3rd Annual Veteran Appreciation and Open House Event

open house JPG

New Century Art Guild will again salute veterans at its 3rd Annual Open House and Veteran Appreciation event on Sunday, November 2nd from 2:00pm to 8:30pm in Kimballton, IA.

This year’s open house will be a carnival theme that will feature army vehicle rides, face painting, temporary tattoos, caricature artist, carnival games, and chili cook-off. Begining at 2:00p.m., two art galleries on Kimballton’s Main Street will be open to the public to offer a tasting of local wines and a chance to view veterans’ artwork, including that of US Army veteran Roberta “Bert” Leaverton.

A chili cook-off will be held at the Cottonwood Barn at 5:30pm.   Chili and games may be paid for with tickets sold at the door for $1 apiece. Chili cooks will be vying for top prizes, to be determined by the most tickets they collect.  Proceeds will go to fund NCAG’s student and veteran art scholarships. Entertainment will be provided by  the widely popular singing-duo the “Polka Police”. Other attractions include kegs of craft beer, an old fashioned cake walk, a bonfire (weather permitting) and barn dance.  This is a family-friendly event and open to the public.

Prepare to get your taste buds for this year's chili-cook off!
Prepare  your taste buds for this year’s chili-cook off!

The rural town of Kimballton, IA, located approximately midway between Omaha and Des Moines, is the headquarters of New Century Art Guild. The guild was co-founded by local residents Billy Marples and Dr. Scott Smith, both veterans, and Omaha artist Troy Muller. The guild’s mission is to promote career development of emerging and established artists with special attention to the needs of military families and of veterans seeking to make new careers in the creative arts.

For more information contact NCAG President Dr. Scott Smith at (712) 249-2184 or NCAG Art Director Troy Muller: tmuller@mccneb.edu

New Century Art Guild’s Art Director Profiled in Omaha Newspaper

With help from a IWCC student, artist becomes advocate for veterans’ art

Monday, August 18, 2014 — By Casey Logan / World-Herald staff writer

Troy Muller, right, and Billy Marples work on a bronze relief on Oct. 31, 2008 --OWH

Troy Muller, right, and Billy Marples work on a bronze relief on Oct. 31, 2008 –OWH

Ten years ago, Muller, an art instructor at Metropolitan Community College, met a student named Billy Marples. For class, he submitted drawings of scenes from World War II. Soon the two bonded over military history. Muller asked if Marples, a Vietnam veteran, ever drew from his own experiences at war.

He hadn’t, but Marples seemed to take the question as a challenge. He later submitted a series of charcoal drawings based on his time in Vietnam, including one called “The Incident,” depicting an especially traumatic firefight.

“He got closure to this incident,” Muller said. “He had 35 years of nightmares, and it stopped that day when he made the drawing.”

That same year, Muller and Marples discussed starting an organization to support veteran artists. The mission wouldn’t be therapeutic in nature but rather to provide guidance and training for veterans interested in pursuing careers in visual art.

A decade later, the New Century Art Guild covers three buildings and more than 4,000 square feet of gallery and studio space in Kimballton, Iowa, about an hour’s drive northeast of Omaha. It is run by a third founder, Scott Smith. Muller, who remains based in Omaha, serves as art director. Marples died in 2013.

Through August, the center is home to “Unforgetting Iraq: In Search of Recovery,” a multi-media exhibit that has become all the more timely in recent weeks.

“We were coming from a point of reconciliation,” Muller said of the exhibit’s May opening, “and now we’re on a war front again.”

The exhibit, which features work by Americans and Iraqis, is a small part of Muller’s busy life these days. He still teaches at Metro. He also tries to find time to make his own art, some of which is on display at Modern Arts Midtown, 3615 Dodge St. A painter by training, Muller finds himself moving more and more to three-dimensional art, in part because so much of what is consumed these days comes from two-dimensional screens.

But Muller draws the most meaning these days from his work with veterans. He sees in their work a worldview and selflessness uncommon in the art world, and more and more he believes his own mission is to make sure such work sees the light of day — even if it means less time spent on his art.

“With the veterans I see such a huge return on the investment of my time,” he said.

2014 Metro Military and Veteran Juried Art Exhibition

2014 Metro Military and Veteran Juried Art Exhibition

CALL TO ARTISTS: Metro Community College and New Century Art Guild are excited to announce Metro’s 2014 Military and Veteran Juried Art Exhibition to open November 6, 2014 at Metro’s Fort Omaha Campus.

ELIGIBILITY: Open to any artist, 18 years of age or older, that has served, or is currently serving, in the U.S. Armed Forces. Artists may submit work in any media excluding installation. DVD format animation and video works may also be entered. Work must be original, preferably executed within the past two years. Military-themed artwork is optional, but preferred for this exhibition. Entry in this exhibit establishes an agreement on the part of the artist to all conditions listed in the prospectus and is a contract to exhibit entries selected by the juror. Substitutions for entries sold or otherwise committed before acceptance are not allowed without permission from juror.

 JUROR: Troy J. Muller is an Omaha based artist and art instructor. He graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with a BFA in painting and earned an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry at the University of Nebraska. He has taught visual art at Metro Community   College for over 12 years and serves veterans as an individual instructor through the VA Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation. He is a founding member of New Century Art Guild, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization that supports emerging artists and veterans seeking new careers in the creative arts. His paintings and sculptures are exhibited at Modern Arts Midtown Gallery in Omaha, Nebraska.


 Sept. 30, 2014 Deadline for Receipt of Digital Entries

Oct. 8 , 2014 Notifications of accepted works E-mailed .

Oct. 15, 2014 Deadline for Receipt of Accepted Works (may send before deadline.) Ship or hand-deliver to:

Nov. 6-Dec. 5, 2014 Exhibition Dates

Nov. 6, 2014 Opening Reception 4:00pm -6:00pm at Metro’s Fort Omaha Campus

Dec. 5, 2014 Exhibition Closes

Dec 6 – Dec 15, 2014 Return of Works Hand-delivered artwork may be picked up Monday-Friday 10am-5pm




NCAG Hosts Student Intern from Iowa’s Central College

Alison Ranniger, NCAG Summer Intern in front of Rembrandt's "The Nightwatch"

Alison Ranniger, NCAG Summer Intern, in front of Rembrandt’s “The Nightwatch”

This summer, for the duration of the exhibit Unforgetting Iraq: In Search of Recovery, NCAG is pleased to host Alison Ranniger, an ambitious young college art student as our student intern.  Alison will watch the galleries and visit with guests entering the exhibit. She will also perform other tasks for the Guild. In return, she will enjoy use of the studio space and receive supervision from NCAG Art Director, Troy Muller. She will also receive 6 college credits for her work with NCAG.

Alison is a senior college student and Art Major in pursuit of her K-12 teaching licensure at CentralCollege in Pella, IA. She is from Manning, IA where she graduated from IKM-ManningHigh   School. At CentralCollege she has worked in a wide range of media such as drawing, printmaking, painting, glassblowing, ceramics, sculpture, photography, and bookmaking. She has also participated in CentralCollege’s study abroad program in Leiden, in the Netherlands where she studied Dutch art and architecture and worked with a Dutch artist under an independent study.

Welcome aboard Alison!



New Century Art Guild wishes to congratulate Kaitlyn Van Patten as the winner of our First Annual Competitive Student Artist Contest and as the recipient of the 2014 Visual Art Merit Scholarship $500.00 Award!


Drawing by Kaitlyn Van Patton

Drawing by Kaitlyn Van Patton

Drawing by Kaitlyn Van Patton

Drawing by Kaitlyn Van Patton

Painting by Kaitlyn Van Patton

Painting by Kaitlyn Van Patton

Painting by Kaitlyn Van Patton

Painting by Kaitlyn Van Patton

The level of talent and creativity evident in all the submissions, especially the six finalists, made it difficult to choose just one portfolio to receive the monetary award. Here are examples from the finalists:

Etching by Alison Ranniger

Etching by Alison Ranniger


Stained glass by Ashley Miller

Stained glass by Ashley Miller

Sculpture by Carlin Ring

Sculpture by Carlin Ring

Drawing by Cameron Renkly

Drawing by Cameron Renkly

Painting by Elissa Eppens

Painting by Elissa Eppens



Over Memorial Day weekend,  also known as Tivoli-fest in the Iowan Danish Villages, New Century Art Guild opened its gallery doors to a very special exhibit of international artists. The exhibit will be on view for the next three months.

Drawing series created by an American veteran-artist.

Drawing series created by an American veteran-artist.


Table of war diaries that document individuals' responses to war.

Table of war diaries that document individuals’ responses to war.

Image from a series of photos depicting Iraqi women graduating from college.

Image from a series of photos depicting Iraqi women graduating from college.

Tivoli-fest brought a crowd of people into the Danish Villages:

Runners gather in Kimballton's Little Mermaid Park after completing a race.

Runners gather in Kimballton’s Little Mermaid Park after completing a race.

Also available was "fried taffy" for the less health-conscience!

Also available was “fried taffy” for the less health-conscience!


Exhibit Preview Dinner was Tasty and Insightful

Elk Horn's Vittles Restaurant does a great job, again, at catering our event.

Elk Horn’s Vittles Restaurant did a great job, again, at catering our event.

A special (and delicious!) dinner was held in the NCAG Galleries on Friday, May 17th as a thank you to major donors and art professionals. The thought provoking artwork that surrounded guests represents a joint effort between New Century Art Guild and the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, based in Minneapolis. This collection, entitled: Unforgetting Iraq: In Search of Recovery, is being shown for the first time in our Kimballton gallery. Once it leaves us in September, it will continue to tour across the US. The exhibition will open to the public Memorial Day weekend.

This exhibit aims to highlight, through art from both Iraqi and American artists, the aftermath of that war. This collection uses images to speak to our capacity as humans to recover from traumatic, devastating events and of our ability to extend compassion to cultures that are different than our own.

Guests enjoy the tasty dinner.

Guests enjoy the tasty dinner.

Our speaker for the evening was Mr. Rick Burns, an expert on the effect and aftermath of modern warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also an expert in compassion –and translating that compassion into action.

Rick Burns gives powerful testimony of the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan

Rick Burns gives powerful testimony of the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan

Rick worked as an Army Civil Affairs officer to better understand the needs of citizens caught up in the ravages of war. After two tours in Iraq, Rick went to Afghanistan as an Army civilian to assist military commanders to better understand the indigenous culture. Through this work of helping locals deal with endless government and infrastructure problems, Rick saw firsthand the daily issues faced by families living in an unstable society.

After he returned stateside, Rick  launched the Karadah Project in 2010, which sought (and continues to seek) to help those left behind in the wake of the war.


Kimballton Featured in follow-up to Documentary “Denmark on the Prairie”

Promotional Image from documentary "Denmark on the Prairie"

Promotional Image from documentary “Denmark on the Prairie”

Danish filmmaker Jakob Vølver has produced a sequel TV program about the Danish Villages of Southwest Iowa. Both the original program and its recent follow-up have been big hits in Denmark and have triggered waves of interest by Danish citizens in the small Iowa towns.   Kimballton, Elk Horn’s neighboring village to the north, was not mentioned in the first documentary, but it finally got its due in the sequel. Danish-speaking Loretta Christensen of Kimballton is featured in both films.  She and Annette Andersen, also of Kimballton, take viewers to the new Hans Christian Andersen Sculpture Park in Kimballton.  A number of the bronze statues depicting Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, that were sculpted by NCAG Art Director Troy Muller, were seen (along with Troy) in the second film.

“Meet the Artist” Dinner was Delicious and Inspiring!

Mario illustrates his military and art careers with a vivid slideshow.

Mario illustrates his military and art careers with a vivid slideshow.

NCAG hosted an art exhibition of Mario Lopez’s work at a “Meet the Artist” dinner reception in their Kimballton Gallery. Mario and his lovely wife, Danielle, inspired artists and veterans alike at the event held on Saturday, March 22nd. Lopez shared his inspiration journey as a soldier, family-man, minister and artist.  He said, “I am a wounded warrior but I don’t let my war injuries define me.  I like that I can help people by showing them that even though life throws obstacles our way, there is no reason to give up because life is always worth living.”  Mario presented a gripping slideshow and testimony that kept the audience at the edges of their seats. Mario was made a lifetime NCAG member and also sold two paintings the night of the event.

First Annual Competitive Student Art Scholarship

Students: submit your best work!

Students: submit your best work!

New Century Art Guild is pleased to announce our first competitive scholarship for an art student for the 2014 – 2015 school year.

The scholarship award includes:

  • $500 toward tuition for the next academic term to student’s school of choice.
  • Evaluation of portfolio and academic/career direction by professional artist.
  • Invitation to exhibit artwork at NCAG gallery.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Completed application.
  • Digital portfolio that includes 6-10 digital images of your best personal artwork.  Only JPEG images on a CD will be accepted –Do not send photos!
  • High school seniors and prospective or enrolled college students are eligible.
  • Letter of recommendation from an art teacher or other art professional.
  • Must be willing to submit a written report to NCAG showing how scholarship was used by the end of academic term.

 Click on link below for PDF of application form:

Call For Entries Form

Send your enclosed application, portfolio CD and letter of recommendation by Thursday, April 24th 2014 to:

2014 Art Scholarship Contest
New Century Art Guild, Inc.
Box 64
Kimballton, IA  51543


(Please email questions to  tcrosley@metc.net)

Best of luck!!