Freeman, Indiana Artisan program manager.

Indiana Artisan was launched in January 2008. This was the fifth juried process for the program. Of the 844 who have applied so far, 138 artisans (17 percent) have been accepted, Freeman said.

“It’s a selective program, and Rena was juried in because her work is exceptional,” he said.

Brouwer’s application and images of her watercolors identified her as an exemplary Indiana artisan. Her work frequently is described as “free spirited,” both in its watercolor technique and in her interpretation of Indiana subjects. Because of this, her art has been sought for promotional purposes by various groups, including the Central Indiana Land Trust and the Delphi Preservation Society. Her original art also is sought by collectors. In 2007, her work was selected by an international jury from a select field of more than 200 artists to represent Indiana protected scenic lands.

Brouwer is a resident artist at the Opera House Gallery of Contemporary Art in Delphi. She has had work in galleries, shows, art fairs and exhibits throughout Indiana.

She is on the board for the Indiana Artists Club and is a member of the Watercolor Society of Indiana, Hoosier Salon, Brown County Art Guild and Gallery, Indiana Plein Aire Painters, and Indiana Heritage Arts.

“It is a great honor to be among those selected for Indiana Artisan and to be an artist representative for Carroll County,” Brouwer said. “One reason I applied to this is because of all the community support I’ve received through working with various groups in the county throughout the years. Carroll County has nurtured my art, not only through its natural beauty, but the collaborative projects through the schools, historical groups, nature groups, and numerous members and organizations of the community. I wish to bring an awareness of Carroll County to our state residents and beyond. My professional career has brought me recognition throughout the world. I want the public to know where I’m rooted and why my county is important to my art.”

“Each of the artisans selected for this unique program exemplify our state’s strong entrepreneurial spirit.” Lt. Governor Skillman said.

Examples of Indiana Artisans, in addition to fine artists, are select woodworkers, beekeepers, weavers, popcorn growers, and cheese makers.

The program provides artisans (particularly those in rural areas) with access to entrepreneurial support, provides artisan business development education and networking, raises awareness about the availability of hand-crafted and value-added food products made in Indiana, promotes artisan trail development and retail opportunities, and develops a comprehensive brand for Indiana-made goods.

Brouwer said since her acceptance, she has made fine art prints of her work. Some are available at the Opera House Gallery, or she can be contacted at Rena@RenaBrouwer.com.

Indiana artisans are encouraged to apply to the program through the next jury session in June 2010. Guidelines and applications, for both artists and value-added food producers, will be available online by February at www.IndianaArtisan.org.

Return to top