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'Talking Art' with Cecile Houel

The acclaimed artist Cecile Houel works in Ft. Madison, IA where she has been creating beautiful, realistic portraits of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.  Twenty of her large 4’ x 4’ works are currently on display in a variety of locations throughout the Quad Cities. Ten are at the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy in Bettendorf as part of their “Peace Starts Within” exhibit; six are on display at Quad City Arts’ airport gallery as part of their “A Portrait of Remarkable Women” show; and two portraits are at both the German American Heritage Center and in the River Center/Adler display cases.  The portraits will be up through the end of October.

You can download a “Passport for Peace,” which includes a detailed description of each Nobel Laureate’s list of accomplishments and personal biographical information, as well as instructions on where each work is located. International Peace Day is September 21, 2020 which makes this exhibit unusually timely.

You can also view sketches in charcoal and pastel that the artist made as preparatory work for her portraits at the Beréskin Gallery, located at 2967 State St. in Bettendorf.

Listen to our conversation here with the artist about the process behind creating these stunning portraits, her conviction that peace truly does start within us individually, and the pivotal moments in her earlier life that led to her becoming a painter. 

Cecile Houel’s work can be viewed online or on Instagram.

Carolyn Martin joined WVIK as a host of Talking Art in 2017. A long-time fan of NPR programming with a love of storytelling and all art forms, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with creative people who beautify our community and make the Quad Cities region an even better place to live.