Thursday, July 8, 2010

In talking for only a few minutes with Carroll’s Lloyd Kline, it is immediately apparent that he has lived a life filled with excitement and accomplishment.

He has won national, regional and local awards during his 63 years spent in the advertising industry in Omaha, Neb., and New York City. He has worked alongside many famous, and infamous, individuals, like C.W. McCall (born William Dale Fries Jr., in Audubon), who is probably best known for his Cleo Award-winning Old Home advertising campaign and he has been in the presence of such dignitaries as Winston Churchill.

But despite all of his successes, there was something that Kline always wanted to do.

“I have been around a lot of accomplished artists in my advertising career,” he said, “and I envied them. They did fine arts, and that is what I wanted to do.”

After his wife, Jewell, suggested that he take up a hobby in 1981, Kline turned that envy into action and began painting on his own.

Now, this 79-year-old will showcase the results of his envy and his hobby in an art show at the Carroll County Historical Museum titled “Lloyd Kline’s Ideations.”

The show will open this Sunday, July 11, with a reception from 1 to 3:30 p.m. From Sunday through Saturday, July 24, Kline will be present from 1 to 3:30 p.m. each day to share 20 of his favorite pieces with guests. Not only will he share the completed projects, he will also be sharing the details of what has kept him so enthralled with his hobby for nearly 30 years.

 Kline says that when he paints he is transported to another world.

“I still think about who is around me, what my life is about, my inspirations … but I’m in another world,” he said. “I’m intense. I concentrate. I love what I’m doing. I do not worry except how I should make the next brush stroke.”

He hopes to transport others to those worlds, as well as to other places in our own, through the show. Kline says that he and his wife’s extensive travels have played a big role in the creation of some of the paintings he will be showing.

“That painting of Capri over there,” Kline says pointing to one of the exhibits, “which is off the toe of Italy, she (Jewel) took the photo, and I did that painting from her photo. I have done that from other photos she has taken. We have been to Venice and we were on a gondola. That is going to be in the show too.”

“Ideations” from Kline’s past in the advertising field will also be represented in his favorite piece, “Farmstead of the Future.”

The farm of the future, an elevator with a bubble on top that had four side elements that coordinated to operate a farm by computer, was Kline’s idea in 1968, while he was the publicity chairman of the Triumph of Agriculture in Omaha, Neb., and was originally drawn by a friend and colleague, John Andrews. This artwork was displayed on the cover of The Nebraska Farmer, a state farm publication.

“I am going to be showing my rendition of that,” Kline said. “That is what I consider my best painting because it is a great idea.”

Other paintings Kline has chosen for display include “It’s a Woman’s World,” “Antigua in the Caribbean,” Van Gogh reproductions of “Starry Night” and “Underbrush,” along with some that have very local origins.

One of the most recent, completed in the past year, is “The Parable of the Mustard Seed.” In this painting, Kline has integrated mustard seeds onto the canvas with a painting of a cross.

“I have other religious paintings,” he added. “One is Mount Moses, north of town and across from the Municipal Golf Course. I want to put a cross up there. It is a big high hill, probably one of the highest in Carroll County.”

Perhaps one of his best works, “Jewel’s Rose,” is a tribute to his wife, who he calls a human jewel, and her ability to raise lovely roses.

Kline, who has shown this portion of his collection already at the Fisher Art Gallery in Marshalltown, the Le Mars Arts Center, the Sanford Museum and Planetarium in Cherokee and the Witter Gallery in Storm Lake, is excited to be bringing his work home.

Because of his desire to bring culture to the people of what he has dubbed “Carrolland,” Kline will not be satisfied with just a showing of his art. Plans are already in the works for an idea that is an extension of the work that Kline has done over the past 40 years to bring over 70 artists to Carroll.

In 2011, Kline wants to put together an art show, the West Central Iowa Cultural Show, at the Carroll Armory, but this would not be your run-of-the-mill showing.

“I want to bring half youth and half adults and have at least 40 people show,” he explained. “Each would be allowed to bring three pieces. It is ambitious.”

Kline is working now to raise funds to offer prizes to winning entries at the 2011 show. He says that he will need at least $1,500 — $750 for the adult prizes and $750 for the youth prizes.

He also says he would like to have a local artisan speak at the event.

“I want to bring in a former Carroll person, Tom Harnack, as a speaker,” he said. “I have already talked to him, and he is coming next year. He does clay.”

And though Kline is excited about his show at the Carroll County Historical Museum, he is every bit as excited about the prospects for creating an event that can bring artists to Carroll every year.

“I encouraged others to show their art,” he said. “That is where I was getting my satisfaction. It wasn’t my art.”

For more information on Kline’s show, contact the Carroll County Historical Museum at 792-1582. If interested in donating to the West Central Iowa Cultural Show, mail contributions to the Carroll County Historical Museum, 123 E. 6th St., Carroll, Iowa 51401.