Metal & Gems | Ron Deen and Erika Wolfe

Erika and Ron have very different backgrounds yet are drawn to artistic creation, feeling a need to work through ideas from their imagination using metal and gems. They interpret these materials in their own creative designs, producing wearable art in Erika’s art practice to a range of sculptures using a variety of materials in Ron’s. The Opening Reception for Metals and Gems is Friday, May 5 from 5pm to 7pm.
Erika Wolfe has a Masters degree in Metalsmithing and has been a successful silversmith since 1995 after retiring from teaching art and jewelry fabrication at Canyon High School in Anaheim Hills, California. She has spent the intervening years in Keokuk, dedicating herself to Main Street and Keokuk Art Center activities while producing truly beautiful and award-winning designs through her Silverwear Studio. Erika indicates that her jewelry designs are rooted in Russian Constructivism, the Bauhaus movement and industrial design. Her work offers an order – a kind of methodical mathematical approach – that composes volumes and voids, negative and positive areas or defined areas of space to develop a dynamic visual tension. Erika says, “I stress the geometric because I believe it is a visual force that is easily understood – a kind of universal law that expresses an absolute dimension which transcends individual personality.”
Ron Deen is a self taught creative spirit who works with wood, metals and words. He has leaned into the beauty of copper and brass, along with incorporated materials like stone, geodes, and colored glass to express his ideas through his sculptural designs. Some of his sculptures are meant to interact with light captured in the colored glass, others are reflective of the strong patina finishes that he coaxes onto the surfaces of the work. Ron initially explored working with wood and has also written some children’s books (and some athletic themed cookbooks for fundraisers.) He grew up in Burlington, where he along with his wife, Debbie, have raised three children.