Sally Gierke is a potter and muralist from Bettendorf who creates utilitarian earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain objects. Her large-scale murals have adorned local schools in Davenport, Bettendorf, and Moline, with the largest at Neil Armstrong Elementary School in Bettendorf.
The interaction between nature and ceramic forms is at the heart of her craft. A lifelong learner, Gierke has worked as an "artist-in-residence" at many of the U.S. National Parks, including Cape Cod National Seashore, Acadia National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, and Hot Springs National Park, among others.
Just as unique as Gierke's art is her studio: a yurt. It's a large, circular, tent-like structure with insulated canvas walls that she can work in year-round, surrounded by the nature that inspires her.
Click the photo above to open a slideshow of Gierke's art and studio.
You can view Gierke's work in person at the upcoming Riverssance Festival of Fine Arts at Lindsay Park in the Village of East Davenport on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You can visit Gierke's website for her artist statement and more photos of her work.