The Story and Inspiration Behind our People’s Choice Winner’s Artwork.

Rumriver Art Center’s recent gallery exhibit, ‘The Art of a Face’ featured artists unique and creative interpretations of a face.

Gallery attendees were invited to vote for a piece of art in the show that most inspired them. Here’s the results, as well as the fascinating stories behind the artists and their artwork.

Congratulations to Dan Petrov, who wins 3rd place on the piece ‘Forever’

“This particular oil painting is a part of much larger series of oil paintings (50 to 60) that focus on aspects of human condition. They represent landmark events, emotions, social interactions, expectations, meaning of actions and outcomes of such decisions. 

“Forever” depicts the likeness of my daughter with the background of foliage on the summer day and optimism of the young age in commitment to life. “

“I am classically trained oil painter from Eastern Europe. My first introduction to oil painting was in different art colonies in Italy where I studied the painting methods of Renaissance masters. After the University I expanded my research of oil painting by museum studies in major metropolitan museums in Europe where I was allowed to copy the paintings of old masters. I relocated my Studio to Canada in 1992. Since  2006 my Studio is permanently in Lakeville, MN.

I am teaching Renaissance and Flemish Oil Painting Method and Alla Prima method. I exhibit my paintings in USA and Canada. I am trying to employ the archaic painting techniques with contemporary subjects and content.”

Image: “Self Portrait With the Flying Objects”, Oil on Canvas, 36”x24” -Dan Petrov Art Studio

Congratulations to Gianna Joy Anderson-Schork, who wins 2nd place on the piece ‘Gigi’s portrait’

“I did this portrait while I had my right arm in a cast, I broke it while playing on the monkey bars (my dominant hand) so I created this portrait with my left hand! It actually started in my art class at school and I finished it at home.”

“I have enjoyed art since I was a baby, my family really encourages and supports me doing any art I chose. I feel peace while doing art. I am inspired by many things, nature, family, animals, whatever I am feeling that day! I enjoy drawing and painting the most!” 

Congratulations to Kathleen Rooney, who wins 1st place on the piece ‘Fatimah’

“There is a true story behind the painting ‘Fatimah.’  My nephew Clinton had never met his dad who planned to marry my sister after his return home from attending Dunwoody College.  He lived outside of Lagos, Nigeria in a village named Udabu.  The government would not allow him to return home afterwards, and my sister was pregnant.  My sister was heartbroken and never found a way to contact her fiancé. 

Two years ago with the help of Facebook my nephew posted a pic of his dad and low and behold his whole huge family contacted my nephew.  He went to the village two years ago and while Clint was there he posted photos of his brothers and two sisters. Fatima was the image that spoke to me and I knew I wanted to paint her.  He now has a huge family and is helping them get a water pump, food, books and much more.” 

“My art journey started 25 years ago, although I drew and painted as a 5 year old and continued up until age 17.  I started painting horses, dogs, and cats mostly in pastel pencil. I so badly wanted to learn how to draw portraits of people.  I found a zoom art class during the pandemic with a phenomenal artist, Deirdre Shibano, who has taken me under her wings and has taught me so much.  I started with charcoal then oil and the last few lessons were in pastel.  I am inspired to paint or draw a new face everyday. It is so exciting for me to look at a new face new lighting, structure etc.  Mediums I have used are oil, charcoal, pastel and acrylic. My favorite is pastels, which are delicate to work with but very forgiving. I like the softness you can achieve with it.  My teacher Deirdre has taught me so many things I owe any credit to Deirdre, who says with art you will never be bored.”

If you missed the event, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a brief virtual gallery tour of the exhibit.

Gallery Tour of ‘The Art of a Face’ and Susan Yee announces the People’s Choice winner. The Art of a Face showcased 53 pieces of artwork from a variety of mediums including: acrylic, oil, watercolor, photography, fiber, mixed media and clay. The show ran from Saturday, March 4, to March 25 2023.

Mark your calendar to attend two new gallery openings on April 1st, 2023 from 2pm-4pm, Featuring:

Glenn Allenspach, ‘Photography and Pots’ in the Jan Johansen Gallery
Montana Lawrence, ‘Prone to Wander’ in the 21 Step Gallery

This is part our exciting Art-A-Thon event, featuring 24 hours of non-stop art and creativity on March 31 6pm – April 1st 6pm. For a complete schedule and details, visit;

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