Example - TH Media
Connecting with the
art and soul
of Kristina Castaneda
Plus profiles on
13 other area artisans
OCT.-DEC. 2013
89921 10008
A close-up look
at the Chevy Volt
Discovering the depth
of Des Moines
It’s all about the details
at Mainstreet Steak
& Chophouse
October-December 2013
Cover photo: Dubuquer Kristina Castaneda says she
Jim Swenson
tries to make connections through her singing and artwork,
but she also feels a strong connection to the earth. Photo by
Photo editor:
Dave Kettering
Dave Kettering Arts profile: Page 30
Magazine advertising manager:
Denee Hirsch
Staff contributors:
Mike Burley, Amy Gilligan,
Megan Gloss, Amanda Munger
and Sandye Voight
Freelance contributors:
Pamela Brandt, Rebecca Christian,
Katherine Fischer, Emily Kittle
and Maryjo Williams
Section layout:
Jim Swenson and Gary Dura
Cover design:
Mike Day
DBQ is a product of TH Media,
P.O. Box 688, Dubuque, Iowa,
Jim Normandin
Executive editor:
Brian Cooper
Managing editor:
Amy Gilligan
Advertising director:
Jeff Wolff
Circulation director:
Mike Newland
For editorial information,
Jim Swenson,
For advertising information,
Denee Hirsch,
The next
of DBQ
Jan. 24
We will tempt your taste buds
and take you to some warm locales.
Have exotic vacation photos?
Send color jpgs to jswenson@wcinet.
com and we might use some of them.
4 /DBQ October-December 2013
Arts column:
Christian recalls
a special rug.
Social scene:
See who was
where the past
few months.
Steak & Chophouse adds fine
touch to Dubuque.
Test drive:
You won’t feel
like you’re in an
electric car during a drive in the
2013 Chevy Volt .
Maybe it’s
time to dig
in to Des
Swing and Sweets
8Lenore Howard: 11Doug Mackie: 14Ginny Luke:
Answering questions
posed by theater.
A not-so-quiet man of
many faces.
Young performer finds
success in the big city.
Time/place: 8-11 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2,
DeSoto House Hotel, 230 S. Main St., Galena, Ill.
What: A Champagne fountain with a scrumptious display of desserts from a variety of restaurants. River City Six will provide the music. Tickets
Contact: www.desotohouse.com.
Dubuque Fine Food & Wine
on the River Festival
Time/place: Friday-Sunday, Nov. 8-10, various
locations in Dubuque and East Dubuque, Ill.
What: An inaugural event featuring gourmet
food and wine, with tastings, deals and even a parade. Tickets $65 for Friday only, $45 for Saturday
only and $99 for a weekend pass.
Contact: www.DBQfoodandwine.com.
Dubuque Symphony Orchestra:
Heaven and Earth
20Gene Tully:
Man of steel was late
bloomer in the arts.
tices the rule of paint.
by parents’ church.
Principe: She prac-
James: Inspired to sing
Time/place: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9 and 2
p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, Dubuque Five Flags Center.
What: A set of selections from Bach, Brahms and
Beethoven. Tickets $78, $48, $30 and $17.
Contact: Fiveflagscenter.com.
Nouveau Wine Weekend
Time/place: various times, Friday-Sunday, Nov.
22-24, various sites in Galena, Ill.
What: A variety of events at different venues will
celebrate the French-inspired tradition of Nouveau,
previewing a sampling of the vintage from the fall
harvest. Ticket prices vary per event.
Contact: www.galenarestaurants.com/galenanouveau.asp.
Nelms-Byrne: The
pulse of downtown.
34Joe Pinder:
Longtime potter moves
into his own space.
Muenster: The center
(off stage) of attention.
Holly Ball
Time/place: 5-9 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 1,
Dubuque County Fairgrounds.
What: Big Band Ballroom dance, featuring music by Hunter Fuerste. Tickets $22 in advance or
$27 after Nov. 28 and at the door. Price includes an
appetizer buffet and a night of dancing.
Contact: 563-588-1406 to order by phone or
stop in the Fair Office, 14569 Olde Highway Road.
Dubuque Symphony Orchestra:
Holiday Pops Celebration
46Ronn Toebaas: 50Tom
A 1-man show aiming
to make theater thrive.
Nakashima: He
creates really big art.
52Lauren K.
Alleyne: Using words
to create journeys.
Time/place: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 and
2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, Dubuque Five Flags Center.
What: The Dubuque Chorale, members of the
Heartland Ballet and the orchestra will perform seasonal favorites, including a new piece by Dubuque
native and composer Michael Gilbertson. Tickets
$75, $44, $28 and $16.
Contact: Fiveflagscenter.com.
October 2013 DBQ /5
on display
When it comes to art, the best
I have to offer is the layout of
this magazine (unless you count
writing as an art, which I do a lot
with mixed results).
But when it comes to art in the
Dubuque area, well, we couldn’t
come close to including the many
creative people in our area in this
first DBQ devoted to the arts.
Our goal was to include a variety of disciplines and age groups. So, you’ll read about
painters and poets, potters and sculptors, singers and actors.
I was privileged to interview and write about our cover
subject, Kristina Castaneda. Known primarily for her sweet
voice, she also creates art and teaches it to young people.
You’ll discover, as I did, that Kristina has the ability to
make you feel immediately at ease.
Writer Amanda Munger talked with Dubuque art icon
Gene Tully. A friend of mine, Gene not only creates incredible sculptures out of metal, but he also is one of the
leading promoters of the arts in our city.
Speaking of active artists, you’ll likely find Cynthia
Nelms-Byrne at most local arts events — especially those
in the downtown area. Writer Amy Gilligan truly captured
her personality and the close bond she has with her husband, writer Bob Byrne.
They are just a few of the interesting people we profile
in this issue of DBQ.
Maybe some of you are in this issue. Be sure to check
out pages 55-57 to see if you’re included in one of the six
social events our photographers attended the past several
Have you been to one of the newer upscale restaurants
in town, Mainstreet Steak & Chophouse? Writer Megan
Gloss takes you on a tour. What about Des Moines? We
found some great places to eat and visit in our state capital.
Finally, if food or travel is your thing (and isn’t it everybody’s?), you’ll want to catch our January DBQ. We
will feature a variety of tasty tidbits and seductive vacation spots. We also hope to publish some of your photos.
Check page 4 for details.
Stay warm!
6 /DBQ October-December 2013
Pamela Brandt works as a community college writing tutor.
She lives in a woodland cottage in rural SW Wisconsin, where she
enjoys photographing wildflowers and birds. She also
has written for other TH Media publications.
Mike Burley is a staff photographer at the Telegraph Herald. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree
in Visual Journalism from Brooks Institute of Photography in Ventura, Calif., in 2005. Mike has worked for many national
magazines and daily newspapers including the Honolulu Star-Bulletin
and the Chicago Tribune.
Rebecca Christian, a Des Moines writer, has had eight plays
produced. She is co-author, with Katherine Fischer, of “That’s Our
Story and We’re Sticking To It!” A columnist for the Telegraph Herald since 1990, she is Articles Editor for a national
design magazine, Traditional Home.
Katherine Fischer, is author of the award-winning book “Dreaming the Mississippi.” Professor of English Emerita
at Clarke University, her writing also appears in national magazines,
newspapers, anthologies and in the academic press. She is co-author with Rebecca Christian of “That’s Our Story and
We’re Sticking To It!”
Diane Heldt spent 18 years as a reporter for several Iowa
newspapers, including four years at the Telegraph Herald, before
recently making the jump to public relations. Diane has lived in
Ames, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City and
now calls Des Moines home.
Emily Kittle is a freelance writer from Madison,
Wis. She is a regular contributor for TH Media and Dupaco Community Credit Union. She considers Dubuque a second home, having
worked at the Telegraph Herald for seven years. She
and her husband, Matt, have three beautiful children.
Amy Gilligan is the managing editor at the TH,
and has been writing a humor column for 19 years. Born and
raised in Dubuque, Amy continues to live here with her husband,
Michael Shubatt, their four children and two Welsh
Megan Gloss has been a features writer for the
Telegraph Herald for nearly 10 years. She also writes for and organizes Her Magazine and covers a variety of topics. As a classically
trained vocalist, Megan is a regular contributor to related magazines. Megan resides in Dubuque with her
fiance, Keith, and their cat, Mabel.
Amanda Munger is a features reporter at the Telegraph Herald. She has written for newspapers and magazines on the East
Coast and in the Midwest. She graduated with a
bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of
Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2010.
Sandye Voight has worked at the Telegraph Herald for 25
years, as a copy editor, then Wisconsin regional reporter. As a features writer, she has covered arts and entertainment for 13 years. A
graduate of the University of Illinois, she worked at
newspapers in Grayslake, Ill., and Oshkosh, Wis.
Maryjo Williams teaches English and creative writing at
Dubuque Senior High School. She enjoys running with her husband, shopping with her two teenage daughters, and writing stories with her younger daughter and son.
ARTS PROFILE: Lenore Howard
the questions
Posed by
laywright, actress and director Lenore Howard
has been integral to Dubuque theater for more
than three decades.
In addition to playing and scripting roles that
bring history to life, since 1999 she has put her
unique imprint on performances that engage the audience
by guiding Fly-By-Night Productions as artistic director.
“I go to school on the human condition in theater,” she
said. “I learn empathy and diversity. Everything comes into
play in theater. It poses more questions for me, and I like
Her recent accomplishments include directing “Moonlight
and Magnolias,” performed Oct. 24-27 at the Five Flags
Center’s Bijou Room. She also co-developed “Linwood
Legacies,” a cemetery walk showcasing individuals interred
in Dubuque’s Linwood Cemetery.
For the Famous Dead Artists series at the Dubuque Museum of Art, she will pose this December as glamorous film
star Marlene Dietrich.
Growing up in Massachusetts feeling “horribly shy,”
Howard came to Iowa to study art at Drake University. After a post-college backpacking jaunt through Europe, she
arrived in Dubuque in 1974.
She met her husband, Doug Donald (now theater director
at Loras College), through their involvement in community
theater. They were married onstage.
Together, in 1982, they co-founded Fly-By-Night Productions.
“When we first started out, we had no home stage. We
decided to do ‘found space’ theater, choosing spaces that
would enhance the environment of the show,” Howard
The name reflects this early lack of a steady venue.
“We founded Fly-By-Night to create challenge for ourselves as artists and to invite other participating actors, directors, designers and costumers into that experience of
challenging ourselves and our craft, and growing. It’s really
important in terms of the process that we support each
other and encourage risk in each other,” she said.
Now in its 31st season, the nonprofit theater company
stages most of its shows in the intimate “black box” setting
OPPOSITE PAGE: Howard has taken on many personalities over the years
as part of the Dubuque Museum of Art’s “Dead Artists” event. Here she
portrays Georgia O’keeffe in 2007. Photo by Jeremy Portje
8 /DBQ October-December 2013
PROFILE: Doug Mackie
oug Mackie is like a spinning, leaping
Russian nesting doll, though the active part of that metaphor is somewhat on hold as he recovers from recent hip
Outside, Mackie is a dancer/choreographer.
Inside, he’s the director and a photographer.
At the core, the 60-year-old is an artist.
“I consider myself an artist first,” he said. “As
a kid, I drew. I’m primarily an artist that loves
dance and theater.”
But there are more nesting dolls: gymnastics
in high school and college, the dream of becoming an architect, a sculptor, a graphic designer.
West Coast roots
As a teenager in Oregon in the 1960s, he saw
Rudolf Nureyev on the “Tonight Show” after
the Russian ballet dancer had defected from
the Soviet Union.
“I would go around trying to do what he did
and putting it into a (gymnastics) floor routine.” He said his family never discouraged him
from his varied interests.
Mackie first majored in art and architecture
at the University of Oregon in Ashland. He
worked with visionary architect Paolo Soleri, a
former student of Frank Lloyd Wright, in his
desert workshops.
“He taught me about concrete,” Mackie said.
From there he worked with fiberglass, lights
and recycled stuff, like pointe shoes that he
collected and built into a dancer.
“There’s this weird theatrical sense to sculpture,” he said. His experience with sculpture
led him to build props and sets.
October-December 2013 DBQ /11
Doug Mackie:
A true man
of many faces
1. Hamming it up in the 2009 Pop Factory Players’ “The Producers” with Dan Hemming, Molly Finkenbinder and Dave Jacobson.
2. With Jody McGill and Adam Wacker in the 2006 Fly By Night’s “Cabaret.” 3. With Dan LoBianco and Kristi Olberding in last year’s
Fly-By-Night’s “45 Seconds from Broadway.” 4. With Jill Heitzman-Carlock, Sunil Malapati and Melissa McGuire in 2007 in Fly-By-Night’s
“A Perfect Ganesh.” 5. And, as the donkey with Megan MacLeod, in the 2010 Dubuque City Youth Ballet’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
The dancer
Dance called him emphatically when he began
photographing dancers in shows.
“Dancers weren’t stagnant. It was about catching the moment. Then, I went into dance and fell
in love,” he said.
While he was in college, a shy friend asked him
to come along for moral support to an audition
for “West Side Story.” Mackie got a part.
Being a contracted dancer opened doors.
There were more opportunities for male dancers
than for females.
“I walked into dance backward — first the
avant-garde, then modern, then ballet and musi12 /DBQ October-December 2013
cal theater to straight ballet,” he said.
For 15 years, he danced professionally with the
Eugene (Ore.) Ballet, Dance Theater of Oregon,
Ballet Oregon, State Ballet of Oregon and several modern dance companies. Often, the Eugene
company would farm dancers out to other companies or to tour.
He also worked as an actor with the Oregon
Shakespeare Festival and the Eugene Festival of
Musical Theater.
“I trained in all the art forms,” he said. “They
collide sometimes. Or some get put on the backburner. Dancing was my ticket. But I chose to
end that professionally in order to pay more at-
tention to family.”
Moving to Platteville
In 1996, he and then-partner Margaret Ruf
were raising two young daughters. Ruf wanted to
move back to the area to be close to her family.
Since they were flipping houses on the side,
they were surprised at what their money would
buy here and purchased a house in Platteville,
The idea was that Mackie would finish his
bachelor’s degree in Oregon, then go to grad
school and “get a straight job with benefits. We
had a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old.”
Continued on page 18
Luke, who posed for these publicity shots in California, says she gained invaluable singing and acting experience through her Dubuque schooling, church and several
local teachers. Photos by Ruben Domingo
She’s also appeared playing violin in the film, “Fame,” as
well as in the Dave Matthews music video, “You and Me.”
She’s also landed a handful of endorsements and, this past
summer, she released her debut solo EP, “Dark Charade.”
DBQ Magazine caught up with Ginny for this issue on the
family on a daily basis.
How did your involvement in the arts
in Dubuque help shape what you
are doing today?
When I was 14, I heard a commercial on Y105 about
acting coach Chambers Stevens coming to Dubuque to do
acting workshops. I went to his three-day boot camp, and
he sat down with my parents and me and told us about
audition and training opportunities in Los Angeles. I flew
there that month to attend his LA workshops, began taking auditions and ultimately moved to LA with my brother.
The arts in Dubuque shaped so much of who I am as a
performer today. The shows and plays I was in, dance recitals and half-time shows and singing and playing in school
and church largely influenced my performance style. Every
experience shaped the decisions I make professionally. If
you’re 10 years old, you and your parents’ decisions are extremely important. If you choose to be in choir or if you
choose to be in honors classes, those choices are influencing
your future. I was lucky to have great teachers growing up
who believed in me — Doris Preucil, Sandra Andersen, Joe
Klinebriel, Tracey Rush, my family and my teachers at Interlochen were enormous influences.
Was there a culture shock coming from
small-town Iowa to Los Angeles?
Describe growing up in such a musical family
and its impact?
How does one end up in LA at such an early
There was a fair amount of culture shock, especially
moving to LA again alone at 17. I was way too confident
and was struck by the lack of community, lack of kindness
and the safety nets I had been used to. It can be very hard
to live here at times, but I’m able to get support from my
16 /DBQ October-December 2013
We went to concerts and shows all the time, were constantly
studying recordings, and my parents directed a lot of shows
at the Grand Opera House. They also were music ministers
at church where I sang each week. My brothers and I had to
play piano, plus another instrument, from age 3 to 18, and we
this month); recorded vocals and electric violin on a
jazz fusion album for Vinnie Colaiuta, Derek Sherinian, Alex Cora and Ric Fierabracci; recorded with
producers Andre Harris, Ben Moody, James Fauntleroy and Larrance Dopson; performed at ARIA Las
Vegas, Gibson Amphitheater; and opened for Motorhead at Club Nokia in LA.
I’m really proud of finishing production on my
EP, “Dark Charade,” that was released this past summer. Other notable accomplishments include touring
on backup vocals and electric violin with Meat Loaf,
performing at LA Fashion Week and playing violin
at Carnegie Hall at age 16.
weren’t allowed to quit. My mom and brother used to
sit with me during daily practice sessions before and after school. I think my work ethic, discipline and artistic
standards were shaped by my family.
Do you ever feel that you missed out on
anything growing up?
My adolescence was very focused and disciplined
growing up in Dubuque. My parents enforced a strict
practice schedule, and I maintained a crazy rehearsal
schedule with the Grand Opera House, Dubuque
Dance Studio and Sandra Andersen’s voice studio. I
grew up in a loving household, though, so I was willing
to put in those hours, and often, it didn’t feel like work.
My life isn’t so different in LA in terms of the types of
things I do. I’m singing and performing, taking dance
and acting class and playing the violin and piano. But
now I look at what I do as fun work. I have to run my
artistic life very much like a business.
I knew I was choosing to skip fun proms, football
games and parties. I wanted to become a professional
performer ever since I was a child, so I chose not to
take the standard educational route. I think I chose the
path one needs to take to be a young successful artist,
and I don’t look back and feel like I missed much. I’ve
had wonderful experiences and have had the support
from my family and teachers to pursue my dreams.
You sing, dance, act, compose and play
violin. Of all of these, is there one that
you feel enables you to express yourself
the most effectively?
I think songwriting enables my expression the most.
And, producing my music in the past year has been one
of my favorite outlets. Singing is one of my favorite
outlets as well.
Professionally, where has your career
taken you?
As an eighthgrader at George
Middle School,
she competed in
the “Invent Iowa”
State Invention
Convention. Soon
after this, at age
15, she moved to
Los Angeles to live
with her brother
and pursue her
acting dreams.
In the past two years to a higher level in singing and
electric violin. I didn’t intend on being more on the music side than the acting side, but right now in my career, that’s where I’m at.
I gained a lot of live performance and recording experience with my previous girl group, Adam 812, and when touring with Meat Loaf, so I think
those experiences opened up new doors and access to higher quality musicians. Two musicians that I’ve been able to work with frequently this year
are Onree Gill — Alicia Keys’, Backstreet Boys’ and Cee-Lo Green’s music
director — and Ben Moody, the original guitar player and songwriter from
Evanescence. I used to listen to that music growing up, and it’s crazy that I
get to work with the creators of that music now.
What career highlights have you enjoyed?
This past year I recorded violin on will.i.am’s new record “#willpower”; appeared on “The Eric Andre Show” on Adult Swim (which airs
Was there a certain milestone that you
believed helped set the stage you’re on
I think my proudest moment was realizing that
what I wrote in my diary — to have an album out
by 16, tour arenas by age 20 and release a solo album by 21 — came true. I realized how much power there is in writing things down and believing in
your dreams. Touring with Meat Loaf presented
new opportunities on a greater professional level.
Being a part of a well-oiled machine, like an arena
show, helped me set higher standards for myself as
a performer and has allowed me to work with highlevel artists.
When you’re not performing, what is
life like for you?
I read a lot of books on marketing and managing
a performance career. I spend at least five hours a
day on career work, like sending emails, writing and
recording songs, submitting auditions, meeting potential employers, going to events or rehearsing for
whatever gigs I have coming up.
I work with my endorsement companies on marketing strategies and how to promote their products. I go to jams a lot — I love the LA music
scene. You can find some of the biggest touring
musicians at a local club. And, I spend a lot of time just hanging out
and writing music with my friends at their studios. I make trips back
to the Midwest occasionally to visit family, and I’m hoping to return
soon. I haven’t performed when I’ve gone back, but I’d love to.
What do you think the future holds for you?
I would like to put my show on tour and am in the process of finding the resources and opportunities to do so. I hope to continue writing
and producing records, work creatively on music videos and, someday,
branch more into the directing side of shows. I hope my future holds a
varied, diverse and exciting artistic career. My goal is to be able to work
with high-level artists throughout my life and to make the journey the
most enjoyable part. DBQ
October-December 2013 DBQ /17
Continued from page 12
Ohnward Fine
Arts Center
Copa Crew Big Band Holiday Show
Saturday, November 30, 2013 @ 7 PM
Fast-paced holiday humor frames the Great American Songbook
all backed by the Copa Crew Big Band sound. This versatile
group has been entertaining mid-western audiences since 1993
and the holiday show is one of their best! Swing to the music of
Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, George Gershwin and more. Enjoy
holiday classics such as White Christmas and Christmas Time
is Here as the Copa Crew takes you home for the holidays. The
Copa Crew will start your season with high energy and keep you
there through the New Year!
Tickets: $22 (in advance) $25 (at the door)
Students (18 & Under) Tickets:
$13 (in advance) $15 (at the door)
Teaching kids
“Joseph Hall’s - ELVIS
New Year’s Eve 7:00 PM
Joseph Hall resume includes top ten on
“America’s Got Talent 2008” on NBC and is
also recognized as a top three Elvis Tribute
Artist by the Elvis Presley Estate. Joseph
has also played the “Legends in Concert”
in Las Vegas as well as headlined the “Elvis
Cruise” in 2007. He is the 2010 Branson
Male Performer of the Year. Joseph Hall is
HOT BABY!! Joseph does such an incredible
job recreating the moves, the look, and the
sound of Elvis Presley, that you will think you
are watching the King himself!
For tickets call 563-652-9815 • 9am-1pm Mon.-Fri.
1215 East Platt Street, Maquoketa
Tickets also available online at our website www.ohnwardfineartscenter.com
Tickets: $25(in advance)
$30 (at the door)
Ohnward Fine Arts Center Holiday Gift Pass
makes the perfect gift!
This pass is only $80 and it gets you into four OFAC shows
during our 2014 season
The job with benefits has been as a graphic artist with Lands End in Dodgeville, where he has
worked for 16 years. By 2003, he had earned a
master’s degree in dance from the University of
“When he first came to Platteville, he immediately got in touch with us,” said Marina O’Rourke,
director of the Academy of Ballet, the Dubuque
City Youth and Heartland ballet companies.
“Doug was immediately part of the family,”
O’Rourke said. “Here was a professional male
dancer, an incredibly wonderful dancer and dance
Having a dancer of Mackie’s caliber available
meant that the companies could tackle performances such as “Don Quixote” and “Giselle.”
“It was incredibly gratifying to have someone
like him to work with,” O’Rourke said. “He is
wonderful at jumps and spins, and choreographically, he was someone to bounce ideas off of.”
Mackie also has taught classes at the Academy of
Mackie has enjoyed working with students,
choreographing for several local high schools,
including Lancaster and Platteville high schools
in Wisconsin as well as Dubuque Hempstead.
“Doug is absolutely amazing,” said Teresa
Slade, vocal music director at Hempstead. “He is
not only an extraordinary dancer, choreographer,
creative genius, artist and craftsman, but also a
man of outstanding character. My students learn
much more from Doug than choreography. They
learn humility, gentleness, respect, self-worth,
self-confidence, responsibility, team-work, patience, self-control and problem solving.”
“The kids are always excited to work with
Doug because he brings such joy and enthusiasm to his craft,” said Kate Riepe, who teaches
in Hempstead’s English and Theater Department. “He has been an excellent mentor to our
students who are considering going into the
performing arts, and he has been able to share
his professional experiences with them. Doug
understands that every moment on stage is a
chance to share a story and connect with the
Mackie has collaborated with both daughters,
who attended Platteville High School. Dancerdaughter Sydney recently graduated from UWMilwaukee and Jaxin is attending the school,
with an emphasis in American Sign Language.
18 /DBQ October-December 2013
PROFILE: Gene Tully
Man of Steel
This boomer was a late bloomer in the arts
ene Tully sees the world differently
than most.
To him, a boulder’s grandiose
shape is worth admiring. When he
gazes at a flower, he contemplates its lines as they
would apply to metal sculpting.
And when he envisions his hometown, he sees
an artistic opportunity.
“Making Dubuque a destination for arts is a
top priority of mine and it’s starting to work,”
Tully said. “I often think about when you drive
through a small town, you see clothes hanging on
a clothesline, and that’s really all you see of the
town as you drive through. But from that couple
of moments, you see that person is a nurse or
perhaps a farmer or whatever. I look at that the
same way with public art ... I want to have people
20 /DBQ October-December 2013
be able to drive through Dubuque and look and
say, ‘I wonder what these people are like.’”
The 58-year-old Dubuque native has more
gravitas to his name than its simple three syllables
might suggest. A 2006 Elisha Darlin Arts Award
winner, founder of Voices from the Warehouse
District and a local arts heavyweight, Tully has
left his mark on the city — and he’s not done yet.
Getting out of town
For his first 40 or so years of life, Tully never
pictured himself as an artist.
After graduating from Wahlert Catholic High
School in 1972, he worked in a factory cutting
foam rubber, then at Tully’s Dubuque Lumber
Co., until he decided he “needed to get out of
“I tried to get my high school friends to leave
with me,” he said. “I couldn’t get anybody to do
it, so I took off on my own.”
The 20-something-year-old got a ride to Eugene, Ore., and then
rode his bike to San Diego.
“Riding into San Diego was the day (after) Elvis Presley died,”
Tully said. “There were torrential rains coming in and I had no
place to go and I had $2 in my pocket. I was all wet, no food, no
place to sleep and Elvis was dead. It was like: ‘Well, this is a good
first leg of my journey.’”
His father paid for the shipping of his bike to Denver, and Tully
hitchhiked to it. Once settled, he worked as a carpenter, noting that
he “skied his brains out” in his spare time.
He also attended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
parttime for seven years, accruing credits in a multitude of subjects
— most in communication and business, but many in photography,
sociology and just about any topic that interested him.
While there, his high school sweetheart, Jane — now his wife of
more than 30 years — moved to be with him.
“She was a year behind me at Wahlert,” he said. “We did prom
together and things like that. That’s where our love started.”
The two married, and had their first child, Briana, while living
in Colorado, but soon decided to move back to Dubuque. Tully’s
father, Eugene Tully, was running a church envelope business there.
“Dad always used to say, you can come back here and work in
this business when you start getting some gray hair and you get
some maturity,” Tully said. “When I started getting a little bit of
gray hair, which Irish people do when they are 30 years old, I
thought, ‘OK, it’s time to come back and work with Dad.’
“I wanted my children to be around their grandparents. We had
the mountains in Colorado and we had this openness, but here in
Dubuque there was that stability — a great place to raise children
and to be exposed to our heritage and our extended family.”
‘Late bloomer’
When Jane and Gene moved back in the mid-’80s, Dubuque was
very much a sleepy river town.
“Moving back here it was just kind of a desert for adrenaline;
there wasn’t much going on,” Tully said. “She and I started doing
things that were a little more exciting, trying to replace what we
had out there — mountains and playgrounds and wilderness and
wildness. We started doing things like putting on ski races and bike
Along with participating in and running the events, Tully began
creating trophies to hand out at the races. He learned how to cut
steel with a jigsaw.
“People used to say, ‘Wow, these are really cool, these are like art,’
and I’d say, ‘You know what, it’s just craft,’” Tully said. “I was leaning on my skills as a carpenter that I was when I was in Colorado.”
Finally, bolstered by a comment by his sister-in-law, Sonia Choquette, telling him to “trust your art,” Tully accepted that just maybe he had a streak of creativity in him.
That was 12 years ago, in his mid-40s.
“I was kind of a late bloomer into the arts scene,” he said.
Just like that the decision was made: He was an artist and he was
going to have a show.
“I’m going to express to people exactly what’s in my heart — no
guardedness,” he said of his thoughts at the time.
He approached his friend Tim McNamara, who owns the Wilmac properties, about staging the show in his warehouse.
“We really kind of started 25 years ago doing warehouse parties
for our friends and our bike club and our ski clubs,” McNamara
Tully learned how to cut steel with
a jigsaw several years ago while
creating trophies for local bike
races. He has since used that skill
to form a variety
of steel art pieces.
Photo by Jeremy Portje
said. “That really is how this whole thing
got moving.”
Tully invited other artist friends to join
the show, which was to be staged in the
14,000-square-foot warehouse space.
“We started cleaning up,” Tully said.
“We put in bathrooms, and bars and lights,
and Jane and I invested our own money
into creating that first show.”
The 2005 inaugural event was one of
social comment, Tully said.
“There were all kinds of exhibits about
a dirty bomb, there was an exhibit about
the tsunami then, I did several pieces about
energy consumption and political power,”
he said. “That was a fabulous show.”
One of his pieces for that show, called
“The New Leader,” remains one of his
favorites. It featured warriors cut out of a
14-foot pipe, all pointing at a seat they surrounded.
“There were elements of private ownership, corporations and oil,” Tully said.
“You were asked to sit on that stool and
turn the valve one way or the other. You
commanded the power around you to either collect resources and bring them to
you and make you richer or command the
power around you to take your resources
and help and go out into the world.”
Tully wondered if anyone would come
that night, but found his worries unwarranted: 600 people showed up.
That was enough for him.
“I was seriously reluctant even about
doing even the second show,” Tully said.
“I thought, ... ‘We did it, let’s move on.’”
‘Genesis of the district’
Next year will mark the 10th annual
Voices from the Warehouse District, and
it is no longer alone in the Millwork District, a place that has become more of a
hip hangout.
“Starting out in a dirty, dirty vacant
warehouse, we’ve come to a point where
the district has been in the process of
renovation,” Tully said. “From dark streets
and sweatshops, there are wonderful condos and galleries going up. The property
owners will say without qualification that
it was because of Voices, it was because
of the arts, that we’re now investing a pro22 /DBQ October-December 2013
This Tully piece includes steel shaped into a human form that
is wrapped around a rock at the base.
jected $231 million into the district.”
Tully still has his workshop in the Wilmac building (directly under his Grotesques statues), where he continues to
watch the surroundings change.
“It will be a shining star for Dubuque
and what we can do when we come together and use the resources at hand instead of sprawling out and building boxes
in suburbia,” he said. “I’m really happy for
the genesis of the district.”
The way he describes the changes is
pure Tully. He measures his words before
he uses them, almost as carefully as he
might sculpt metal. The result is often poetic.
“Listen to him make an introduction at
an arts event or speak about a cause benefiting the arts,” said Geri Shafer, who has
known him for more than 10 years. “He
brings an energy and commitment to the
words he chooses to use. They are contagious and impactful.”
Even so, Tully often uses his art to replace words.
On the 18th birthdays of each of his
three daughters, Briana Cushman, 29, Mikaela Foust, 25, and Laura Tully, 22 Gene
created a piece for them.
“What I really like to do is make a piece
that tells a story or has a lesson involved
in it,” he said. “I wanted to articulate a
father’s advice to a young woman without
One, for Briana, was a balancing kinetic
piece with a large rock at one end and various other rocks on it.
“I suggested to her that this rock is
your potential in life and all your hopes
and dreams,” Tully said. “All the other
rocks over here are the influences, the
things that you are exposed to, that you
put in your body, that you learn, that you
Tully’s ability to take raw materials and
create something visually and mentally interesting displays the way his mind works
— as if its dial always is set to “create.”
“He has talents that he doesn’t really
even utilize,” McNamara said, pointing out
Tully’s proficiency for photography and
carpentry, along with metal sculpting.
“He’s always been an artist.” DBQ
PROFILE: Sandra Principe
She practices
The rule
of paint
24 /DBQ October-December 2013
andra Principe knew early on she was bound for
a career in law.
She followed her degree and spent 20 years in
commercial real estate law in Chicago. But she
wasn’t following her heart.
Over time she realized the courses she took in college
— English literature and art — those were the subjects that
spoke to her. It was there, Principe recalled, where she discovered a love for painting. It was just a love that had gone
unrequited for so long.
She needed to get back in touch with her creative side.
“While I was practicing law, I was always painting,” Principe said. “It was more of a gradual realization that painting was more core to me than it could just be a weekend
During the last half of her legal career, Principe started
laying the groundwork for her next chapter. She began gathering resources to set up an art studio in rural Galena, Ill., a
place she and her husband chose because of its landscape
rich with woods and rolling hills — and a never-ending supply of subjects for her paintings.
In 1996, Principe made a full-time change from lawyer to
painter — and she hasn’t looked back.
After spending a few years intensively studying oil painting, Principe was invited to hold her first solo, large-gallery
show in West Palm Beach, Fla. Her painting took off, and
her work continued to be seen in solo shows for the next
several years.
Raised with an appreciation of flowers and gardens, Principe is drawn to nature when she paints. Most recently, she
began a series of landscape paintings of the Galena area.
She plans to create larger studio paintings from the pastel
and oil paintings created on location.
“When I paint, it really helps me see the beauty and harmony in nature,” Principe said. “I want to really capture that
and hopefully distill the essence of that so that when people
look at the paintings they can see that, too.”
Principe is taking it a step farther by helping novice artists
look at the world around them a little differently, too. For
the past three years, she has been leading beginning painters
through a structured three-hour class where they complete a
ABOVE: Principe is drawn to nature and is working on a series of paintings featuring
area settings. RIGHT: When she’s not painting, Principe is busy writing. She is working
on her seventh “cozy mystery” set in Galena.
painting. It’s something different each time
— a bird, flowers, landscape — but it’s always nature in some form.
Since moving to Galena, Principe also
has returned to another creative passion
of hers — writing. She’s authored six
“cozy mysteries” in the Galena Mystery
Series and is working on book No. 7.
The heroine in the series, Karen Prince,
has a lot in common with Principe. She
started out as a lawyer in Chicago and later
moved to Galena to paint.
“I use a lot of local settings so people
are familiar with the roads and stores and
places she visits,” Principe said. “I weave
in the things I find so interesting out here
— the fossils you find and boating on the
The artist and author has learned that
life’s landscapes are constantly changing,
and the experiences along the way shape
who we are, who we become.
“(Practicing law) certainly helped me
think more analytically and see a whole
different part of the world than I would
have otherwise,” Principe said. “But I’m
very glad to be doing what I’m doing
● For more information: To request a
private viewing or register for a painting
class, contact Sandra Principe through her
website at sandraprincipe.com. DBQ
October-December 2013 DBQ /25
Gregory James has
lived in Dubuque for
more than 10 years
and has found a niche
with his covers of
Motown/R&B songs at
Stone Cliff Winery and
Mystique Casino.
PROFILE: Gregory James
to sing
From parents’ church
to performing in Dubuque
regory James knows the value of
The Dubuque musician decided to quit his day job in March
to pursue his passion full time.
And so far, it’s paying off.
“I just kind of jumped off the cliff and said,
OK, fly,” he said. “Once I got out there, I was
determined I wasn’t going to take ‘no’ for an
answer because I knew all I needed was one
person to hear me and to give me a shot. I
knew that everyone else would be sold.”
James grew up in Milwaukee, and has lived in
Dubuque for more than 10 years. He recorded
a Christian album with his eight siblings when
he was in his teens. Since then, music has been
a large part of the 51-year-old’s life.
“I got my musical talent in church,” James
said. “That’s where I started singing, in my parents’ church. It was a family church. I started
singing there and I learned how to play piano
there, too, and bass guitar. All of my sisters and
brothers are musicians and singers.”
James is a regular performer at Stone Cliff
Winery and Mystique Casino.
“I love having Gregory perform at Stone
Cliff,” said Jodi Bryson, event coordinator at
the winery. “Not only is he very talented, but
he has such a great personality. He does a great
job of interacting with the crowd and our customers have a blast when he performs.”
His shows are mostly Motown and R&B,
covers of hits by Stevie Wonder, The Tempta-
tions, Otis Redding, Al Green, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles and Louis Armstrong.
“I’m the only one (in the area) that’s performing rhythm and blues,” James said. “People are
playing blues, but R&B, rhythm and blues, and
Motown is totally different. I wasn’t sure if they
were going to accept it. I was told right out of
the gate, ‘I don’t think anybody’s going to want
to listen to that’ by venue owners.”
Before pursuing music full time, James
worked various jobs in Dubuque: at the University of Dubuque as a dispatch operator and
in security, in customer service at Mystique Casino and most recently as a home inspector for
Operation: New View.
While at the University of Dubuque, he
founded and directed the University of
Dubuque Gospel Choir.
James also has some acting chops. He was
a part of the Architecture Alive Trolley Tour
in 2008, where he played a historical character who taught students about monuments in
Dubuque, and he played Jim in “Big River” in
the Muddy Waters Showboat Revue at the Galena Arts Theater in Galena in 2004.
“It turned out to be a smash,” he said. “I
didn’t realize I could act, but it’s something that
I definitely want to do.”
He is writing a play in which he plans to have
a role.
While James is enjoying his new job, he
wants his audiences to enjoy it more.
“The gift that I have, it’s not for myself,” he
said. “It’s to leave people feeling good at the
end of the day.” DBQ
October-December 2013 DBQ /27
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PROFILE: Cynthia Nelms-Byrne
Artist Cynthia Nelms-Byrne relaxes with her and husband Bob’s shi tzu Betty Boop in their Dubuque
apartment. She loves living downtown and can constantly be found attending special events.
The Pulse
‘Adoptive’ Dubuquer and husband, Bob, thrive downtown
hough Cynthia Nelms-Byrne doesn’t lead the
lifestyle of a typical Dubuquer, you’d be hardpressed to find someone who loves her adoptive hometown more.
Somehow, Cindy and her husband, Robert Byrne, have
carved out a cosmopolitan lifestyle in a community that,
while steadily improving, few would consider urbane.
“I always say that Dubuque has a thin layer of sophistication, and we try to exist completely in that layer,” Bob
says with a hint of his ever-present dry wit.
For Cindy, 64, that has meant leading a big-city-like life
in downtown Dubuque. “People who are afraid to come
downtown just slay me,” Cindy said. “On Friday and Saturday nights, it’s like Manhattan down here. It is full of
She eschewed the roomy house on the West Side of
town for three stories of living space above a downtown
storefront. She paints alongside fellow artists in the Millwork District’s new StudioWorks, composing artwork
inspired by people she sees, music and poetry. She’s an
ever-present figure at community arts happenings, the
Dubuque Symphony Orchestra and Julien Dubuque International Film Festival events. She strolls the Farmers Market and raves about the vegetable selection. Ever the bon
vivant, she relishes dinners out with friends and admires a
well-made cocktail.
“She’ll come to coffee and talk about all the things she
did over the weekend, and I’ll think, ‘I didn’t even know
that stuff was going on,’” said Martha Fuerste, a longtime
friend. “She really has the pulse of what’s happening, especially downtown.”
A love story
How a Denver-born mortgage banker came to be living
an artist’s charmed life in Dubuque, Iowa, is, at its heart, a
love story.
Continued on page 40
October-December 2013 DBQ /29
PROFILE: Kristina Castaneda
Connecting you to
Her world
s usual, Kristina Castaneda was comfortably
connecting as she sipped on her daily green
juice at Monk’s Kaffee Pub in Dubuque.
This time, however, it wasn’t through her
singing, teaching or artwork. It was with
pleasant conversation. But a question about an upcoming
singing engagement with a longtime friend stumped her.
“How would you describe your’s and Shawn Healy’s musical style?”
“Our style ...” she said as she gazed out the window at
Bluff Street on a hot August afternoon. “Our style? Wow! I
don’t know.”
There was a pause, an inviting smile broadening across
her thin face, sunglasses on her head. She turned and looked
toward the cozy bar in Monk’s.
“Hey Bob!” she yelled, trying to get Bob Bucko’s attention. He sometimes sings with her and Healy.
“How would you describe Shawn’s and my style?”
Bob ambled over and let out a burly laugh. “That’s the
worst question somebody could ask you,” he said, though
quickly remembering that a nearby journalist just had. “But
it’s something everybody asks.”
Kristina laughed and provided a long, detailed explanation about contradictions between lyrics and chord combinations, ironic pairings and dark lullabies before agreeing
that their music was basically beautiful, lyrical melodies that
didn’t always match the harsher words but still had unity.
“She has an interesting way of putting words together,”
said Healy, who has known her for about 20 years. “She will
take me by surprise with the words she will use to describe
As for summing up their style, Kristina said simply, “We
like things that sound pretty.”
While waiting on tables at the old Silver Dollar Cantina
as a college student, the diminutive Castaneda would softly
sing to herself as she worked. Patrons, as well as her boss,
were impressed. At the time, the Silver Dollar was one of
the coolest places in town to catch live, original music. One
Thursday night, a day before it was scheduled to perform,
a group from out of town canceled its show. The singing
Kristina Castaneda prides herself on making connections, whether it’s with
her high school students, listeners at her singing performances,
women in her health coaching classes or even with the earth.
30 /DBQ October-December 2013
waitress was asked to fill in.
“I was freaking out. I had never performed live before,”
Castaneda said. “But it was an opportunity.”
Her boss also knew that she and some friends
had been playing music in somebody’s living room,
so they “scrounged up some playlists” and did the
show. “It was packed and rowdy. At that time, I
was really, really painfully shy. We sang all covers.
But people are really nice here. They knew me and
were very supportive. And it was like a spiral that
opened. After that, people wanted to collaborate.”
Castaneda, who turned 37 this month, learned about
collaboration and many other positive things as a student at Dubuque Wahlert High School and Clarke University. Ginny Darby, in the theater department, and
art teacher Roger Powers at Wahlert were major influences, as was English teacher Jim Brimeyer, who “taught
me how to write with my voice.” At Clarke, Pat Nolan
and Sara McAlpin were mentors who guided and supported her. “I was so silly,” she said. “But they never
thought any of my ideas were out there.” Most no-
tably, however, was Sister Carol Blitgen, in the theater department. “She showed me fearlessness, how
to push the envelope and say controversial things.”
Her upbringing left her ripe for such influences. Mom
Sheila grew up in rural northeast Iowa and they would
go to church where Kristina’s grandparents Florence and
Merlin were musically active. “I attended Mass up in the
balcony, on the organ bench next to Florence, watching
her feet hit those organ pedals.” Her grandparents hosted
foreign-exchange students through the church. Some were
from Guatemala and they invited Sheila down for a summer. During the stay, she met Jorge Mauricio, who lived
on a banana plantation in Bananera. They kept in touch
and they later married after Jorge chose to attend Loras
College while Sheila was at Clarke.
“Dad listened to vinyl records all of the time and we
always had a piano,” Kristina said. “We swam in music.”
Her sister, JoAnna Baum, is a graphic designer, painter
and photographer who lives in Chicago while her brother,
Benjamin, is a DJ and sound engineer in Boston.
“They let me make my own mistakes,” Kristina said of
October-December 2013 DBQ /31
Castaneda has
taught art, English
and the humanities
over the years.
She now teaches
at the Dubuque
Schools Alternative
Learning Center.
Mon. - Fri. 10 am-5:30 pm
Sat. 10 am-4pm
2300 JFK Corner of JFK & Asbury
her parents. “And they taught me a lot about
being grateful. My mom has a lot of wanderlust. I have an insatiable desire to learn, to learn
from people who do it differently than I do. It’s
like, ‘I’ve done this, what’s next?’”
JoAnna knew at a young age what her older
sister was destined to do.
“Kristina wouldn’t stop singing around the
house,” said Baum, 29. “She was singing while
doing any activity, all the time. It got to be so
much, our mom made a rule that at the dinner
table, there would be no singing.”
Castaneda has two daughters — Eva Grace,
11, and Viviana Joy, 2 — but said she is happily
and uncompromisingly single. Kristina loves being a mom. “My favorite thing is to just watch
them unfold. When they show a little spark of
interest in something, I try to nurture that (she
sent Eva to a nonprofit movement called Girls
Rock! this summer in Chicago). And I think it’s
so important to be outside with them as much
as possible to make that connection to nature.”
Away from home, she teaches visual arts to
high school at-risk students in the Dubuque
Community Schools Alternative Learning Center. When she’s not singing at the various clubs,
galleries, gardens, weddings or even funerals,
Kristina enjoys drawing and painting. But, “I
don’t want to draw what a photo looks like.”
Clay is one of her favorites, resulting usually
in goblets and chalices. “Clay is from the earth
32 /DBQ October-December 2013
and I love to have my hands immersed in that.
It feels sacred,” she said. More recently, she has
gotten into junk art, bricolage or guerrilla art,
which emphasizes recycling. In her basement,
she keeps several containers filled with things
such as dried flowers, dead insects, broken
clocks, dissected computer boards and seashells. “I see value in looking at things that other people look over and use it to tell a story.”
She formed one of her earliest “unique” art
pieces while in college.
“I dismembered a bunch of Barbies and
painted all the parts white, Then I re-created a
field full of dead flowers and grasses and put
their parts in it. It was the death of Barbie, a
cleansing for her, restoring her to the earth and
a rebirth. Yeah, that was a fun one,” she said.
After a short pause, she added, “I think I’m a
real feminist.”
“She’s always been a free spirit,” said Baum.
“She and I have a lot of the same perspectives,
but she’s always been a little more of a hippie
than me. Well, maybe hippie’s the wrong word.
At one point, she went through a hippie stage.”
Another interest is health coaching. She recently added Institute of Integrative Nutrition
behind her name. “I’m really moving into helping women in their relationships, their food
stresses, their bodies ... helping them to claim
who they are and not be apologetic for it. Letting them know that they have healing in their
own hands.”
Dubuque has a growing arts community, but it’s small enough to
be more collaborative than competitive.
“It’s easy to make things happen here,” Kristina said. “There are a
lot of talented musicians. It’s very loose. If I approach (artist) Gene
Tully about doing something, if I approach Stormy Mochal or Connie Twining at Outside the Lines (Art Gallery), if I approach the
Dubuque Museum of Art ... if I have an idea, it’s probably going to
happen. When I’ve been to other places, it doesn’t happen.”
Her past has been connected off and on with Healy, 43, who lives
in Soldiers Grove, Wis. Early on in their friendship, they were at a
music festival in northern Wisconsin. “We were walking around a
lake and I heard her sing and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a super voice,’”
he said.
She started singing with Healy’s group at the time and, later, he
joined Bucko and Castaneda in writing songs for a group called
Alma Sub Rosa, that also featured Tim Connelly and David Morrison.
While Kristina tries to see as many live performances as possible, at home she listens to Afro-Cuban and Latin music. She enjoys
discovering new performers who sing slow love songs (“But never
country!”) Her favorite singer is Nina Simone, an African-American
Jazz singer and Civil Rights activist who was most popular in the
1960s and ’70s. “The first time I heard her, I thought she was a man.
It’s not a beautiful voice, but it’s raw, sincere and different. She had a
similar start to her career as I did.”
Castaneda performed with Healy and Bucko on the last muggy
night of a sizzling hot August in downtown Dubuque. It was at the
opening of the Salon Art Exhibit, set up for artists who applied to
but were rejected by the prestigious Voices from the Warehouse
District and the Dubuque Museum of Arts’s Biennial Exhibition.
While dozens of people perused the space, Kristina softly sang
and swayed back and forth in her short, multi-colored dress. Standing between Healy and Bucko, she closed her eyes as her arms
seemed to instinctively form invisible patterns in the air. More than
your usual number of people at such art openings paid close attention to the trio.
“To me, it’s about connection,” she said during the earlier interview at Monk’s. “I feel like I have important messages to spread to
large masses. But I don’t care if five people hear it or 500 hear it
— I want to touch somebody. If not, that’s OK. ”
She took another sip of her green concoction of vegetables and
fruit that she calls her “fountain of youth” and reflected.
“If I can be an instrument in somebody else’s life, that would be a
bonus. As a teacher, I support other people’s creativeness. As a person, I get to express my own creativeness ... because my soul can’t
help it.” DBQ
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October-December 2013 DBQ /33
PROFILE: Joe Pinder
Forming an
He shares his lifelong love of pottery
or 29 years, Joe Pinder has been expressing himself through his pottery.
And up until mid-March, Pinder had
been selling his wares at art and craft fairs
throughout the region. But now these beautiful
art and functional pieces can be purchased on
Main Street in Galena, Ill., in his Pinder Pottery
& Gallery.
Having been involved with the GCAA, Hello
Galena Artist Co-Op, 20 Dirty Hands and other local organizations, he was familiar with the
34 /DBQ October-December 2013
arts community and knew he wanted to stay.
So, when Jan Ketza announced she was looking
for another location for her Galena Bead storefront, he jumped at the space.
“My wife and I decided to do it, so we painted all the walls and I polyurethaned the floors
to give them a nice shine. Then I bought six
more shelving units and refurbished some
that were in the basement,” Pinder said. After
a mad rush of fixing the shop, while trying to
get ready for an upcoming show and competition in Wisconsin called the Cambridge Pottery
Festival, Pinder also was contacting other art-
Joe Pinder has been creating art for almost 30 years but just recently opened Pinder Pottery & Gallery
in downtown Galena, Ill.
He knew he wanted to have other local potters, as well as a couple of visual artists. And,
he is proud to say that one of his favorite mentors and potters, Paul Eshelman, is a regular in
the gallery. Other artists in the gallery are: Larry
Priske, of Pine Hollow Pottery; Carol Mantey,
of Tree House Pottery; Alice McMahon, who
does pencil drawings and two-dimensional
work, and Edward Herbeck, whose work includes oil paintings, drawings, stone, plate lithographs and more.
“He (Edward Herbeck) taught at North Central in Downer’s Grove, Ill., is, and still does,”
Pinder said. And he is honored to have him in
his downtown Galena gallery.
Although Pinder’s love of pottery has been
with him most of his life, he originally fell into
it by accident. In 1985, while attending North
Central College in Naperville, Ill., he met Eshelman, who was the chairman of the art department. Although Pinder was spending his
artistic pursuits on drawing at the time, Eshelman encouraged him to take a pottery class.
“So, my sophomore year, I took it,” Pinder
said. And it has been a love affair ever since.
“His pottery, like mine, is very functional
and easy to use,” Eshelman said. “It can and
will be used in people’s homes. I also think
it’s nice that in his work, he uses a contrast of
glaze and unglazed. The bare clay adds warmth
and a touch of humanity to the pieces. It
makes them approachable.”
Pinder continued to receive his BA in fine
arts, as well as in physical education. “I took
classes in kinesiology in order to better understand the human body and how it moves.” But
after taking the pottery classes, Pinder’s talents
began to shine and he spent more time working with clay.
He joined different art leagues and clubs, and
helped organize a holiday market at the college. “This was when I finally realized that I had
something that people might actually like to buy
and have for themselves,” he said.
And that’s when he set his sights on a selling his handmade pottery. As many artists do,
he held side jobs while selling his pottery at art
and craft fairs on the weekends. But when he
compared the cost of doing all of the art fairs,
along with the cost of gas and lodging, he real-
October-December 2013 DBQ /35
Pinder’s pottery has two unique glazes to them typically:
A blue color or a brown color.
ized that having a storefront on Main Street in Galena was actually
cost effective.
“We have had good traffic and good sales. I have had better success here in the shop than at shows. I know some other shops on
Main Street have had busier and slower months,” he said. But for
now, Pinder is enthusiastic with his new venture. He has more than
90 new pieces of pottery, and plans to double that before the end of
the year.
Pinder’s pottery has two unique glazes to them typically: a blue
color or a brown color. He creates functional pieces that are classic in style and easy to incorporate into the home. However, he also
has some fun, artistic pieces, as well as small decorative items for the
holidays. Prices range from $4 on up in the gallery.
36 /DBQ October-December 2013
He also offers classes and helps people hone their craft. His classes are typically three hours long, which are more suitable for adults
rather than children.
“We will add and subtract artists as we go along,” Pinder said. But
for now, it’s time to see what the public likes, what they purchase and
what they request.
Pinder’s wife, Lydia Nowak, is a certified K-5 teacher, and teaches
computer in the public schools in Galena. Although they met in college, they share their love of Galena and envision the new downtown
space their new home for Pinder’s art.
Pinder Pottery and Gallery will be open all year round, with some
limited hours in the winter. “I have a lot of projects for the winter,”
Pinder said. DBQ
Continued from page 29
In fact, “How Cindy met Bob” has all the
makings of a romantic comedy. Then again,
the couple’s shared sense of humor is a little
too sophisticated and sardonic for a rom-com.
But when you write a fan letter to an author
you like, initiate a blind date and then go on
to marry the guy, well, you’ve got yourself a
cheesy movie script. Even if you loathe cheesy
In 1986, Cindy Nelms was single, employed
in mortgage banking and living in Denver. She
had just read “The 637 Best Things Anybody
Ever Said,” by a fellow named Robert Byrne.
“I thought, this guy has my exact sense of humor.”
That’s saying something. There are people
who talk about having a good sense of humor,
and then there are people who are truly witty,
who appreciate word play and irony. In his 83
years, Bob has developed a discerning palate
for humor. “Nobody ever says, I don’t have
any sense of humor,” he says. “Everybody
thinks they have a great sense of humor, but a
lot of people don’t.”
Cindy describes hers this way: “There’s nothing uplifting. It’s kind of dark and a little on
the bookish side.” A good match for the author of the “637 Things ...” book, she thought.
On a whim, she wrote a fan letter.
“Dear Mr. Byrne: Having read both of your “637
Best Things ...” books, I have (perhaps rashly?) concluded that you are one of the few creative Englishspeaking men alive today. I keep both of your books
in the John, and as a reader yourself, I know you will
take that as the highest of compliments.
Deciding I have nothing to lose, I am impulsively
(but sincerely) writing not only to compliment you, but
to ask you to dinner should you ever be in Denver (and
why shouldn’t you — it’s in the middle of the country).
Please understand that this is not an illicit proposal,
a marriage proposal or anything but a dinner proposal,
from a devoted fan desiring some clever company for an
evening (I am not, however, clever in the least, so don’t
expect it).”
That was enough to get her a phone call
from the author himself. Then came a followup letter from Bob:
“... It’s possible that I will pass through Denver
sometime in 1986, and when I do I’ll call your bluff
and see if you can stand an evening of withering clev-
Cynthia met her husband, author Bob Byrne, after
reading a couple of his books. While living in
Colorado, she wrote a fan letter, inviting him to
dinner if he ever came to Denver.
erness. I’m enclosing some propaganda to give you a
chance to move and unlist your phone number.
I don’t care how old you are, but if we are going
to have dinner together I hope you are more than 30
and less than 80. I don’t care too much what you like
(we are only having dinner, for Godsake), provided you
don’t look like Ernest Borgnine or Abraham Lincoln.
As for myself, I do look something like Abraham Lincoln.”
A few weeks later, Bob created an excuse
to come to Denver. He claimed it was for research. Cindy pretended to believe him. It was
research, Bob now claims. He was researching
She drove her little red sports car to meet
him at the airport. “I ran up and planted a kiss
right on him. I think he was mildly surprised
when I did that.”
That’s how the romance began. After a few
months, Bob moved to Denver.
“I had a really good job in mortgage banking, and he could write anywhere, so he just
came,” Cindy said. “We got along so well.
Mainly because we were laughing all the time.
I would come home from work, and he would
be in an apron in my kitchen, doing something
like ironing my bra or something, and he would
say, ‘You’ve got to get me some help’ — stuff
like that.”
That was followed by moves to the San
Francisco area and then, for the better part of
a year, to Spain. But they had yet to take the
plunge into marriage. Cindy remembers it this
way: “He would have been my third husband,
and I was just not anxious — everything was
going so well, why spoil it?”
After Europe, they returned to California
where Cindy studied graphic design. While
she took courses, Bob shot billiards, a game
in which he achieved world-class status. “One
night we were driving back from school and I
said, ‘you know, we get along so well, maybe
we should get married’ — he had brought it
up many times before, and I always said, ugh,
no, no.” In May 1991, they slipped away to
Nevada. “We got married, and stayed a couple
of nights, then we came back and told all our
friends we thought we were getting a fishing license.”
Bob was previously married, too. His first
wife was the daughter of world-renowned violinist Jascha Heifetz. “I thought how do you
follow that act?” Cindy said. “It turns out, ‘just
be nicer’ worked pretty well.”
This time around, marriage fits like a hand
in a glove. It’s obvious that Bob and Cindy delight one another. She laughs at his jokes, not
out of any sense of obligation, but because
she’s genuinely amused. That’s important to
Bob, a guy who has made a living, in part, trying to make people laugh.
One late summer afternoon, as they relaxed
at home with shih tzu Betty Boop stretched
out between them, Bob pondered what Cindy
might have seen in him.
“I had a steady job ... actually, wait, no I
didn’t have a steady job.”
“I was the one who had a steady job,” she
reminds him.
“That’s right, I thought it was just great to
find a woman with a steady job and a good salary.”
“There was a lot of laughing,” Cindy says of
their courtship.
There still is. The effort to make one anoth-
Nelms-Byrne has created a variety of artworks, ranging from abstracts (in acrylics)
and realistic pieces (in oils) with topics inspired by poets and dogs.
40 /DBQ October-December 2013
can inspire a deeper mesever does that when I do a
sage. She points to a piece
painting for them.’ I don’t
on the wall. “She was a tencare what it is — I’ve done
ant of ours. Every time I
paintings of dead people —
saw her, I thought, she’s so
nobody ever cries. But give
youthful, she looks so fresh
them a painting of a dog ...
and young. But that’s going
It’s such a satisfying thing to
to fade, we all know that. I
have people give that much
wanted to do a painting on
of an emotional reaction to
something I’ve done.”
So she painted the womThat’s how the dog paintan, posed at window with
ing began, and she’s done
a flower in a vase nearby, a
more than 40 of them now,
petal falling from the flower.
some as commissions, some
In the painting, a fly crawls
as gifts.
on the window pane.
Busy in mind
“Bob said, ‘Don’t put a fly
and body
in there!’ I said, ‘Oh yeah,
Fuerste admires her friend’s
I’m putting the fly in there.’
This Nelms-Byrne painting is called “Waiting for Greyhound.”
of art — and the
That’s my little statement
“One of my
about how everything is temfavorite
she’ll talk
porary. It was just something I really wanted to paint. It wasn’t for any
really got
other reason. Sometimes I just do it because I want to.”
an eye, and of course she has the training, too. She points out things that
Inspired by words and dogs
I never would have noticed in a million years.”
It’s fitting that Cindy married a writer, since the written word inspires
And it isn’t just art that Cindy studies. “She’s a continual learnher creatively. Earlier this year, she had an exhibit at the Dubuque Muer,” Fuerste said. “She’ll watch these 16-part series on topics like
seum of Art of work that was inspired by her favorite poets. Using their
advanced physics and take online classes. She’s constantly trying to
lyrics and poems, she created eight pairs of paintings, one realistic and
stretch her brain. It’s astounding, the stuff she does. I truly admire
one abstract, coordinated through color and composition.
“I think one of her strong suits is her range,” Bob said. “She can do
The series was on chaos theory, actually, and the online class that Cinabstracts, and she can also do highly realistic works in several different
dy calls “fascinating” was on modern and post-modern philosophers. “If
media. If she wants to, she can do paintings that are so realistic people
my brain dies, it won’t be for lack of trying to keep it resuscitated,” she
say, ‘That’s a painting and not a photograph?’ She also has some really
interesting abstracts that I didn’t think would sell in Dubuque, but they
Cindy doesn’t allow herself a lot of idle time. She volunteers regularly
at the art museum as well as Voices from the Warehouse District, Julien
Her fellow artists love Cindy’s companionship, both creatively and as a
Dubuque International Film Festival and just about every arts organizafriend. “She’s such a good artist ... She draws her subject matter out of
tion. She gives rides through DuRide when she can, and has been a volpoetry and music while the rest of us tend to look at pictures,” Kaufman
unteer at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Helping out
said. “She’s got a good sense of humor, she’s fun. She’s very knowledgenonprofits helps keep the community thriving, and that’s important to
able about art and literature and music and she participates in interesting
Cindy. These days she tries to focus more on life in Dubuque than trying
things, she has a lot to draw on.”
to fix the whole world.
The StudioWorks collaboration has been particularly satisfying. “If I
“I used to worry about the bigger picture, but you know, the older I
weren’t already a part of this, I would be wishing I were.” Kaufman said.
get, I’m just glad I’m old, because there’s things happening that aren’t
It was a friend from book club (the Book Club From Hell,) Martha
great, but things in Dubuque are terrific,” Cindy said. “Bob always says,
Fuerste, who got Cindy on to painting dogs. Both dog lovers, Fuerif I start fretting about the condition of the world, ‘Look out the winste was always after Cindy to paint dogs. “We made a silly bet, and I
lost. I told her I would paint dogs if I lost the bet and she had to knit
“Just look how peaceful it is,” Bob said. “The situation in Syria is horme a pair of mittens if she lost. Well, she made me the mittens anyrible. But look out the window. We live in paradise.”
way, so then I was really feeling guilty, so I had to paint her dog, Lily.”
“And if you live in paradise, you should take advantage of paradise,”
To her surprise, Cindy loved painting the dog. Giving the painting to
Cindy contends. “It would be just a shame not to. We have a good time
Fuerste was an even bigger payoff. “I gave it to her at coffee with the
practically every day. Every day there’s something to look forward to. Rebook club, and she burst into tears. And I thought, ‘You know, nobody
ally, we have a pretty charmed life.” DBQ
October-December 2013 DBQ /43
PROFILE: Colin Muenster
Center (off stage) of attention
Dubuquer keeps busy directing adults and teaching students
ith a mother
who taught high
school math and
father, Colin Muenster realized
early on that a life of numbers
would not add up for him. The
youngest of seven children, he
says, “I found theater arts out of
a need to get attention.” In a big
family, you can go unnoticed unless you learn to speak up.
Colin, 27, was a student in my
college creative writing class where
his sensitivity to language, combined with a wry sense of irony, served him well as a writer and reviewer.
Later, the Clarke University Theater Arts graduate remained in Dubuque
to pursue two passions. The first was a relationship with his girlfriend (my
daughter). The other was to use his college degree. The first pursuit resulted in marriage and the second the formation of a theater company.
As the creator and artistic director of Dubuque Art Theater, Muenster
oversaw every aspect, including public relations, graphic design, scheduling, web management and overall production. He acted, he directed and
he cleaned up after performances.
Colin explains the guiding principle behind Dubuque Art Theater, “I
want an audience to be excited. I don’t want them walking away just saying ‘That was nice.’ ” He not only sought experimental productions, but
also insisted that it be free. “I had been in plays that my friends could
not attend because of cost. I wanted to remove that obstacle. I had the
energy and willingness to take risks,” he says. By funding through donations and grants, Muenster was liberated from producing only shows that
were moneymakers.
He staged performances of Shakespeare-on-the-river including the
“Tempest” (done in a Mark Twain motif) and “Romeo and Juliet.” He
recalls, “Anybody could be walking by on the Riverwalk and see this cultural event and stop and watch it and appreciate our city. I wanted to be
part of people thinking ‘Wow, what a great place to live.’ ”
Muenster also directed “Waiting for Godot,” and “Nine People’s Favorite Thing” — a cabaret night that invited audience members to vote
on which of four musicals DAT should tackle. His greatest moment
with DAT, however, was “The Last Five Years,” an edgy play about relationships. Muenster notes, “The play’s storytelling aspect of one person
44 /DBQ October-December 2013
starting at the end of a relationship while the other person starts
at the beginning of that same relationship is richly complex.”
So how is it possible that a lad
right out of college manages his
own theater company? Clarke
drama professor Joe Klinebriel
explains, “Colin emerged as a
leader early on. He’s a self-starter
who loves theater and possesses
the passion for bringing challenging stories to life. He understands,
supports and catalyzes great grassroot endeavors. One of my own
proudest theater career moments
was when Colin asked me to direct “Romeo and Juliet” with only a six-person cast at the pavilion on the
Riverwalk. It was a wonderfully intimate and challenging opportunity.”
A rising actor/director in Dubuque’s theater scene, Colin has partnered with well-known pro, Lenore Howard, to script, direct and act
in a living history of people buried at Linwood Cemetery (offered by
the Linwood Cemetery Association and the Dubuque County Historical Society). He portrays A.Y. McDonald and famed writer Richard
While Colin works theater by night, by day he has been engaged as a
multi-categorical paraprofessional at Dubuque elementary schools Eisenhower and Fulton, and Wahlert Catholic High School. This fall he enters
his second year as Wahlert’s Director of Theater Arts while he also pursues a master’s degree in Education.
“I love working with high school students most. I keenly remember
how I felt back then — as if teachers didn’t understand what I wanted,
so I bring that experience to my students by listening both to what they
say and to what they need. I love that moment when they get it, when
they gain a whole new appreciation for not just theater, but for human
Colin’s home life is rich with such human experience. He and wife
Elizabeth Enzler share lively discussions about movies, plays and books.
“We more often disagree than agree but that’s where I come to understand other ways of interpreting human experience,” he says.
In their real life drama, their first child, Olivia, was born six months
ago. She’s a gabber, constantly vocalizing syllables. She is center stage in
their home. Will she be an actor? “I doubt it,” Colin says. “She’s a first
child and she really likes it when people count 1-2-3 around her.” DBQ
PROFILE: Ronn Toebaas
onn Toebaas isn’t one to boast about his
accomplishments — nor is he one to get
on his soapbox about his artistic philosophy. Yet underneath a larger-thanlife presence, there exists a thoughtful wisdom and a
great devotion for creating that’s contagious.
“I think the passion that I have for the arts has
been vital in giving me focus and direction in life,”
the 72-year-old said during an interview in his home
nestled near a hill in Galena, Ill.
For more than 45 years, Toebaas’ beloved muse
has been the theater.
As an actor and director, he has embraced productions numbering in the hundreds, ranging from dramas to comedies and from musicals to light opera.
Respected and admired by fellow actors, directors
and community members, Toebaas has embraced
theatrical successes with his integrity intact.
“It never was about creating for money,” he said.
“I always was drawn to what would be greater creative challenges.”
A path set early
He embraces
a lifelong
ambition to
make great
theater thrive
46 /DBQ October-December 2013
A native of Evanston, Ill., Toebaas began his sojourn the way many aspiring thespians do — in the
“When I was 4, my baby sitter used to take me to
the movies,” he said. “By the time I was 6 or 7, I often was going to see just as many local plays.”
Toebaas became serious about theater in high
school, where he received leading roles in productions, as well as top ratings at competitions.
He was a theater major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison — where he met his wife and theatrical collaborator, Alice — before transferring and
graduating from Loyola University, in Chicago. But,
according to Toebaas, that hardly made him a finished product.
“I came out of college the way many theater majors do — thinking I really knew how to act but realizing that I didn’t know a thing,” Toebaas said, laughing.
Eager to hone his craft, he began studying at the
Ted Liss Actors Studio, a prestigious and intensive
training ground founded by the Chicago North
Shore acting and directing icon.
Liss — well-known for his appearance in feature films and voice overs — coached several actors who moved on to prominent careers in theater, television and film.
“It was a place for budding actors to develop
very fast,” Toebaas said.
He began acting in Chicago. One production
he auditioned for was led by Pat Terry, who would
become a lifelong friend, eventually relocating to
a neighboring home in Galena with her husband,
“Ronn was an immediate standout,” Terry said.
“He was cooperative and genuinely helpful. And,
he sang so well. He was always for the art and was
very positive.”
The two also acted with one another in a few
productions. But before long, Toebaas realized
“Good actors were a dime a dozen in Chicago,” he said. “Good directors, on the other hand,
weren’t always.”
Toebaas decided to try his hand at coaching
actors from his North Shore turf, founding The
Actor’s Forum. It later evolved into a company
known as The Actor’s Ensemble. During this time,
Toebaas became a drama teacher at Chicago St.
Scholastica Academy, a private, Roman Catholic,
Benedictine, all-girls high school.
The opportunity would further foster his true
calling as a director.
“Because it was an all-girls school, I would bring
in male actors I had been coaching for some of
the productions at the school,” Toebaas said.
that?’ But when you’re young and foolish, you can
get away with that.”
His wife, Alice, frequently worked by his side as
a costumer.
“Her mistake was marrying a director,” Toebaas
joked. “I was directing an Elizabethan play called
‘White and Red.’ Alice asked, ‘What are you going
to do for costumes?’ I had no budget. So, Alice
took it upon herself to design and sew them. That
was her first time costuming, and of course, they
were wonderful. She always used to say that if she
could draw a costume, she could sew it because
she’d have a pattern.”
And, while the couple worked frequently with
one another, they supported each other’s budding
theatrical interests.
“We would work together, but we also worked
apart,” Toebaas said. “There were shows I directed with other costumers, and she was asked to
costume productions that I was not directing. So,
she became a respected artist that was recognized
in her own right.”
What Alice lacked in formal training, she made
up for in her attention to detail, her knack for historical accuracy and her passion for history and
research, as well as the couple’s shared Norwegian
The latter would bring the couple westward by
the mid-1970s.
There and back again
‘The grand pooh-bah of the North
Shore theater scene’
For the next nine years, Toebaas would continue teaching and making a name for himself on
Chicago’s North Shore Theater Scene as an acting
coach and director.
American playwright Sarah Ruhl, two-time
Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee
whose mother was directed by Toebaas in Chicago, dubbed him, “the grand pooh-bah of the
North Shore theater scene.”
All the while, Toebaas remained dedicated to
passing on his knowledge and love of theater.
“I would be coaching actors, directing other
productions and then would come home and
grade papers until 2 in the morning,” Toebaas said.
“I look back now and think, ‘How did I do all of
Tonn Toebaas kept busy on stage during his time
in the Chicago area, starring as Tevye in “Fiddler
on the Roof” and the Bandit in “Rashomon” in a
couple of productions. Contributed photos
The Toebaases had traveled through Galena
several times during weekend getaways from Chicago.
“We fell in love with the area,” Toebaas said. “It
has historical charm.”
In 1975, with an apartment in the Chicago, the
two decided to purchase an old miner’s cottage in
Galena as a second home, eventually relocating to
the area permanently.
In 1986, the couple joined forces with another
theatrical couple from the area — Carole Sullivan and Jan Lavacek, who were introduced to the
Toebaases by Terry — and founded Galena Main
Street Players Theater Company.
“The four of us made a good team,” Toebaas
said. “There was Alice, who was a wonderful costumer; Carole, who had great business sense and
who was a good director, actress and musician;
Jan, who was a good technician; and me, who directed and loved set-dressing and props. Between
all of us, we were able to represent all of the pillars of theater.”
Continued on page 60
October-December 2013 DBQ /47
ART: In the eye of the beholder
No sweeping under this rug
band didn’t arrive soon enough at the hospital to suit her — she was asked what name
to put on the birth certificate. In a fit of
pique, she answered, “Zachariah Barnabus.”
The family called him Jack.
Perhaps the black coil came from wool
dress pants, ironed with creases that shone
like cellophane, which Lorena sewed for
her roving husband, Ray, my great-grandfather. Times were especially tight for the
family during the Great Depression, because Ray — a dapper travelling salesman,
a ladies’ man, a charmer — was caught
in dry Oklahoma with a bottle of hooch
under the seat of his car. (I think of Ray
whenever I see I a revival of Arthur Miller’s great old chestnut, “Death of a Salesman,” and hear the words, “He’s a man
way out there in the blue riding on a smile
and a shoeshine.”) Because of the hooch,
he was barred from driving in Oklahoma,
a big part of his territory, for a year. Maybe
that’s when my grandmother, who lived in
town, started keeping chickens.
It bemuses me that some of my daughters’ friends keep chickens in town today;
there’s that circle of women linking hands
again. Also, many of her friends identify
themselves fundamentally as artists, even
though their day jobs might be as social
workers or opticians. They don’t say tentatively that they aspire to be artists or plan
to go to art school, as my generation would
have, but confidently that they “make art,”
just like my grandmother did, no pedigree
required. (Often good things skip a few generations.) In their art, boundaries between
producer and consumer, between life and
art, are blurred. You should see the gifts
they make for each other and the babies
now coming along, as well as whole worlds
of ephemeral beauty they create for each
t’s a humble thing, really, not much to
look at with its once bright colors faded, but I consider it art. I’m speaking
of a braided rug I found in a forlorn heap
in the corner of my mother’s basement recently when I was fossicking around for a
lost item.
Sensing that there was a story behind it,
I took the rug upstairs to find out. There
was. It was made by my great-grandmother,
Lorena Blevins, born in 1887 in the Ozarks,
from worn and outgrown clothes she had
sewed for her family. She lived by the motto:
use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without (and while you’re at it, make it pleasing.)
The braided rug now inhabits my kitchen
floor, where I stand on it peeling and chopping, feeling as if I am linking hands with the
women in my family reaching back to Eve.
There I weave the family tales I have heard
back into its elements. Maybe the taupe-colored coil was once pink, made from a frock
Lorena sewed for her much doted upon little
sister, Bonnadelle, a change-of-life baby that
was born the same year as her first daughter,
who was my grandmother. Grandma and
Aunt Bonnadelle — niece and aunt — grew
up side by side, Bonnadelle teasingly insisting that Grandma address her as “aunt.”
The surprise baby was cosseted but it
The braided rug now inhabits
didn’t spoil her. By the time I knew Aunt
my kitchen floor, where I stand
Bonnadelle, she was a merry old chubby
lady like a bowling ball with feet, her farmon it peeling and chopping,
house full of jars of candy she offered as
freely as endearments: “Pet.” “Doll-baby.”
feeling as if I am linking hands
with the women in my family
Maybe the coral coil in the rug was once
the fire-engine red of a suit Lorena made for
reaching back to Eve.
her sister Jessie, the beauty of the Blevins
family. (Have you ever noticed that when a
woman dies young, she becomes in legend ever more beautiful and spirother’s weddings.
ited?) Perhaps that is the case with Jessie, although her Gibson Girl-style
Picasso once said that “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily
portrait is indeed lovely, all flashing black eyes and Alpine cheekbones. She
life off our souls.” My great-grandmother, Lorena — not one for fancy
died of tuberculosis in a sanitarium in her 30s, leaving behind two little
talk — might have snorted at that as malarkey. But in her bones she would
boys. The story has it that when the first son was born — and Jessie’s hushave known that it was true. DBQ
48 /DBQ October-December 2013
PROFILE: Tom Nakashima
He creates some
big art
ou probably wouldn’t want to try to fit this
nationally known artist’s mammoth artwork
in your house, but you might want to check
it out in at the Dubuque Museum of Art before it
Tom Nakashima, who grew up in Dubuque, will
have his “Nature Morte” — printmaking, painting,
collage and drawing accompanied by sculpture and
video — on display through Nov. 10.
The largest in the 10-painting exhibition is 30 feet
wide and more than 10 feet high. The style varies and
the pieces are arranged from “pretty representational
to not very representational,” he said. “Several are
realistic from a distance. As you approach, they are
more abstract. They’re large because I’ve always enjoyed making large pieces. They are not made to sell.
They’re exhibited mostly in museums. They’re too big
for anybody’s house.
“They are what I really like to do. If you do big
things,” he said, “you continue to own them. It’s handy to have if a museum curator comes to your studio. It’s important to have a fair number of things to
The idea for the paintings evolved when he first
observed large piles of uprooted trees near his
home in northern Virginia. Someone told him that
in order to make the soil less toxic, after years of
applying pesticides in the orchards, the trees had to
be burned and the soil plowed up and planted with
50 /DBQ October-December 2013
corn for a few years.
He found the idea intriguing and the forms of the
gnarly apple trees equally interesting.
Nakashima, 72, said his family moved to Dubuque
when he was 11, when his father joined a medical practice. He graduated from the last class of the
Loras Academy in 1959 and majored in art at Loras
College. He has a master of arts and a master of fine
arts from the University of Notre Dame.
He spent 22 years in Washington, D.C., where he
exhibited with Henri Gallery & Anton Gallery. From
1991 to 2002, he exhibited at the Bernice Steinbaum
Gallery in New York City, where he mounted three
solo exhibitions.
His work is included in the permanent collections
of museums including the Corcoran, Smithsonian
American Art Museum and the Hermitage Museum
St. Petersburg, Russia.
He is emeritus professor at the Catholic University
of America and Morris Eminent Scholar Emeritus at
Augusta State University in Georgia. DBQ
Several of Tom Nakashima’s artworks are realistic from a distance
but become more abstract as you get closer.
If you want to go
Art exhibition: “Nature Morte”
Artist: Tom Nakashima
Times/dates: Runs through
Sunday, Nov. 10. Museum hours are
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and
1-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
Site: Dubuque Museum of Art,
701 Locust St.
Cost: Daily admission $6 for
adults; $5 for senior citizens, $3
for students; free for children and
members; free to all on Thursday,
because of a grant from Prudential
October-December 2013 DBQ /51
PROFILE: Lauren K. Alleyne
foreign language
She uses words to take her reader on an emotional journey
“Poetry is like ice cream. It completes joy, but is also a natural remedy for
heartache. You can enjoy it in all its flavors, and yet its essential nature doesn’t
change. It’s good for your bones, will delight your tongue, and I don’t know about
you, but it makes me a happier human being.”
oet Lauren K. Alleyne is very happy these days.
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, she is the poet-in-residence and assistant professor of English at the University of
Dubuque. Her fiction, nonfiction and poetry have been widely published in journals and anthologies. She also has received numerous
prizes for her literary work.
Alleyne’s latest endeavor, “Difficult Fruit,” is a collection of her
poems about self-knowledge — of fighting for and winning personhood as a woman.
“My poems are lyric and narrative movements toward clarity of
vision. In my work, I look. I look at myself, at nature, at the cultures
I live in, at the stories I’m told, at the things I believe, etc., etc. This
looking is critical because it is revelatory,” Alleyne said.
As a child, Alleyne had no dreams of becoming a writer, although
she always wrote.
“I was always a strong writer,” Alleyne said. “In my very early
teens, I began writing calypsos for my younger sister, who was a
52 /DBQ October-December 2013
singer. I did that right up until I left home for New York.”
Alleyne’s main focus right now is getting the word out about the
book and organizing readings.
“The journey… gosh, it’s been so exciting! The manuscript was a
finalist almost 10 times in various national contests over the last four
to five years, and so when it finally found a home I was so ready!
From contract negotiations to choosing cover art to the still-ongoing editing process to the marketing that’s still to come, it has been
an incredible learning experience,” Alleyne said.
Fiction author Catherine Chung first met Alleyne at Cornell University 10 years ago. They have since become best friends and trusted readers for one another.
“‘Difficult Fruit’ is a phenomenal book; Lauren is a dazzling,
heartbreaking, soul-expanding poet,” Chung said. “Everything about
her work is fiercely intelligent, and it will force you to examine and
re-examine your beliefs about race, gender, memory, family, survival
— what it means to be human — and what it means to be alive.”
Writing is a process, and going from an idea to a finished poem
can take months for Alleyne. She doesn’t have a regular writing process.
“I often, in fact, envy writers who talk about writing every day
or who make unbreakable appointments with the pen or keyboard,”
she said. “Mostly, I write when I want to write.”
Continued on page 67
When the
angels come,
After Roger Bonair-Agard’s
“Burial Instructions For the Lovely Death”
Let them bring wings.
Let the wings be poems
exquisite with the give
of each iamb. Let the music
be a harmonic of steel
pan and surf, congo drum
and Cher, my godmother’s
shaky soprano and the sweet
thud of flesh falling away.
Let my thousand selves sing.
Let me tug my loved ones’ coats
and let them catch me
in the afternoon’s solitary
star. Let the dead make way
with hallelujahs. In their rain
let them whisper to me.
Let each lived moment of love
light a path from this world
to the next.
O Gods, when you call me
in all the names I have worn
through with breathing,
let me answer with joy;
let me go up, let me go
dancing, ecstatic with flight.
— Lauren K. Alleyne
October-December 2013 DBQ /53
SOCIAL SCENE: Party Like a Mad Men
Cocktail Party
The Sept. 26 fundraiser took place
at the Voices From the
TOP: (from left) Chesnee Franzen,
Bonnie Spore, Chelsea Block, Josh
Miller, Paige Comer, Stephanie Duehr,
Lily McKinlay and Robb Beltran.
LEFT: Heather Haxmeier, Teri Gonner,
Teresa Kunkel, Angela Carlso, Meggan
Dobson and Abigail Degenhardt.
SOCIAL SCENE: Community Foundation Luncheon
The Oct. 3 event took place at the
Dubuque Golf and Country Club.
TOP (from left): Judy Prochaska, Karen
Candee, Christina Eisbach, Mary LaFoe,
Dawn Weber, Tim Weber, Donnelle
Fuerste, Barb O’Hea and Wendy Knight.
RIGHT: Tara Velez, Dawn Cogan, Megan
Fitzpatrick, Jessica Pape, Keith Cook,
Kenneth BIckel and Jeanne Lauritsen.
October-December 2013 DBQ /55
SOCIAL SCENE: Doc Severinsen concert
Heritage Center opener
The University of Dubuque staged its first
big event Sept. 21 at its new venue.
TOP (from left): Andrea Dunmore,
Larry Dunmore, Pat Maiers, Al Maiers,
Ellie Sporer, Donna Conley, Edward
Frick and Patricia Frick.
RIGHT: Bev Graves, Mel Graves,
Judy Ruppel, Susan Farber, Jim Farber
and Patty King.
SOCIAL SCENE: Voices From the Warehouse District
Opening night
The ninth annual arts event kicked off
with a Sept. 7 opener.
TOP (from left): Cate Flanagan,
Steve McNutt, Denise Labudda, Jens
Sogaard, Mary Ellyn Jensen and
Connie Swift.
LEFT: Ellen Henkels, Randy Richmond,
Arthur Geisert, Carla Hughes and
Trish Feldman-Jansen.
56 /DBQ October-December 2013
SOCIAL SCENE: Legacy of Learning
The event, in conjunction with the
St. Mark Youth Enrichment program,
was Sept. 12 at Hotel Julien.
TOP (from left): Jessica Rose, Cari
McCann, Gillian Darrow, Kaitlynn
Darrow, Dawn Engling and
Mackenzie Welter.
LEFT: Nate Runde, Sara Runde,
Luke Runde, Stephanie Nelson,
Katjy Tharp and Judy Faulhaber.
SOCIAL SCENE: Dubuque Humane Society
This annual fundraiser took place
Sept. 12 at the Diamond Jo Casino..
TOP (from left):Ginger Sakas,
Peter Sakas, Jennifer McCoy,
Jonathan McCoy, Barb Foust, Bev
Steffen, George Doremus and
Mona Woodward.
RIGHT: Pat Hosch, Diana Hosch,
Terry Hosch, Sally Schrobilgen and
Karen Meyer.
October-December 2013 DBQ /57
TRAVEL: Des Moines
The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a popular downtown spot. It features 27 works along its 4.4-acre
layout at 1330 Grand Ave. Photo courtesy of Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau
Think about it
Quick trip to Iowa’s state capital can include many options
owa’s capital city awaits, an easy weekend getaway
from Dubuque that offers something for art lovers,
nightlife seekers and bike enthusiasts.
Visitors might occasionally find themselves in Des
Moines for a high school sports tournament or the famed
Iowa State Fair, but the growing metro makes a good destination any time of year, with enough interesting activities
to easily fill 48 hours or more.
Making downtown your home base during your visit allows easy access to downtown attractions and also to U.S.
235, via which it’s a short drive to other spots on your “todo” list.
2 fine spots to stay
■ The Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, built in
1919, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
and is within walking distance of several downtown restaurants and entertainment venues, including Wells Fargo
Arena and the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, where
visitors can catch big names in concert or see traveling
Broadway shows. The hotel, at 401 Locust St., includes
58 /DBQ October-December 2013
Coda Lounge, where you can sip classic cocktails and
watch the downtown sidewalk traffic, and BOS, a restaurant offering contemporary Midwest cuisine.
■ The Des Moines Marriott Downtown is another
good choice if you want to be in the center of the city’s
action. The Marriott, at 700 Grand Ave., includes the
City Center Lounge, a lobby bar that’s perfect for a nightcap after taking in a show at the Civic Center (www.des
moinesperformingarts.org) or the Des Moines Symphony
Getting some culture, live shows
■ A must-stop for art lovers on a downtown stroll is the
Pappajohn Sculpture Park (tiny.cc/sugv3w). Open since
September 2009, the 4.4-acre park features 27 works dotting a lushly landscaped backdrop amid the bustling Western Gateway neighborhood. The park, at 1330 Grand Ave.,
is open during city park hours, sunrise to midnight. Guided
tours are available from April 1 through Oct. 31, with advanced notice. Make sure to snap a photo at “Nomade” by
Jaume Plensa, a favorite sculpture of many park-goers that
provides a striking visual both day and night.
■ Continue your cultural enlightenment with a visit to
the Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave.
It houses more than 4,800 works in permanent
collections that include pieces by Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe and Henri Matisse. The
“Gravity and Grace” exhibit, scheduled to run
Oct. 24 through Feb. 9, features works by El
Anatsui, a global artist who draws inspiration
from his birth country of Ghana and his home
in Nigeria to create wall and floor sculptures
using found materials such as printing plates,
liquor bottle caps and milk tin lids. The traveling exhibition is different at each stop, because
Anatsui encourages museum staff to “sculpt”
his work at they install it.
■ When you’re looking for live entertainment, make sure to check the schedules of the
Civic Center, Wells Fargo Arena and Hoyt Sherman Auditorium, a more intimate venue built
in 1877 in the historic Sherman Hill neighborhood. The auditorium in the coming months
will host pianist Lorie Line and comedian Drew
Carey. (www.hoytsherman.org)
Biking haven
Photo by Kaylee Everly
Photo by Kaylee Everly
■ If enjoying the great outdoors is on your
list, the Des Moines metro area is amazingly bicyclist friendly, with hundreds of miles of connected trails that wind through neighborhoods
and greenbelts and also connect Des Moines
with smaller outlying communities, which can
make for a fun day trip. Bring your bike along
and check out tiny.cc/r0gv3w to map out your
day on the area trails.
■ If the weather isn’t cooperating for a ride
during your visit – or if reading about bicycling
history is more your speed – visit the State Historical Society of Iowa, where the exhibit “Riding Through History” showcases artifacts, photos, stories and videos reflecting Iowa’s cycling
tradition and history, including the Register’s
Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Another
exhibit on display there highlights the stories of
Iowa during the Civil War. Admission is free.
For hours, check www.iowahistory.org.
Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau
Clockwise, from top left
• If you’re looking for an upscale urban spot to see
and be seen, check out Centro at 1003 Locust St.
• The Civic Center is a great place to see live
entertainment. The current show is “Wicked,” which
runs through Nov. 10.
• Italian restaurant Red Rossa is known for its pizzas,
among other things.
• The Hoyt Sherman Auditorium was built in 1877 in
the historic Sherman Hill neighborhood.
• The Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel is within
walking distance of most downtown hotspots.
Destinations in themselves
The Historical Building is located at 600
E. Locust St. in the East Village, a must-visit
trendy neighborhood east of downtown and at
the foot of the State Capitol complex. Wander
the blocks of the East Village to find eclectic
boutiques, casual and fine-dining and plenty of
bars. (www.eastvillagedesmoines.com). Check
Continued on page 64
Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau
Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau
October-December 2013 DBQ /59
“There are such amazing stories to be found in
the legacy and the residents of Galena,” Toebaas
Sullivan said she believes the cemetery walks are
among Toebaas’ most significant contribution to
the arts in the area.
“He’s made them very, very meaningful,” she
“He’s like our local Orson Welles,” Terry added.
“He acts, directs, produces, writes, researches ...
It’s hard to measure. There are so many different
things he’s done.”
3460 Hillcrest Rd
New beginnings
October-December 2013 DBQ /61
We furnish dreams...
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Attorneys & Counselors at Law
Est. 1840
Serving your estate planning needs, including wills, trusts,
elder law, tax planning, and succession planning.
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Founder of Tri-State Estate
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Roshek Building
700 Locust Street, Suite 200
Dubuque, IA 52001
(563) 557-8400
Alice succumbed to
a long and courageous
battle with cancer in
2011. She and Toebaas
had been married for
46 years.
“We met in anthropology class at UWMadison,”
said. “She used to say
Alice Toebaas
she was studying her man.
And, I was studying my woman. Obviously, we
both passed the course.”
Though a difficult transition, Toebaas keeps her
memory alive.
“There was a period of time that I wasn’t sure
where I was going after that,” he said.
But Toebaas’ passion for the arts seemed to
carefully guide his way.
This month, his love of history and knack for
auction-hunting launched him into another career
as an antiques dealer on Galena’s Main Street. He
also returned to collaborating with Main Street
Players, directing Michigan-based actress and
friend RoseAnne Shansky in her signature role as
Emily Dickinson in the one-women play, “The
Belle of Amherst,” at the DeSoto House Hotel, in
His future goals include reviving theater in the
“Each fall, I hope to be able to produce quality, professional productions locally, whether I am
bringing in actors from Chicago or working with
local talent,” Toebaas said. “Theater is something
that is missing in Galena. And, of course, we lack
a good performance space. But it’s something I
would like to contribute. I think it’s important to
have the arts in the community. And, I think Galena can be a theater town.” DBQ
FINE DINING: Mainstreet Steak & Chophouse
Matt Kluesner owns Mainstreet Steak & Chophouse in Dubuque. It opened in March inside the old German Bank building.
All in the details
At one of
newer upscale
it’s the little
things that
62 /DBQ October-December 2013
n Dubuque ...”
It’s a prefix occasionally followed
by a negative remark about our
growing city that clings to its small-town Iowa
roots. However, it’s also a stigma that is being shed — and one Matt and Sarah Kluesner
hope will disappear altogether with the help of
establishments like theirs.
“The area is becoming more sophisticated,”
Sarah said. “People live here who are cultured,
well-traveled and enjoy nicer things. We should
be proud of how much we’ve grown. Just because you’re in Iowa doesn’t mean you can’t
have this.”
The culinary couple known for owning and
operating Backstreet Steak & Chophouse, in
Galena, Ill. (from 1997 to 2009), as well as Star
Restaurant and Ultra Lounge and Crust Italian
Restaurant — both in Dubuque — opened the
doors to their fourth establishment in March.
Mainstreet Steak & Chophouse, located
downtown inside the old German Bank building, is everything one might expect from a
steak house — and much more.
“This restaurant has really enabled us to focus on our attention to detail,” Matt said. “Restaurants like this are the reason that Sarah and
I went into this business.”
The details
Located close to nightlife, entertainment and
tourist attractions, the 100-seat restaurant boasts
a full-service bar, a mouth-watering menu
decked out with succulent starters and soups,
generous greens and exquisite entrees, as well as
a flair for traditional dishes with a fun twist.
Continued on page 68
The 12-ounce filet mignon with
asparagus is one of the favorites
on the menu. Owners of the
100-seat establishment admit it’s
upscale, but they likewise claim,
“we’re also very casual. We want
people to feel as if they can just
come in and unwind.”
Continued from page 59
out Domestica, 321 E. Walnut St., for fun and funky
gifts and home décor. Eden, 418 E. Sixth St., offers
yummy-smelling bath, baby and home products. And
Porch Light Antiques, 526 E. Grand Ave., sells vintage
home furnishings, as well as jewelry, paper products and
■ If the East Village shops put you in the mood for
some serious retail therapy, head to Jordan Creek Town
Center, 101 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines.
Billed as the state’s premier shopping destination, Jordan Creek offers plenty of national retailers like J. Crew,
Banana Republic, Fossil and Ann Taylor.
After you hit the sale racks, indulge your sweet tooth
with a quick trip to Scratch Cupcakery, 7450 Bridgewood Blvd., West Des Moines, just west of the mall
complex. You won’t regret saying “I do” to their delicious Wedding Day cupcake.
For a special taste
When all your sightseeing, biking and shopping has
you ready for lunch, dinner or cocktails, Des Moines’
thriving restaurant scene offers plenty of tantalizing options.
■ For more casual fare, check out Zombie Burger +
Drink Lab, 300 E. Grand Ave., or the newly opened Tacopocalypse, 621 Des Moines St., both in the East Village. Zombie Burger is a funky burger joint with great
fries and famous spiked milkshakes. Tacopocalypse offers a twist on casual Mexican with a taco menu that includes choices like bacon chorizo, wasabi brisket, potato
poblano and lemongrass pork.
■ If you’re craving Italian comfort food, Des Moines
has plenty of options. Tursi’s Latin King on the east side
of the city has been a Des Moines institution for more
than 60 years. Order its best-selling dish, the Chicken
Spiedini, which features boneless breasts of chicken
skewered and marinated, rolled in Italian breadcrumbs
and charbroiled, served with Amogio sauce.
■ Centro, at 1003 Locust St., is a popular spot to
see and be seen. Nosh on brick-oven pizza or a plate
of pasta and enjoy the upscale urban vibe of this downtown favorite.
■ Wrap up your night on the town with a stop at
The Standard, 208 Third St., where you can pull a James
Bond and order a martini “shaken, not stirred,” or be
more adventurous in your imbibing, with a White Pear
Cosmo, a Fruit Loopy or a Mango Tango. (thestandarddsm.com).
Whether your trip revolves around the arts, bicycling,
shopping or indulging your inner foodie, Des Moines
will keep your itinerary full. You’ll find plenty of favorites worth revisiting on your next trip. DBQ
64 /DBQ October-December 2013
Tursi’s Latin King restaurant is located on the east side of town. It’s been in Des Moines
since the 1950s. Photo by Kaylee Everly
More Des Moines dining
● Baru 66 (www.baru66.com): A French contemporary restaurant that was a
2011 semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant.
● Exile Brewing Company (www.exilebrewing.com): Enjoy the house-made microbrews on tap and the upscale pub food, including a to-die-for beer cheese
● Fong’s Pizza (www.fongspizza.com): A crazy mix of tiki bar and pizza joint
located in a former Chinese restaurant, people sing the praises of the crab rangoon pizza (featured on the Cooking Channel) at this downtown hot spot, which
also offers late-night slices.
● Red Rossa (www.redrossa.com): An Italian restaurant located west of Des
Moines in Clive. It features Neopolitan-style pizza, pastas and salads indoors or
on the patio. Featured desserts are fresh-made gelato and sorbet.
2013 Chevy Volt
This 2013 Chevrolet
Volt ($41,175) from
Bird Chevrolet in
Dubuque proved to
be a sporty ride,
causing the test driver
to forget he was in
an electric car.
Getting plugged in
ange anxiety. This is a term that has plagued electric cars since
their introduction. Americans might want to be green, but not at
the cost of convenience or practicality.
For years it just didn’t make sense to buy an electric car unless you
lived in a big city with an abundance of charging stations and traveled
only short distances. General Motors has solved this issue with one of
the most technologically advanced cars to date.
Unlike hybrids, the Volt can run entirely off the battery at city and
highway speeds until it’s empty. Hybrids, such as the Prius, engage the
gasoline engine at highway speeds. The regenerative brakes help recharge
the battery when stopping, which extends the battery range. The more
stop-and-go driving you do, the better the range.
You can expect anywhere from 35 to 45 miles (EPA reports 38) off
the battery before the gasoline engine kicks on. For this reason, depending on your driving habits, some owners report not having to go to the
gas station for three to five months. Once the battery runs out the engine turns on. It turns the wheels as well as acts as a generator, charging
the battery. Expect the overall range to fluctuate based on the aforementioned variables. Total “road trip” range according to GM is 380 miles.
This will vary so much depending on the driver’s commute, it’s almost
not worth mentioning. Theoretically, if your daily commute is less than 40
miles in town, you would never have to pump another drop of gas for
66 /DBQ October-December 2013
the rest of the car’s life (aside from starting the engine every few weeks
for maintenance purposes). For what it’s worth, GM advertises “Volt drivers averaging 900 miles between fill-ups.” Conversely, if you drive from
Dubuque to Des Moines daily, you will need to calculate the EPA’s electric
and gasoline 98 mpg-e for electric and 35/40 mpg city/highway.
Yes, there’s an app for that: You can check your Volt’s charging progress via smartphone. The standard charger plugs into a normal household 120V outlet and tops off your Volt in 10-16 hours. If you opt for
the 240V charging station, your charge time is significantly reduced to
four hours.
Driving experience
Economy and fun sound like opposing ideas. An unrealized benefit of
an electric car is the consistent torque curve. In plain speak it has peak
power without having to get the RPMs above a certain point. If you’ve
ever driven a manual, there’s a reason you downshift to pass someone —
it’s to get your RPMs higher, giving you more of your peak power. With
electric cars, peak power is delivered evenly. In addition, electric cars
have an incredible amount of torque (273 pound-foot), which is sports
car caliber. Also, there is just one continuous gear, so there is nothing to
shift. This means there is no hesitation between gears.
This car steers and handles much sportier than it’s EPA figures would
let on. Its abundance of technology, creature comforts, safety, design and
usable power make it easy to forget you’re driving an electric car. DBQ
“Lauren’s artistic abilities
know no bounds. She is
able to write poetry in
any form, and that is an
amazing feat.”
Heidi Zull, writers guild
Writing prompts (ideas intended to help the
writer tap into his or her creativity) often motivate Alleyne to write.
“Prompts are like the spell in Harry Potter that
summons the Room of Requirement — your
subconscious answers a prompt in ways that surprise you, and that you probably really need,” she
No matter where Alleyne derives her inspiration, she typically gets the first draft of a poem
down fairly quickly. Then, she leaves it alone for
a while.
“I’ve clocked my revision time to about five
months,” she said. “It takes me about that long
to get some critical distance and see the poem
more objectively.”
As a writer, Alleyne is very familiar with dividing her time between real world demands. In addition to teaching, she is the moderator of the
Dubuque Area Writers Guild.
“Being a faculty member is demanding both in
terms of time and energy. I write when I can and
when I must,” she said. “I try to participate in
things that make me write. I write, for example,
with my students in class and outside of class as
well. I write with the guild.”
Heidi Zull, a member of the guild, has worked
with Alleyne for more than two years and assisted her with the book that the guild publishes
“Lauren’s artistic abilities know no bounds.
She is able to write poetry in any form, and that
is an amazing feat,” Zull said. “Her poetry helps
the reader follow a momentous journey with new
clarity and it aids the reader in finding a new way
of understanding the human condition, which is
the trait of an empathetic writer that can mirror
and interpret human emotions even with little or
no personal experience with the events.”
To keep up to date about the progress of “Difficult Fruit,” due to be released Feb. 24th, visit her
website at www.laurenkalleyne.com. DBQ
October-December 2013 DBQ /67
890 Main Street | 563-582-3760 | www.grahamsstylestore.com
Hours: Monday & Friday 9am - 8pm; Tuesday - Thursday 9am - 5:30pm
Saturday 9am - 5pm
Continued from page 53
Another popular menu choice at Mainstreet Steak & Chophouse are the fresh Long Island blue point oysters.
Continued from page 62
Hot towels are offered as a courtesy to patrons. And nearly
everything, from the drinks to the dishes, is honed with signature homemade touches There are specialty drink syrups,
steak and barbecue sauces, a dry rub and even homemade
pastas created in-house by chef Ryan Miller — a favorite option of both Sarah and Matt.
“I like things that are whimsical and fun,” Sarah said. “So,
you can order something traditional, but our menu offerings
include a lot of items very unique to our establishment.”
Any steak can be accompanied by the restaurant’s Louisiana
seafood cream sauce or the house schmear — a delectable
combination of melted butter and garlic. It also can be served
encrusted with bleu cheese pepper or goat cheese.
Mainstreet Steak & Chophouse also prides itself on using
both local and regional produce. There is Iowa-bred beef and
Wisconsin-made cheeses. Seafood offerings include fresh fish,
Asian tuna, jumbo shrimp, Alaskan king crab legs and a long
overdue craving in the area — fresh oysters.
“That’s one of the biggest comments we get is that they
can’t believe we have oysters,” Matt said.
The restaurant also serves Indian naan bread, with olive oil
68 /DBQ October-December 2013
imported from Spain and a garlic chili oil.
“It’s fresh, warm and made to order,” Sarah said. “It’s just
something a little different.”
Patrons can enjoy cocktails and an assortment of wine and
beer at the grandiose bar and enjoy dining in the establishment’s main dining room or a private area in back, ideal for
parties or meetings.
The chops
While seafood is a close contender, the entrees that clearly
steal center plate are the prime cuts.
“We’re known best for our steak selection,” Matt said.
There’s the 12-ounce fillet mignon, Tomahawk ribeye, New
York strip steak and slow-roasted prime rib — available from
12 ounces to 38 ounces. It also offers lamb chops, an 18ounce veal chop, a 16-ounce Berkshire pork chop, smoked St.
Louis-style ribs and house-smoked chicken.
Steakhouse sides include staples like asparagus, a jumbo
baked potato, potato croquettes, mac and cheese, caramelized
onions, sauteed mushrooms or fire-roasted seasonal vegetables. But patrons also can opt for the World’s Best Mashed
Potatoes or Nueske’s Maple-glazed “Crack” Bacon — a play-
Enjoy Midwest Cuisine prepared fresh daily and relax in our
eclectic atmosphere. Choose from unique appetizers, delicious
pastas, seafood and the freshest cuts of beef, lamb, veal and poultry.
We offer one of the largest selections of wine to satisfy all tastes.
Finish off with one of our beautiful desserts prepared by our Chef.
Pepper Sprout’s seasonal menus delight the senses, the impeccable
service and cozy atmosphere ensures a seamless experience.
Reservations recommended.
378 Main St. • Dubuque, IA
Dinner is served Tuesday - Thursday 5-9pm | Friday & Saturday 5-10pm
A Bit off LLuxembourg
bourg in St
St. Donatus
Donatus, Iowa
Voted best caterer and
best prime rib in Dubuque
for eight years straight!
100 N. Main St. | St. Donatus, IA | 563-773-2480
Hours: Monday-Saturday; 7:30am-9:00pm • Sunday; 7:30am-7:30pm
Weekly Buffet Specials Include:
Sunday Morning Breakfast Buffet.....8am-11:30pm
Sunday Evening Dinner Buffet......4:30pm-7:30pm
fresh lemon butter lobster, juicy center cut pork
chops, and unique Luxembourg classics. Located
just 10 miles south of Dubuque in Saint Donatus,
IA, Kalmes Restaurant is a great place to relax
and enjoy a delicious meal in a small-town atmosphere. Contact us for more information on
our catering!
Founded in 1850 and serving the Tri-states for
5 generations, Kalmes Restaurant and Catering
offers a complete breakfast, lunch and dinner
menu, as well as a full service bar and lounge.
Some of our famous dishes include our slow
roasted prime rib, savory broasted chicken,
garlic-butter sauteed shrimp scampi, market
A Commitment
to Comprehensive Care
Prevention | Treatment | Recovery
O v e r 1 6 0 p r i m a r y & s p e c i a l t y c a re p h y s i c i a n s
Acute Care
Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
Plastic Surgery
Ambulatory Care
Infectious Disease
Internal Medicine
Emergency Medicine
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Occupational Medicine
Family Practice
Vein Specialist
General Surgery
Orthopaedic Surgery
Wound Care and
Geriatric Psychiatry
Hyperbaric Medicine
Sleep Medicine
Travel Medicine
Tri-State Independent Physicians Association, Inc.
563.582.7055 | Toll Free: 800.373.7055 | Fax: 563.556.2031
2140 JFK Road | Dubuque, IA 52002 | www.tristateipa.com
Your Partners in Healthcare
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