Resident Artists

39 West Gallery is proud to exhibit talents from many Topeka area artists. “We are bold, we are creative, we are determined. WE ARE TOPEKA.”

Resident Artists

39 West Gallery is proud to exhibit talents from many Topeka area artists.
“We are bold, we are creative, we are determined. WE ARE TOPEKA.”

Shelly Bedsaul

Rather than call my training “self-taught”, I prefer to say I’ve spent 50 years in independent study. Ever since discovering I could actually make this a job, art has kept me from living anything near a normal life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
My styles range from abstract to realist to illustrative. The unifying factors are color, clean lines and contained spaces. I borrow from mythology, philosophy, music, quantum theory and all things internal. Critics have told me to loosen up. I don’t want to. Somewhere, I have to have control and my creativity is it.

Mary Bauer

I have played with clay, grown up in oils, been frustrated with acrylics, intrigued with colored pencils, fallen in love with an ebony black pencil, dabbled in watercolor and wound up scratching with a piece of precious metal and playing with molten glass.

My pieces are heavily influenced by the flow of nature and the flowers that I enjoy growing. As I have grown as an artist I look more and more for character in a piece. Duplication has become less important than the stimulation of interesting lines.

I enjoy the challenge each new piece brings and the discovery of new techniques. I hope you enjoy my interpretations of nature.

Jim Grinter

Jim works and resides in Kansas City. He received his BFA from William Jewell College in 1980. His recent work concentrates on oil pastel figure drawing from live models as well as a number of sculpture projects.

Jim recently wrote and illustrated a children’s book that is featured in English and French on his website,, where one can also find examples of his painting, watercolor, photography and sculpture.

Felix Harrington

Felix graduated from Shawnee Heights High School in 2018. He is primarily a sculpter, but also does digital art, watercolor, and drawing. He has won several Scholastic Art awards for excellence in Visual arts including 7 Gold Keys, one Silver Key, a National Silver Medal, and was a 2017 Nominee for the National Vision Award. He was also awarded the top Kaw Valley Bank Art Scholarship in 2018. He has worked for the past 4 years to developing a sculpting style that has caught the eyes of hundreds of people.

In 2017 he attended Kansas City Art Institute’s Summer Pre-College ArtLab. This program gained him 3 college credits, as well as 3 weeks of sculpture teachings from professors, and a new crowd of people to meet with his skill set. He was one of 93 people accepted, and 1 of 8 that was selected for a $1,000 scholarship.

Jodee Jensen

When I have a blank canvas in front of me and tubes of acrylic paint scattered around the table, the brightest colors always catch my eye. I love to paint symmetrical lines and circles then to bring out depth and details by outlining shapes with a black marker. I am a self-taught painter. I enjoy experimenting with oil, watercolor and acrylic pouring. I have also painted with food and with food coloring. I have painted using balloons, squirt guns, fingers, shoes, feathers, leaves, and string. It turns out, there are all sorts of ways to get paint on a canvas.
Some of my paintings have been displayed at Trails Market and in NOTO over the past 3 years. The Aaron Douglas Art Fair is one of my favorite events of the year. In 2017 I was honored to be the featured artist. It was a very exciting, confidence building experience for me.

Michelle Leivan

Obsession with psyche and frustration with mainstream media, painter Michelle Leivan punches back with colorful archetypes and identities of individualism.  With diverse influences as Frida Kahlo and André Derain she generates new insights from both simple imagery and cryptic dialogues. Trained in her medium in remote wild west of Kansas gaining her BFA in painting from Fort Hays State University and the school of risk and failure. Visit Michelle’s website.

Brenda Meairs

Brenda began drawing as soon as she could hold a pencil, spending every free minute working on all kinds of drawings and paintings. She became a graphic designer at age 21 and continued in that field for the next 33 years. In addition, Brenda learned woodcarving, antler carving, making stained glass windows, acid etching on bullet casings, jewelry making, clay sculptures and furniture refinishing. During this time she became an Army wife to SSG Kris Meairs. After he retired, Brenda was also able to retire and finally focus on her dreams of becoming a full-time artist. She signs most drawings and paintings with MurphyDoodle. Which was a private joke because no matter what she did, her husband would say she “MurphyDoodled” it. Murphy, because that is the name of her beloved Australian Shepherd who follows her everywhere, and Doodle because that’s just what artists do.

Ann Leffler Palmer

Photography is a way of seeing later what the eye saw at the time or in some cases what I wished I had seen. I love Color, Texture, Details and Good Design. I hope my photographs include these qualities.

Kathy Pflaum

Using fibers, fabrics, paper and other backgrounds that can be stabilized, stitched with metal and found objects that would not necessarily go together to create my art makes each piece unique. This creates a soft feel with an edgy, harder set of objects to create a unique juxtaposition in each piece. I particularly am attracted to hand dyed or printed fabric and fibers layered together with metals. The stitching brings about an additional layer of texture as a design element. Intense colors add to the dynamic feel and round out the texture and feel of each piece.

Marie Plinsky

Marie Plinsky got a late start on her art career.  Her first watercolor classes were not until she was 50 years young.  Before that Marie spent 30 years applying color to hair.

After Marie started in watercolor she moved on to acrylic, metal leaf, and gourds.  Now the texture in 2-D is most intriguing to Marie. The textures are created by paper, fabric, stencils, and medium on canvas.

Marie is a member of the Lawrence Art Guild and a 20 year member of Topeka Art Guild.  She has won Honorable Mention in the “Kansans’ Paint Kansas” and received 1st Place Emerging 3-D artist in 2018 at the Aaron Douglas Art Fair with her decorated gourds.

Sandy Schiffelbein

Art connects us through the generations. Sandy Schiffelbein, a native Kansan, was blessed with a family of creative people who shared their skills and passion. From fabric to wood to photography, she continued to explore new mediums, while working and raising a family.
Sandy’s current passion is fluid acrylic art, otherwise known as pour painting. It is an abstract form of art. Each painting is original, unique and one of kind. Like cloud gazing, hidden images often appear. “Art of the unexpected” is the best description for this form of art. Experimenting with colors and pour techniques keeps this artist inspired.

Rod Seel

Rod Seel is a fine art landscape photographer and painter.  He was born and raised in the midwest. Seel began an advertising and marketing career in 1978 and in 1981 co-founded Jones Seel Huyett Advertising here in Topeka. He left the firm in 2005 to pursue his art.  He is particularly known for his panoramic photos capturing the natural and expanse of the Midwest prairie.

Jim Stukey

James (Jim) Stukey is a Kansas born and raised artist. Jim started drawing at avery early age and would illustrate little stories. His grandma Pauline would write them down for him before he learned to read and write. He took art in the Highland Park school system for six years and other than that I guess you could say that he was taught by God.

Jim is most famous for his mural work and has lost count of how many murals he has done. Examples can be found on Youtube by searching “Murals of Coffey County”. 

Jim teaches art to several people each week and has illustrated several books. He is part owner in the Old 75 Gallery in Burlington, Ks and has exhibited in galleries in four states.

“My life is and always will be all about art.”

Carol Williams

In 1984 I was living in Santa Monica, CA.  I was leisurely walking home on a Saturday, with store fronts lining the street.  Suddenly I was gently “pushed” on my left shoulder, into a store doorway. I quickly turned around to see who pushed me; no one was there!  After a moment of confusion, I turned around to see where I was. I was standing in the open doorway of an art supply store! This is how my journey with art began.  A few years later I returned to my birthplace of Topeka, KS, and the artistic passion came with me.

  In the mid-90’s I began oil painting.  When I opened that first tube of oil paint, I was in love.  The way the paint stayed wet to shape and blend was delightful; even the smell of the oil was exhilarating!  It is the only medium I have used since that time.

 For many years I painted oil on canvas, and I still do.  However, in the past few years I started doing some smaller pieces, oil on wood.  Some of these pieces have spiritual quotes. We are certainly living in more precarious times of turbulence, of doubt and insecurity.  Yet I believe we all have the ability to manifest a sense of safety, and trust in a universal flow; it comes from within. I personally believe Divine is at the bottom, middle, and top of our existence.  This innate sense of trust is within us; we only need to remind ourselves, to call on it. The oil on wood pieces were created with this in mind.

  My complete intention with this work is to create a sense of calm, of reassurance that we can trust our process in this life.  It is not unusual to literally find a “path” in my work; I find it symbolic of our journey in this world. We can truly have a joyous and easeful path in our lives.

Lola Williams

BFA-University of Kansas 1989

I have been painting for about twenty years in oils, watercolor and acrylics. My subject is most often nature (flowers, woods, ponds, and trees). I feel a connection to nature and it gives peacefulness. Since I cannot copy nature, I just interpret it my way and that usually lies somewhere between impressionism and the abstract. I like it when you know that it is a painting of a pond but you are not quite sure, or you see other things in the painting. My watercolor and acrylic works gets very abstract- drawing on the artist within. Some call it unconscious art but I believe it is really an interruption of something you have or are experiencing and comes from the subconscious, occasionally telling a story I may not have intended to tell. Influencing sources are derived from Monet, Oriental Art and God.

I have had my work on display at the Frameworks Gallery, The Carriage House Gifts, The Artists’ Loft, The Artists’ Studio-Gallery and currently Julies Jewelry in Lawrence, Ks. I exhibited at the in Sioux Falls, S.D. and taught watercolor classes at the Ottawa Art Center in Ottawa, Ks.

Diane Wurzer

Diane has been an avid photographer for many years, only recently pursuing a more artistic interpretation of her photos. She calls this “photography with a twist” –  and indulges her preference for outdoor/nature photography by seeing trees, birds, and the moon in a whole new way. A native Kansan, Diane returned to Topeka in April, 2018 after a 30-year absence spent in Dallas-Fort Worth, St. Louis, and Washington DC-Baltimore. She is a member of the Topeka Art Guild and the Lawrence Art Guild and is a resident artist at 39 West Gallery. She recently received an Arty Award for her work photographing the creation of the Brown v. Board of Education Mural in Topeka, presented by ArtsConnect of Topeka. She also received the People’s Choice award at the Topeka Art Guild and Gallery’s annual “Kansas” juried show for “End of Kansas Summer”.

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Wednesday - Saturday

12 PM -5 PM

First Fridays & Third Fridays

12 PM - 7 PM



(785) 422-8994


909 N. Kansas Ave. Topeka, KS 66608