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.

upcoming events

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - Noon to 2 P.M.

We will be having a mini acrylic painting class at the Bellevue Community Center, 1700 State Street, Bellevue, Iowa.   All supplies will be provided, along with photo ideas for subject matter that can be used to supplement if you are in need of help with an idea. There is no charge. This is provided by the Bellevue Arts Council. Dave Eischeid and Sue Sawvel will be conducting the class. No RSVP is necessary for this event. 

January 30 to March 6, 2019 - 2 to 4 P.M.

Join Bellevue Arts Council artists Dave Eischeid and Sue Sawvel for a Painting Series of five classes.  The location for these classes is the Art Studio over DTS Photography, 124 Riverview Drive, Bellevue, Iowa.  We'll provide acrylic paints, water soluble oil paints, paint brushes, palettes and palette knives, and advice to help select the proper type and size of canvas for your painting project.  The first class is an introduction  about oil and acrylic mediums, selecting your subject matter, doing a simple exercise in the medium of your choice to get acquainted with painting, and helping you select your canvas type and size for your painting project.  The following four classes are to complete your painting idea or ideas. However, you are not required to attend all the classes.  Each class is priced individually for supplies and teacher assistance, which gives you monetary control of your attendance and overall cost.  Depending on individual needs, you could do one painting or a series of small works, depending on individual goals.

The cost is $20 per session.  You can attend as many of the sessions as you'd like. We will be conducting this  series of five painting classes on Wednesday, January 30, Wednesday, February 6, Wednesday, February 13, Saturday, February 23, and Wednesday, February 27, with March 6 as an alternate date in case of cancellation for weather.  Class size is limited to 12 people so please RSVP to Dave Eischeid at 563.542.7020 to register or for any further questions. 

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 5:30 to 7:30 P.M.

PAINT TO CREATE!  Grab a friend and a bottle of wine! Enjoy an evening out and create a beautiful Mississippi River themed work of art with the help of two of Bellevue's best artists.  The location for this class is the Baymont Inn and Suites, 4115 North Riverview Drive, Bellevue, Iowa.  Cost is $20 per person which includes all painting materials and your canvas. Class size is limited to 20 people so RSVP to Dave Eischeid at 563-542-7020.  We hope to see you there!

Sunday, February 17, 2019 - 2 to 4 P.M. at the Great River Gallery, 116 North Riverview Drive, Bellevue, Iowa - ABRAHAM LINCOLN RE-ENACTOR (Please Note: This event is replacing the 2nd Sunday event for February 10th).

Join the Bellevue ARTS Council and the Friends of the Library as they welcome Abraham Lincoln portrayed by Kevin Wood. In A New Birth of Freedom, you will hear Mr. Lincoln's basic historical presentation, centering on the twelve turbulent years from 1854-1865, when the slavery issue which had been divisive from the very beginning of our country came to a head and nearly broke us apart.  Hear about the historical background (beginning with the Declaration of Independence), the events which led Mr. Lincoln back into politics in the mid-1850s, the ever-escalating increase in tensions, Mr. Lincoln's election as President, and of course the Civil War.  You'll hear directly from some of Mr. Lincoln's best-known speeches and writings, and you will be inspired to hope as he did for a "new birth of freedom" for our country.

There is no cost to you but donations are always welcome.



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 will open with a reception on Friday, May 3, 2019, from 5 - 8 P.M.,  at the Great River Gallery, 116 North Riverview Drive in Bellevue, Iowa. More details as to when and where to bring works for hanging will be forthcoming at a later date. 

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 2019.

Annual Fishtival in August


Our  annual 2019 Fishtival event will be on Saturday, August 17th, this year. 

If you'd like to view some photos from last  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 2018 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 last year - Family Friendly Art Workshops and hope to repeat this event this year as well.  This event will be  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.  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.  IT WILL NOT BE ON FEBRUARY 10TH.  The date for this event is February 17th.  See Upcoming events at the top of this page for complete information. 

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:  There will be no 2nd Sunday event scheduled for August 11th. Instead, that will be replaced by Fishtival set for Saturday, August 17, 2019. Information about Fishtival is on the adjoining column to the left. 


OCTOBER 13, 2019 - TBA

NOVEMBER 10, 2019 - TBA

DECEMBER 8, 2019 - TBA


JANUARY 14, 2018 - Mini Acrylic Painting

FEBRUARY 11, 2018 - Writing Love Poems         MARCH 11, 2018 - Symbols and Calligraphy                 APRIL 8, 2018 - Painting and Hiding Rocks

MAY 12, 2018 - Springtime and Mother's Day       JUNE 10, 2018 - Sun Prints on Fabric          

JULY 8, 2018 - Pour To Create

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

SEPTEMBER 9 - Chalk Pastel 

     OCTOBER 14, 2018 - Origami with Joe Oclon.  NOVEMBER 11, 2018- Paint ceramic bisqueware

          DECEMBER  9, 2018 - Create greeting cards 



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!