Urbandale Public Library/2019 Art UP Close Program


The Library is pleased to announce the selection of artist Anna Conway and Marcia Leeper for the 2019 Art UP Close Resident Artist Program.  Conway will serve in this role from March 1 – May 31; Leeper’s term will run from September 1 – November 30.  Each artist will lead presentations and workshops for all ages.


Meet the Artist:  Anna Conway


I am delighted to have been selected as the Art Up Close Artist resident with the Urbandale Library for Spring 2019.

I have been painting since 2017; the focus of my watercolors is primarily landscapes and nature subjects, many of which were inspired by European Russia as I grew up in Moscow, Russia. When i was growing up in the Soviet Union, colored pencils and watercolors were the most affordable media used in public schools for art projects, so i was most familiar with watercolors.  Fast-forward twenty-five years, I started painting with my toddler, we used our fingers and brushes with watercolors, and the medium just grabbed me. I am always so inspired to paint when i see nature’s beauty surrounding me, especially trees, skies and landscapes. My artwork evokes emotion that has been drawn from my experiences traveling in Russia as well as escaping the big city to stay at the family summer cabin (also known as the “Russian dacha”). Sometimes I paint from my imagination, trying to convey what I feel.

The joy of having watercolors at hand is that it allows me to continue the journey of exploring my artistic expression and finding my visual ‘voice’. I am in love with the beautiful vibrancy of colors that is achieved with the use of water in watercolors. I always use a lot of water when i paint; I am a big fan of the “wet-on-wet” technique as water makes the pigment float, transition, move, and react-it is so beautiful and often creates unexpected effects.

My professional background is in the Education field, I hold a Ph.D. in Education and due to my full time job in higher education, I only paint in the evenings and on weekends. I live in Johnston, Iowa and I am a member of the Iowa Watercolor Society. You can also explore my paintings through my personal website at www.artbyannaconway.com.

–Anna Conway

Gallery Exhibition


Conway’s work will be on display in the Urbandale Public Library Art Gallery March 16 – April 30.   Meet the artist in person at a reception in the Art Gallery on Saturday, March 30, from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Below are a few examples of her work. 

Winter Fox painting by Anna Conway
Winter Fox
Venice on the Water painting by Anna Conway
Venice on the Water
Sheep in the Meadow painting by Anna Conway
Sheep in the Meadow
Purple Tulip Vase 1 painting by Anna Conway
Purple Tulip Vase 1



Program Schedule

Subject to change; please continue to check this page or the library’s events calendar for up-to-date information. 


March 15:  Program at Illahee Hills Retirement Community (residents only), 2:00 p.m.

March 31:  Watercolor techniques workshop for adults (age 18 and over), 1:30 p.m.

April 13:  Appearance at Urbandale Public Library Art Day Event, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

April 25:  Junior Artists program, ages 3-7, 10:00  a.m. &  Watercolor techniques workshop for teens (ages 12 – 17), 5:30 p.m.


Please continue to check the Library’s events calendar for updated information about these events and more this spring. 


About the Artist:  Marcia Leeper

Click here to learn more about artist Marcia Leeper.


About Art UP Close

The Urbandale Public Library Art UP Close program was established to celebrate the work of local artists and encourages the community to experience the arts through engaging opportunities.   The program sponsors local artists conducting informative presentations and hands-on workshops throughout our community.  The goal is to develop and sustain the public’s awareness and interest in the arts, cultivating a true appreciation for all forms of human expression. Art UP Close makes our community a dynamic place to live, work, and visit!

Art UP Close offers two, three-month paid sponsorships to visual, literary, performing, and mixed media artists each year.