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 are from left to right, back row,  Anne Amore, Ron Hansen, Allen Ernst, Dave Eischeid, and Julianne Couch. 

Front row from left to right, are  Karen Langseth, Jo Fifield, Linda Nudd, Kate Brooks, and Sue Sawvel.  

Carrie Weaver of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, shown above separately,  is also a board member and advisor.

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 allenrernst@me.com.  

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 https://www.facebook.com/BellevueArtsCouncil/ 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

This year our BAC Members Spring Art Show opened at the Great River Gallery, 116 North Riverview Drive in Bellevue, Iowa, on Friday, May 4, 2018, with a reception from 5:30 to 8 P.M.  and was  also open on Saturday, May 5th, from 2 - 4 P.M. for public viewing.  Participating artists this year are in the photo above. They include from left to right, back row: Dave Eischeid, Earl Sawvel, Michael Pedersen, Joan DuBay-Tully, Rich Weinschenk, Laura Larabee, Fran Henkels, front row: Annis Bear, Ronald Hansen, Andrea Melton, Gail Chavenelle, Ellen Henkels, M. Sue Sawvel, and Jo Fifield. 

Our annual exhibits always prove to be diverse in range of 2D and 3D artworks by our members, and exceptional in quality of works presented.  We had a great time talking art, sharing works and conversation with family and friends locally and those who also came in from surrounding areas to participate in the event.  

As in previous years, up to three works can be submitted by each artist; 20% of the proceeds from the artist's sales will benefit the BAC.


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, jewelrymaking, fabric art, woodworking and sculpture. 

In addition to our Great River Gallery, we are working on a BAC  Art Gallery online on this website.  It is currently under construction and will be open for viewing in 2018.

Annual Fishtival in August

Our  annual 2018 Fishtival event was Saturday, August 18, 2018! 

If you'd like to view some photos from this year's Fishtival, use this link to access the Fishtival 2018 page or use the link at the top of this Home Page.

Included with the Fishival Arts Festival was  a dedication of a Public Art Piece on August 18th as well. If you'd like to know more about this art piece, see the Riverfront Sculpture description  at the top of this page. 

We added something new this year - Family Friendly Art Workshops.  This event was held from 1 - 3 P.M. at the Great River Gallery next to the River Ridge Brewery, 116 North Riverview Drive.  We had about 30 attendees of all ages and it was a fun creative experience for everyone.   Make and take artworks included watercolor, drawings in colored pencil and/or markers, a mini acrylic painting with its own easel stand, and small air dry sculptures that are made with a marshmallowy non-messy medium called Crayola Model Magic that can be painted right away with watercolor if desired. All artworks were transported home in plastic bags for your convenience.  This art workshop was free of charge to the public. We'll be planning on offering this experience during our 2019 Fishtival as well. 

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 include 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.  Just added in 2017 are informal adult art experiences in the gazebo. This year included a clay handbuilding project, chalk pastel and watercolor.  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 2018 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 14, 2018 - Mini Acrylic Painting

                                                                           Studio Event

FEBRUARY 11, 2018 - Writing Love Poems for Valentine's Day                               Literature Event

MARCH 11, 2018 - Irish Folklore, Symbols and Illumination                                               Studio Event

APRIL 8, 2018 - Painting and Hiding Rocks                                                                       Studio Event

MAY 12, 2018 - Springtime and Mother's Day                                                                        Studio Event

JUNE 10, 2018 - Sun Prints on Fabric                                                                        Studio Event

JULY 8, 2018 - Pour To Create

                                                                         Studio Event

AUGUST  12 - Field Trip  to Fiddler on the Roof, Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll 

SEPTEMBER 9 - Chalk Pastel with Dave Eischeid

                                                                          Studio Event


OCTOBER 14, 2018 - Origami with Joe Oclon.  

                                                                          Studio Event

NOVEMBER 11, 2018- Participants will paint donated ceramic ornaments and figurines with Dave Eischeid and Sue Sawvel using acrylic paint. All supplies are provided no charge by BAC.  

DECEMBER  9, 2018 - Create  seasonal or other themed greeting cards with instructors Kate Brooks and Sue Sawvel. We'll use found objects, scrapbooking paper designs, pre-preprinted and hand written text, colored pencil, watercolor, and markers to create your own design ideas on cardstock cards and envelopes. All supplies are provided at no charge by BAC. 

JANUARY 13, 2019 - Mini Acrylic Paintings on Easels.  This was so much fun we've decided to repeat it this January as well.  Adults will be using tube acrylic paint, youngsters will be using craft paints.  Selecting from photo ideas we have at the gallery or resources from your own phone, create a colorful acrylic painting on a canvas that will be approximately 3x5 or 5 x7 that can be completed in about 2 hours. As usual all supplies are provided by the BAC at no charge. 

FEBRUARY 10, 2019 -  The event for this month will be an Abraham Lincoln impersonator.  IT WILL NOT BE ON FEBRUARY 10TH.  We are working on the date with  the impersonator and will let you know at a later date. 

MARCH 10, 2019- Irish themed studio event that will include some background history in Irish folklore, symbols, and illumination.  Participants will create their own calligraphy and illumination using Irish themed resources.  We'll be using watercolor paper, colored pencils, markers and watercolors to create our own alphabet letters, words, and poetry if desired along with drawings.

APRIL 14, 2019 - TBA

MAY 12, 2019 - TBA

JUNE 9, 2019 - TBA

JULY 14, 2019 - TBA

AUGUST 11:  Will be replaced by Fishtival tentatively set for Saturday, August 17, 2019.


OCTOBER 13, 2019 - TBA

NOVEMBER 10, 2019 - TBA

DECEMBER 8, 2019 - TBA


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 for Bellevue K-5 Students

The Bellevue Arts Council is proud to sponsor an annual "Explore Art" project that K-5 students from Bellevue Elementary and Marquette Schools participate in at the Off the Wall Studio Gallery every year from January through March. Studio experiences for the children include everything from drawing, painting, mixed media, sculpture works, with effort for the art activities to tie into the Bellevue community; for example, the river, fish and wildlife, native american history, pioneer roots, and the heritage of our town.  

This is one of many events that we as the Bellevue Arts Council are doing to promote the arts in Bellevue and pride in our community. Our ongoing mission and vision is to build a strong community arts program now and for the future. We utilize artists, volunteers, and supplies obtained through grants and memberships to offer art opportunities to all elementary students in Bellevue.  

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. 

This year, BAC members will take a trip to see "Fiddler on the Roof" at the Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll on Sunday, August 12th. 

Past field trips have included art museum tours to Milwaukee, Chicago, and Dubuque.  Each year members can participate in a field trip to Mount Carroll's  Timberlake Playhouse in Illinois. Where would like to go on an arts related field trip?

To add to individual exploration of the arts, 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 allenrenst@me.com.  

For questions about the BAC, contact David Eischeid at 563.542.7020 or email at d.c.eischeid@gmail.com, or  Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce at 563.872.5830 or chamber@bellevueia.com.  

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!