It's no secret… if you’re reading this, you probably already know that Olson-Larsen Galleries has been around since 1979. 


Throughout that remarkable timespan, we have had the pleasure of helping countless clients find artwork they are excited about. That’s what we do, and we love it! 

As 2024 approaches, (which happens to be our 45th anniversary) we wanted to visit with a few of our wonderful clients, give you a peek into their art-filled spaces, and share their stories with those who might be shy about calling themselves collectors.


Welcome to Jill’s home in Clive, Iowa. Jill and her dog, Arthur graciously welcomed us into their home when we arrived to install a tapestry, rearrange a few pieces, and chat about art. 

OLG: What first sparked your interest in art? 


Jill: Honestly, I don't remember because it would have been in very early childhood. My mother and paternal grandmother were both art teachers and artists. I grew up around art and making art. In particular, my grandparents' home was filled with art made by my grandma, her students, and her friends. To me, that's how a house feels like a home. 

OLG: It might be difficult to choose, but do you have a favorite piece of art in your home?


JS: That's tough. I have things from my grandparents' home that I've admired my entire life and are very sentimental to me. Aside from those, I would probably say "The Haircut" by Cornelis Ruhtenberg. I have a few of her paintings. I love her style, her sense of color, and how she captures the beauty of moments from daily life.

Cornelis Ruhtenberg, "The Haircut", acrylic on canvas

above: Etching from Jill's grandparents

left: Dave Gordinier, "Pocket Landscape 06", oil on paper

OLG: The pieces you have purchased from Olson-Larsen Galleries vary widely in size, style, and subject matter, yet they all flow nicely with your other artwork and feel cohesive in your space. Are there any aesthetic rules you try to stick to when choosing what to buy?


JS: I like my home to feel warm and welcoming, so I find myself attracted to art that has that feeling. I also find myself drawn to art made by women artists, but that's not deliberate. For me, cohesion is more about how pieces are grouped together. I certainly have items that wouldn't look great next to each other. So, I hang them in different areas. Sometimes I'll add a piece, and it throws a particular collection off kilter. Then, I just rearrange and regroup until everything works together again. It is part of the fun, and keeps everything looking fresh. 


Plus, art looks different depending on the lighting and what is near. When I move pieces around, I invariably find something new to admire. Framing also helps with cohesion. I tend to stick to simple black or natural/unstained oak frames and warm white mats.  

Cornelis Ruhtenberg, "Woman with Teeter Toy", acrylic on linen

above: Tilly Woodward, "Mandala" oil on board

below: Jill's arrowhead collection that we mounted and framed

OLG: You have brought us a number of pieces for a framing refresh. What factors do you consider when deciding what to have re-framed?


JS: A lot of what I've brought in for re-framing are items I've grown up with in my parents' or grandparents' homes. Re-framing helped preserve them. Framing is also important for aesthetic reasons. Something may look dated, and suddenly look fresh with a new frame. As I mentioned earlier, framing helps a diverse collection look cohesive, so that's another reason I re-frame.  I would say that's the three main reasons: preservation, updating the dated, and creating cohesion through my collection.

Ellen Wagener pastel landscape

artists: Tilly Woodward, Kirsten Furlong, and 

April South-Olson

left: Jill's arrowhead collection we mounted & framed

Paula Schuette Kraemer, "Song", etching, chine colle' and monotype

OLG: What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to start collecting and placing art in their home?



1. Don't hesitate- it isn't scary.  

2. Pick art you love. If you love it, then you won't get tired of it.  

3. Don't be scared to move things around. There's no reason why something has to hang in the same place for all time. 

4. Consider emotions art evokes if it is for your home. I like feeling happy, peaceful, serene, relaxed at home. I've chosen art that makes me feel that way. The art helps create that same feeling for my guests, too. That's why I think the emotional impact of art is an important consideration.

Molly Wood, "Peonies, 0007" photo print

background: Cornelis Ruhtenberg, "Woman with Bird" acrylic on linen

foreground: Chris Dahlquist, "Field Sample" lens series

OLG: What keeps you coming back to Olson-Larsen Galleries?


JS: By now, I think Alyss and Susan know what I'm going to like so they know what to show me. Mark always does a perfect job framing. I like that Olson-Larsen isn't stuffy. It isn't pretentious. You have an amazing selection of art and artists that cover a wide variety of budgets and aesthetics. At the end of the day, Olson-Larsen wants their customers to have what the customer will love, and do not try to push something because it is "cool" or "trendy". Visiting the gallery is always a great experience.

Tilly Woodward, "Mark's Snow Flowers" & "Bird Cork", oil on board

Anna Moisiadis, "Fall In 2" found paper, gold leaf, ink, tape

A big thank you to Jill for letting us (and you) into her house that she has made into a home by filling it with art she loves!


  • Do you find yourself in need of some guidance in starting, growing, or managing your art collection? 
  • Do you have some older pieces that could use a framing refresh?
  • Do you need a hand installing those pieces you can’t decide where to put?


We can help with all those things and much more! Give us a call, send an email, or stop in so we can find solutions that work best for you. We look forward to it!



All photographs ©2023 Alyss Vernon

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542 5th Street
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
United States
542 5th Street
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
United States
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