Meet the Artists

Meet the Artists

We are excited to announce our first two painters for Easel Wars Season 3!

Painting “head-to-head” on Thursday, March 10th at 7:30 will be
Ruth Bockenstedt Deutmeyer and Lily Nesta!

Ruth Bockenstedt Deutmeyer

You may recognize Ruth from productions at the Grand Opera House including A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life.

Ruth “Call me RAD!” Bockenstedt Deutmeyer has been as artist all her life starting as a child with encouragement from her older brother. She graduated from Loras College with a BA in art education and spent the last 15 years of her teaching career at Clayton Ridge in Guttenberg and Garnavillo, Iowa. Since her retirement she has continued to substitute teach but has pursued her interest in quilting. Her artistic endeavors are mainly devoted to the members of the Bear Creek Levis-N-Lace 4-H Club. Each summer she has the members come to her house for one- on-one instruction in many different art mediums including water color, printmaking, acrylic painting, sculpture, to name a few. She has also been a 4-H visual arts judge at the Iowa State Fair for over 10 years as well as judging at county fairs for over 38 years.

“I volunteered to be in the Easel Wars because I thought it would be a new challenge for me and at the same time, a way to help my favorite place keep the light on.”

Overall, I guess you could say that Ruth has been an artist all her life!!

Starting Monday, March 7th, 2022, You can donate into Ruth’s campaign at: https://bit.ly/gohdonate
Add your donation to the Ruth Bockenstedt Deutmeyer Donation Campaign.

Lily Nesta

Lily also had a personal connection to the Grand Opera House. “I wanted to participate in the Easel Wars because I thought it would be a creative and challenging experience. The Grand Opera House has a special place in my heart as I have participated in many of their ballet classes. I would absolutely love to help the establishment raise money and share my art in the process.”

Lily Alice Nesta is a sketch artist currently learning the art of oil paint. She is a student at Clarke University studying studio art with an emphasis in painting. Her art is inspired by nature, existentialism, and the circle of life. There is beauty in everything and communicating it through art is my passion.”

Starting Monday, March 7th, 2022, You can donate into Lily’s campaign at: https://bit.ly/gohdonate
Add your donation to the Lily Nesta Donation campaign

The artist with the most money in their donation campaign at 11:59pm on Sunday, March 20th will move on to the Finale on Thursday, April 14th.

Live Audience Information for Easel Wars

The live audience is invited to be part of the show. They are encouraged to question, cajole, and heckle the artists as they paint. Feel free to move about the theater to get the best view of each painting. The concession stand will be open serving the Grand’s signature popcorn, and Rotary will be selling beer and wine at all events.

Can’t be at the theater in person? Stream all the events live on Facebook. The streaming audience is invited to enter their taunts, comments, and challenges in the comments on the video and our hosts will relay them to the artists in real time.

How to Win a Painting

After each performance the paintings will be raffled off to raise money for the Grand Opera House. You can win these one-of-a-kind paintings to have a piece of Grand history hanging on your wall. For every $10 you donate into the artist’s donation campaign you are entered into a chance to win the painting they created.

Donate before 11:59pm Sunday, March 20th, 2022, to be entered in the raffle to win your favorite painting from this performance. Winners will be drawn on Monday, March 21st.

Ruth and Lily face off on Thursday, March 10th, 2022, at the Grand Opera House. Witness this epic battle first hand, tickets to attend are just $10.

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