Artist of the Month

St. John's Lutheran Church

In the City for Good!

St. John's Lutheran Church participates in God's mission to bless, save, restore and reconcile the world through meaningful worship and faithful witness in the city of Des Moines and around the world.

St. John's Lutheran Church invites and welcomes all people to experience the Good News of God's grace, forgiveness and unfailing love. The Good News calls and empowers us to share God's love in word and deed throughout our city, nation and world.

Artist of the Month Schedule


September Nicole Tolson, Painting

October    St. John’s Photography Small Group

 November    Stewart Buck, drawing and painting

December    Collaborative – Advent Theme


January    After School Arts Program

February    Textile group (Janet Pittman, contact)

March    Amber Jackson-Elwer

AprilCraig Shives, Photography

May    Courtney Townsend

JuneDonna McConkey

July  Donna McConkey

AugustStan Sanders, painter

September   Jan Davison, painting and mixed media

October  Saturday Morning Art Group

November150th Anniversary Committee

DecemberChristmas at St. John’s – past and present

September 2012

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Beth Ann Edwards graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Drake University in 1999, with studio emphases in graphic design, drawing, and painting. She continues to work as a designer, writer, and project manager, and she maintains a painting and fine art studio.

Since her graduation, she has curated and participated in liturgical and secular art exhibits for adults and youth. In addition, she has taught visual arts at summer arts camps and as part of youth curriculum in churches. She was invited by the Des Moines Women’s Club to judge the summer Art-A-Fair exhibit (2008) and student art portfolios for their Scholarship Program (1999 to present). Her work has been exhibited at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Heartland Presbyterian Church, Plymouth Congregational Church, Drake University, Fitch Galleries, East Village Art Consortium, Iowa State Fair, and with Jane 360 (a consortium of women artists). Beth Ann has consulted with churches on visual enhancement of worship space.

The work exhibited in Weertz Hall provides a retrospective of liturgical paintings from the past 14 years, all of which were created as an expression of faith to enhance corporate worship.

June - July 2012

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Scott LaBlanc Photography

“I photograph as a way to explore the ordinary and uncover the hidden beauty of God’s creation.”

During a trip to Washington DC in 2001, I found myself standing in the middle of a sculpture garden taking standard uninspired snapshots.  As I wandered round the garden my eye kept returning to a large suspended metal sculpture.  I tried photographing it from every angle and kept feeling like I was missing something.  Finally, out of creative curiosity, I got down on my back and started crawling underneath this sculpture.  This new perspective unlocked a unique and hidden beauty that few people had seen of this sculpture.  This was the first time I purposely and thoughtfully moved from taking snapshots to capturing images and making art.

Over the last ten years I have tried my best to look for the hidden beauty of God’s creation before I press the shutter button. Celebrating God’s creation with every image I take.  Exploring that creation and uncovering its beauty in both the most obvious and unlikeliest of places.

I am a photographer and father located in Pleasant Hill, Iowa and a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church.  Thank you for taking the time to view my work. All of the images you see are for sale.  If you would like to see my entire portfolio please visit or if you would like to discuss my photography please contact me at 515.491.0335 or

August 2011

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Long time member of St. John’s and Director of Parish Operations, Scott LaBlanc, is our August Artist of the Month.  Scott grew up in Des Moines and joined St. John’s in 1982.  He is a graduate of Luther College with a Bachelor of Arts and major in music.  

“I photograph in order to explore the ordinary and uncover the unexpected.  During a trip to Washington DC in 2001, I found myself standing in a middle of a sculpture garden taking snapshots. Without much forethought, I realized I was on my back crawling underneath a large suspended sculpture.  This perspective unlocked a unique and hidden beauty with in this work of art.  (This image entitled “Star Sculpture” can be found in the exhibition)  It was the first time I purposefully and thoughtfully moved my photography in this new direction and have enjoyed the challenge ever since.”

Scott moved back to Iowa in 2007 after living in Denver, Colorado for almost ten years.  He lives in Pleasant Hill with his wife, Kirsten, and two year old daughter, Maddie.  Follow his photography at

 600 6th Ave. Des Moines, Iowa  50309 - 515.243.7691 - a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America