2021 Artist-in-Residence

Profile photo of Laura Reilly, 2021 Indiana Dunes National Park Artist-in-Residence
2021 Artist-in-Residence Laura Reilly

2021 Artist-in-Residence, Laura Reilly

Laura Reilly was born in Plattsburg, New York, to a military family. She spent her childhood living and traveling in the American Southwest, England and Europe. Laura’s natural artistic gift and early exposure to the worlds’ rich historic and artistic heritage set her on an early path to a career as a professional artist.

In 1981, she married Jack Reilly, master welder and metal sculptor, and settled in Colorado Springs. Laura continued to pursue her passion to paint while raising her two young sons, Jesse Arlen and Jack Morgan Reilly, and working full-time first as an accountant, then as a District Court Clerk. Painting at night and on weekends, and around work and children’s schedules, Laura built a stellar reputation as a Leading American Impressionist Painter.

Laura has been a full-time professional artist since 1998. Several prestigious galleries represent her work.

Her beautiful, one-of-a-kind original oil paintings appear in many private and corporate collections. She is in frequent demand as a guest artist, special juror, and guest instructor.

Profile photo of 2021 Artist-in-Residence Linda Volz.
2021 Artist-in-Residence Linda Volz

2021 Artist-in-Residence, Linda Volz

Linda Volz earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Art with an emphasis in painting from the University of Southern Indiana in 2011. Her artistic philosophy is to create art that makes the viewer happy. She uses transparent color to add depth and excitement to her subjects. Her work is an exploration of her personal style, using vibrant color and varied brush strokes that create movement and texture. Many subjects inspire her, especially figurative work, reflections, flowers, landscapes, and birds. She has benefited from studying watercolor techniques under the instruction of Bob Pote and Coral Hartel and from participating in oil painting workshops taught by Sarah Bielski, Bill Fletcher, Dreama Tolle Perry, Tom Nachreiner, and John Pototschnik.

Her hometown is Mount Vernon, Indiana. Always a creative person, she took art classes during her high school years, when she won a local button design contest for the Freedom Festival. She has been married to Nick Volz for 33 years and have three wonderful adult children: Louis, Maria, and Dexter. Recently becoming a grandmother has given her more inspiration for her art. She particularly enjoys painting in the First Brush of Spring hosted by the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association and the Hoosier Salon.

Profile photo of 2021 Artist-in-Residence Lynn Buckmaster.
2021 Artist-in-Residence Lynn Buckmaster

2021 Artist-in-Residence, Lynn Buckmaster

Lynn Buckmaster's works can be found in several private collections across the United States, in Japan, her online gallery, and the online National 911 Musuem collection. She is best known for her unique, realistic, and idyllic landscapes, lifelike and dramatic lighting effects, frequently infusing unexpected color or hidden elements within.

Her studio is located in the historic Fairchild House in Demotte, Indiana. Lynn has learned and expanded her skills by exploring nature and her artistic creativity from an early age. Her painted works are generally created in acrylic as she enjoys the versatility of that medium.

As well as creating her own art, Lynn enjoys encouraging others, promoting a love and appreciation for art and the nature around us. She does this through leading social painting events, as a private painting instructor at her studio and also at “Art In The Park” events since 2017 at the Tippecanoe River State Park.
Lynn is an active member of the Jasper County Art League, one of the founding artists of The Artists of Fairchild House, Demotte, Indiana and has participated in many exhibitions and solo shows.

Growing up in Northwest Indiana, Lynn frequently enjoyed visiting the Dunes and is especially looking forward to her time as an artist in residence at the Dunes National Park. Lynn is honored and especially excited to be able to contribute to the Dunes community and participate in enriching the experiences of park patrons in support of our local and national treasure.

Profile photo of 2021 Artist-in-Residence Margaret Mayer.
2021 Artist-in-Residence Margaret Mayer

2021 Artist-in-Residence, Margaret Mayer

Margaret Marya Mayer (Maggie) has a dual career and a professional artist and a full-time Marketing Specialist at Madison County Library System in Mississippi. She has a degree in Environmental Design from The University of Colorado.

Growing up, she was always an artistic person, who recognized the beauty in everyday life. Since childhood, she has experienced life in places all over the world from the Colorado Rockies to Europe and The Middle East. She paints a variety of subjects and is best known for her pet portraits and plein air paintings.

Maggie grew up in Mississippi where her parents owned 100 acres off of the Natchez Trace Parkway. She can remember horseback riding with her father and helping her mother in the garden. When she was very young, she preferred coloring, drawing, and painting to almost any other activity. She was never an outgoing child and said her art was a way to dream and express herself. As she grew older she realized that she believes this talent was a gift from God and very much intertwined with her faith. Her life on the farm, love of gardening, and travels abroad have a big influence in her work.

Recently Maggie’s father passed. She considered her father her hero and they had a special relationship. She says his passing has caused her to look at life from a different perspective. It’s made her place value on the important things in life like family and using her God-given talent.

Profile photo of 2021 Artist-in-Residence Thomas Himsel.
2021 Artist-in-Residence Thomas Himsel

2021 Artist-in-Residence, Thomas Himsel

Thomas A. Himsel, a life-long resident of Hendricks County, Indiana is an award-winning artist in oil paintings. His love of the landscape, animals, and the challenge of Mother Nature’s designs inspires him every day. His education at Purdue University, ownership of a landscape firm and retail garden center, and his study with nationally acclaimed artists has honed his skill at examining all aspects of chroma, composition, and values present in a setting. Thomas has painted extensively in North and Central Americas as well as Europe for the past twenty-eight years. His painting journey began with a six-week stay at the Scottsdale School for Artists where he was introduced to en plein air painting from Kevin McPherson. From that strong beginning, he found that painting was a full-time passion and to date, he continues. He is an award winner in Indiana Heritage Arts, Eagle Creek State Park, Central Indiana Artists, Hoosier Salon, Indiana State Fair Professional Division, Indianapolis Art Center, and Indiana Plein Air Painters. His paintings are in corporate and private collections and his works are shown at the Brown County Art Gallery in Nashville, IN.

Thomas was very honored to be at the Indiana Dunes National Park. He was amazed at the incredible diversity that he experienced with the landscape. He found that each area that he visited and painted offered new challenges that he welcomed. He loved the massive ferns, the working farm, the marsh, the private graveyard, the protected sand dunes, the swamp, and the gorgeous beach and rushing waves. Each day as he chose a special new place to paint, he found views that were wonderfully unexpected. He also appreciated the gorgeous light which graced his canvas. The complementary wildlife of birds and animals added to the authenticity of the setting, too. During this residency, he enjoyed the many conversations with staff and visitors and especially, the young children who wanted to watch him paint. He discovered that a warm community existed within the park which made being there even more special. He has commented about the “ complete beauty and resourcefulness of the dunes park” many times as he encourages everyone to visit.

Profile photo of 2021 Artist-in-Residence Barbara Knuckles.
2021 Artist-in-Residence Barbara Knuckles

2021 Artist-in-Residence, Barbara Knuckles

Barbara Hoffman Knuckles spent her very early childhood in Gary, IN, where there was sand in the yard and cinders and slag in the driveway. She grew up in Merrillville, and her family hiked the trails at the Dunes State Park. She now lives in Indianapolis, and her own family often enjoyed day trips to the beaches along the lakefront.

Barb has a BFA in Printmaking from Herron School of Art and Design, and has worked in various painting, drawing and printmaking media over the years, always gravitating back toward observational work (from life). Her dad was a well-known artist who often painted at the Dunes, but Barb had not been particularly interested in painting landscapes herself. However, in 2017, she began painting en Plein Air with her daughter, and discovered the challenges and joys of working outdoors.

“One of the things I like best about working en Plein Air is that every work of art has a story and is situated in a unique sensory moment that includes sound, touch, smell, as well as sight. It is always a test of focus, skill and resilience; and a sense of humor goes a long way toward keeping perspective when the frustrations of shifting weather and light subvert my intentions. I painted along the lakefront for the first time in 2019, and was struck by how much the changes in the sound of the waves communicated about the conditions, even when my back was to the lake. I had never noticed the sound by itself before, since I usually watch the lake when I’m on the beach. I am excited about being able to spend so much uninterrupted time creatively responding to this place. Indiana’s dunelands occupy a special place in my heart.”

Last updated: June 18, 2024

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