Nature Conservancy Inspires Art Exhibit in Sioux City

A close-up of “The River House Bells” (2021, oil on wood) by Terri McGaffin. McGaffin was inspired by her time spent at Whiterock Conservancy.

By Michael Morain
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs


Here and there, Iowa’s famously fertile land produces more than corn and soybeans. The 5,500 acres at the Whiterock Conservancy near Coon Rapids, for example, recently yielded a crop of artwork for “The Whiterock Art Exhibit,” on display through Nov. 13 at the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City.  

The paintings and pottery were created over the last few years by three artists in residence–Terri McGaffinShelby Prindaville and Pauline Sensenig, all of Sioux City–who spent some time strolling the conservancy’s woods and prairies for inspiration. As McGaffin put it, “A visit there is food for the soul.”

To feed your own soul, check out the exhibit, which received an Iowa Arts Council grant, or explore the conservancy yourself. Its quiet trails, campsites and rental cabins are open year-round.


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