Bellevue Arts Council, Bellevue, Iowa

Welcome to Bellevue Arts Council, Bellevue, Iowa!

about us

Riverfront Sculpture


We are delighted to announce that BAC member Ronald Hansen dedicated the public art piece along Bellevue's Scenic Byway during our Fishtival 2018 festivities. Ronald's concept of steamboat stacks and colorful fish is now installed for all of Bellevue and visitors to enjoy. Thank you to the community for its input in this multi-year process, and to the Public Art Selection Committee which developed the theme "Living, Flowing, Ever Changing." This project is being managed by the Byways of Iowa Foundation and the Northeast Iowa RC&D.  

BAC Board Members

Our current BAC Board Members:

Dave Eischeid   

Allen Ernst

Julianne Couch

Linda Nudd 

Kate Brooks 

Anne Amore 

Jo Fifield  

and Sue Sawvel. 

Carrie Weaver and Laura McCool  of the 

Bellevue Chamber of Commerce 

are also  board members and advisors. 

Great River Gallery


We are so fortunate for the use of the Great River Gallery for individual showings by artists and also for our annual BAC Members Spring Exhibit.  

The gallery is located at 116 North Riverview Drive, Bellevue, Iowa.  Access to the gallery is available upon request by contacting Allen Ernst at 563.581.9197 (or 563.872.3388) or email at  

Link here to the Great River Gallery website.



The mission of the Bellevue Arts Council is to create, foster and promote our unique regional arts environment by supporting the arts, art education and artists of eastern Iowa. By providing funding, advocacy and support services to the region's arts organizations and artists we strive to build a strong arts community now and for the future.


The vision of the Bellevue Arts Council is to recognize all of the arts and their importance in our community. We envision Bellevue as a community where the arts inspire innovative creativity, celebrate our rich cultural diversity, recognize our valuable history and encourage individual and community involvement.


We are an organization that is 100+ members strong, all dedicated to offering ways to share love of the arts with others, whether your passion is for visual arts, writing, music, theater, or other forms of self-expression. 

Facebook and Membership

Join us on FACEBOOK at to get to know us better and experience what our organization is all about.  

August is BAC Membership Month!

Please become a supporting member of the Bellevue Arts Council, working together toward a goal of supporting artists and arts education in our community. Link to our MEMBERSHIP FORM to become a Bellevue Arts Council member.  Your dues support exhibits by area artists, art classes for kids and seniors, visits from writers an poets, performances by actors and musicians, and trips to regional theaters and art museums. Another benefit of membership is a monthly electronic newsletter sharing the latest projects and information you wouldn't want to miss. With your support, we will continue partnering with the public library, local schools, and other community organizations. 



Great River Gallery Exhibits



The 6th Annual Members Exhibition was  displayed in the Great River Gallery, 116 North Riverview.  The show opened with a public reception on Friday, May 3, from 5 P.M. to 8 P.M.  Additional show viewing was Saturday, May 4, from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M.


This is a non juried show open to any current BAC member. Member artists are invited to exhibit up to three works of art. Non members may enter artwork by joining and paying the $25 membership dues at the time their artwork is delivered for exhibition. 


The Bellevue Arts Council requires a 20% commission from the artist on any work sold during the show. 


The Great River Gallery exhibits ongoing artworks from resident artists throughout the year.  In addition, specific scheduled shows by individual artists and the BAC Members' Spring Exhibit celebrate area artists creations in photography, 2D studio works, jewelry making, fabric art, woodworking and sculpture. 

Annual Fishtival in August


MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Our  annual 2019 Fishtival event will be on Saturday, August 17th, from 10 - 4 P.M.


Featuring area artists and crafters, this daylong event showcases talent through the area.  Arts, crafts, food, music, Ski Bellevue's water ski show, and more fill the day.  Some areas for arts, crafts, and vendor booths may still be available. If interested, please contact Dave Eischeid ( for registration form or link to a Fishtival Entry Form Page above, that must be turned in no later than August 10th. 

Another event this year, the Chalk the River Walk will also take place during Fishtival.  Artists ages 16+ will be able to utilize their talents while chalking a 5' x 5' area along the river. Ten spots are available for this event during  Fishtival activities.  Prizes will be awarded at the close of the event that day.   If interested, contact Joannie Kilburg ( for registration materials. These Materials are to be turned in no later than August 10. 

We  will also have all our children's and family-friendly art workshops (make and take art) in the Great River Gallery from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.  foregoing summer heat to air conditioning for everyone's comfort. In addition, there will be a silent auction in the GRG with proceeds going to the BAC scholarship fund. Costello prints, prints of Bellevue, and art from the BAC inventory of donated art work will be placed in the silent auction. The auction will be monitored from 10 A.M. to 1 P.M.

 Membership brochures for 2019-2020 will be available in the GRG as well.  We also have a membership form you can print off on the Membership page of this site.   

A wonderful show of paintings created by Mr. Lynn Montague will be up and showing during our other Fishtival events in the Great River Gallery.  A collection of Lynn's minimalist style is a truly fresh approach to artistic interpretation and execution.  His will truly mesmerize you with each painting's depth of execution and subtlety in color harmony. 

If you'd like to view some photos from last  year's Fishtival, use this link to access the Fishtival page or use the link at the top of this Home Page.

If you would like to be an artist participant in the Fishtival, link here to the Entry and Registration Information Form which is located on the Fishtival Entry Form page.  

The annual Fishtival event in August is a celebration of our heritage as a community on the Mississippi through all forms of art including dance, media arts, and folk and traditional music. Some activities included in the past are  an art exhibit, on-location painters, fish sculptures, fish related children's hands-on projects, DNR fish demonstrations, children's dance troupes, trolling musicians, a mermaid, and a fish boil.  Added in 2017 were informal adult art experiences in the gazebo, which  included a clay handbuilding project, chalk pastel and watercolor.  In 2018 we added a family-friendly art workshops held in the Great River Gallery that included a wide variety of studio activities.  

The mission of the BAC is to present a variety of unique, artistic expressions and experiences to children, students, and community. The purpose of Fishtival is to attract tourists to the Bellevue, Iowa, through the promotion of art. 

2nd Sunday Events Schedule 2019 and the River Ridge Brewery


 Come join us from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Great River Gallery, 116 North Riverview, Bellevue, next door to the River Ridge Brewery, that is open for the arts event offering  specialty beverages if desired. See you there!

JANUARY 13, 2019 - Mini Acrylic Paintings.


FEBRUARY 10, 2019 -  Abraham Lincoln re-enactor.  

MARCH 10, 2019- Irish themed studio event in historical calligraphy and illumination.

APRIL 14, 2019 - Chalk Painting Spring Flowers.  

MAY 12, 2019 - Paper Flowers and Unique Collage


JUNE 9, 2019 - Rock Painting.

JULY  2019 -  Music in the Gardens at the Dubuque Arboretum and Mama Mia at Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll 

AUGUST  Fishtival  Saturday, August 17, 2019.  

SEPTEMBER 8, 2019 - Calligraphy.


OCTOBER 13, 2019 - Jewelrymaking

NOVEMBER 2019 - Holiday Greeting Card Design

We will be following our teacher, Karen Schloss, in making three Holiday cards, Card 1 - Christmas Wishes, Card 2 - Tea bag Fold Tree, and Card 3 - Washi Tape Tree. All supplies are provided no charge from the Bellevue Arts Council.  Additional supplies will be available in case participants want to wander off in their own creative direction in addition to the beautiful and diverse three card designs provided by Karen. Just in time for the holidays! It'll prove to be a great time.  See you there! 

ABSOLUTELY DON'T MISS THIS EVENT IN ADDITION TO  OUR NORMAL NOVEMBER 2ND SUNDAY EVENT AT THE GALLERY!  In addition to our normal event at the gallery for 2nd Sunday will be a Poetry Reading by the Keynote presenter, Barb Reynolds on Saturday, November 9th, from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. at the Flatted Fifth, 300 Potter Drive, Bellevue, Iowa.   Barb is a published poet from California.  Visit her website to learn more. In addition to Barbara is  Debra Marquart, Iowa Poet Laureate, professor at Iowa State University, and our own Penny North from Bellevue, Iowa.  Cash Bar is available during this event. Seating capacity at Flatted Fifth on 2nd floor is 50 so RSVP to Linda Nudd, if you plan to attend. This is a rare and wonderful opportunity to enjoy the medium of poetry.  See you there!

DECEMBER 8, 2019 -  Ceramic Painting on themed figurines while enjoying  caroling with Julianne. We will supply the acrylic paint and brushes to complete your projects. 



Second  Sunday events allow  children, adults, and families to explore the arts. These events started in December 2016  and are held every Second Sunday in the Great River Gallery from 2-4 p.m. Participants  have access to  the River Ridge Brewery next door while enjoying writing, music, and studio art.  Some of the  2nd Sunday arts events in 2017 included watercolor, pastel, recycled art, authors, historical re-enactments of prominent writers and poets of the past, and musical experiences. The sky is the limit in what you may experience.  Our goal is  to maintain a very diverse range of arts activities that include music, theater, studio art, dance,  and  adventures in written expression.  When applicable we incorporate brief examples of art from the past for inspiration and education for our community. Come and enjoy! Explore your creative side!

Explore Art in Bellevue!


We've had so much wonderful community participation in Bellevue promoting the arts because of  enthusiastic support from the school districts and community.   This year we have decided to rethink approaches to community need and requests for alternative avenues of sharing the arts with our community.   In addition to the 2nd Sunday events and Mill Valley painting classes for residents, we have a series of outreach opportunities for all citizens in Bellevue. This year, we offered a Paint to Create 2-hour class  on a Friday evening painting a beautiful Mississippi scene in acrylic. In addition, we are wrapping up the 5 series  painting sessions in either acrylic or oil with teacher assistance to render a painting of one's own subject matter.  As time goes by this year, we'll be offering more diverse avenues of creative expression for our Bellevue community. As always, classes being offered will be shown on the Bellevue TV station and in the newspaper. We hope to see you at our future events.  

Summer Reading Program 2019

Dave Eischeid worked with 50 Bellevue students (2 groups) who repainted the fence behind River Ridge Brewery with a fish-themed mural.  They worked on their drawings on June 12 in the afternoon and painted the fish on the fence June 26th. Volunteers included Maury Anderson, Meg Baught, Earl and Megan Sawvel, and Ray and Mary Kubick. It's an adorable mural by our local children. When you are in that area, make sure and check it out!

Mill Valley Resident Art Experience


Two to three times a month Dave and Carol  Eischeid, and Sue and Earl Sawvel take turns giving painting classes to any Mill Valley residents who choose to attend. Karen Dunne consistently helps with every class as well and a special "Thank You!" goes to her for her devotion to what we are trying to achieve at Mill Valley for its residents. Our painting classes are an hour and a half in length giving residents the opportunity for mental focus, dexterity, and critical decision making skills while producing very personal artworks that could include subject matter from horses and barns to florals.  We love working with the residents of Mill Valley, knowing these activities add to their enrichment opportunities and quality of life. Random discussions, camaraderie, and  life stories add depth and a smile to the residents' day as well.

Field Trips and Other Inspirations


March 9, 2018, we took a caravan field trip to three different Dubuque  locations to experience very diverse expressions of art.  It was a wonderful day of discussion, inspiration, comaraderie, and art experience. We began at the Sinsinawa Mound Center for Gail Chavenelle's Spirit and Space Exhibit, but we couldn't leave without admiring the chapel's beautiful stained glass windows, then  heading for the bakery and gift shop for goodies.  Then on to lunch at 7Hills, followed by the Amanda Steines Exhibit at Gallery C in downtown Dubuque.  We finished up the day with two shows at the Dubuque Art Museum, the Charles Thwaites Exhibit and the Paper: Medium and Message Show. 

July of 2018, BAC members took a trip to see "Fiddler on the Roof" at the Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll .

  This year will be attending another theater presentation, Mama Mia,  on July 28th,  2019, at the Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll.

 Past field trips have included art museum tours to Milwaukee, Chicago, Dubuque, and Mt. Carroll.   Future events/possibilities we are working on for our members are an art workshop at the Birds and the Bees, a Rose Frantzen Gallery Tour, and a tour of the 22 murals in Dubuque. 

Not really a field trip but rather an opportunity to add to your individual exploration of the arts and artists that include  a brief biography, their motivatiions,  and personal style, we are including an  Inspiration Page to this website  that will change  in content every month or so. Access to the Inspiration Page can be linked to from the Navigation Bar at the top of this page as well.   It explores an artist from history, his or her biography, the relevant artistic time period, and the artist's personal style and motivation to be an artist. It's a little art appreciation and art history rolled  into one. We hope you enjoy it! 

other regional arts centers within an hour of bellevue, iowa

Contact Us

Access to the Great River Gallery, 116 North Riverview Drive, Bellevue, Iowa, is available upon request by contacting Allen Ernst at 563.581.9197 (or 563.872.3388) or email at  

For questions about the BAC, contact David Eischeid at 563.542.7020 or email at, or  Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce at 563.872.5830 or  

For inquiries about this website,  contact M. Sue Sawvel at the Drop Us a Line!  link below.

Bellevue Arts Council, Bellevue, Iowa

116 N Riverview St, Bellevue, Iowa 52031, United States

Drop us a line!


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