Welcome to the American Impressionist Society

 Impressionism, the genre of our times

Follow us on


Debra Joy Groesser, President/CEO
Cheryl St. John, Vice President
Cindy Baron, 2017 Show Chair
Bill Davidson, 2017 Show Co-Chair
Vanessa Rothe, Educational Director
Becky Joy, Social Media and Communications Coordinator
Kathryn Riedinger, 2016 Show Chair
Don Groesser, National Treasurer
Charlotte Dickinson, Founding Member
TR Dickinson, Chairman Emeritus

President/CEO, Debra Joy Groesser

Nebraska artist, Debra Joy Groesser, is best known for her impressionistic landscape paintings, particularly her plein air work. "Painting is such a spiritual experience for me. Nothing inspires me more than being out on location, capturing the subtle nuances of color, light and atmosphere that can only be achieved by painting from nature." Debra's ability to render emotion, mood and a sense of place draws collectors worldwide to her work. "When I find a subject that triggers a strong emotional response in me, I know that's what I have to paint. My greatest satisfaction is when the viewer has that same emotional response to my subject that I did." Debra also paints portraits and figurative works. She has participated in countless juried and invitational exhibitions, including American Impressionist Society National Exhibitions, Oil Painters of America National and Regional shows, Salon International, Plein Air Artists Colorado National Exhibitions, Laguna Plein Air Invitational, Carmel Art Festival, Door County Plein Air Festival, and Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Biennial Auction. Her work has been featured in numerous national art publications.

Debra is a signature member of the American Impressionist Society, American Plains Artists and Plein Air Artists Colorado. Debra is represented by SouthWind Art Gallery, Topeka KS, Vanessa Rothe Fine Art, Laguna Beach CA, and Geren Gallery, Tubac AZ.

A note from your President:

Warmest greetings to you all! It is a tremendous honor to serve as your CEO/President, and I am sincerely humbled and grateful to the AIS board and founders for the confidence and trust that they have placed in me and my husband Don, your national treasurer. I'm very much looking forward to an exciting year and to meeting as many of you as possible! AIS is a successful, highly respected art organization, carrying out the mission of promoting the appreciation of impressionism. Please join me in thanking our 2015 officers, Cheryl St. John (Vice President) and Becky Joy (Show Chair) and our founders, Charlotte and T.R. Dickinson, for their hard work and countless hours spent on behalf of AIS and our members. We are so pleased that Cheryl has agreed to continue serving as Vice President again this year. We are also very happy to welcome Kathryn Riedinger as our 2016 Show Chair! We are looking forward to a great year working together to serve AIS!

Preparations are underway for our 17th Annual National Juried Exhibition. We are thrilled to have Howard/Mandville Gallery in Kirkland, Washington host our show this year. Show dates will be September 29th through October 30th. Complete details will be posted here on our website and our Facebook page. We are grateful for all of the volunteers who have helped in the past on our shows... it doesn't happen without lots of helpers. If you would like to volunteer to help, please let us know. We would love to have you!

Finally, for those of you who don't know me, let me quickly introduce myself. I live in Ralston, Nebraska, a suburb of Omaha. My husband, Don, is serving his fifth four-year term as Mayor of our city. As you might expect, we are very involved in our community and enjoying serving. We have five grown children and six grandchildren. I paint portraits and landscapes in oils, and am especially passionate about plein air painting.

Again, I am looking forward to an exciting year for AIS. It is truly an honor to serve you. All my best,

Debra Joy Groesser

Cheryl St. John, Vice President

Colorado artist Cheryl St. John is a fourth generation Colorado Native, with a great appreciation of nature and the environment and the preservation of both. Cheryl works in oils to create impressionistic paintings of the rocky mountains of Colorado, the high deserts of New Mexico, the colorful hillsides of Tuscany and where ever else her heart may take her. Inspiration is all around!

Painting en plein air is always a challenge to Cheryl. The ever changing light and weather conditions create a sense of urgency that translates to a spontaneous and loose interpretation of the scene. "There is nothing like painting on location to catch the feeling of the moment, a beautiful stream in backlight, the smell of lilacs blooming on a warm spring morning or a crisp fall breeze in the middle of an aspen grove", she states. She hopes that these feelings come through to the viewer and tell the story of that particular moment and the joy she felt with each brush stroke to the canvas. Cheryl studied fine art and design at The Rocky Mountain College of Art and The Colorado Institute of Art, as well as with well known artists Kim English, Michelle Torrez, Michael Workman, Ken Backhaus and Robert Spooner. She is a current member of The Art Students League of Denver, signature member of The American Impressionist Society, Plein Air Artists of Colorado, and The Colorado Watercolor Society, and Associate member of Oil Painters of America. She has won numerous awards in local and national exhibitions and is currently in corporate as well as private collections around the world.

A most recent highlight in Cheryl's career came in December of 2012 when she was awarded Grand Prize for her painting "Awaiting Spring" in the Capitol Christmas Tree Art Competition. She received her award and national recognition at the 2012 Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the lawn of the National Capitol in Washington DC by House Speaker, John Boehner. The painting is now in the collection of the U.S. Capitol.

A note from your Vice President:

A brief note to let you all know how extremely honored I am to serve as Vice President of AIS. I am looking forward to another year of working with and getting to know each of you and I fully accept the challenges ahead for 2016. I have experienced many outstanding National AIS Shows and have been grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to show my work alongside the many talented artists of AIS as an Associate member and for the last 2 years as Signature member and Vice President.

Serving as Vice President 2014 - 15, was full of challenges and duties that at times were overwhelming but in the end taught me that volunteering is also full of many rewards, one of which is getting to know the many fine members of AIS much better.

As Vice President, helping to put together a national show is no small task.... it's a challenge that requires team work and lots of late night hours. I couldn't have taken on what was required of me without the leadership and help of Debra, Becky and now, Kathryn. They are truly a joy to work with and learn from.... something I did a lot of the past 2 years! I look forward to working on another outstanding national show as a team and can't wait to see the many amazing entries from our talented members.

Just a bit about myself....I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. My formal art education began with Rocky Mountain Institute of Art in the late 70's and Colorado Institute of Art in the 80's. Striving to make my living as an artist I entered the field of graphic design and worked for several graphic design and package design firms in the Denver area throughout the 80's and early 90's. My true passion was always in fine art though, and my heart was continually telling me to get back to painting. Finally in the early 90's I gave in and began to explore my desire for painting and enrolled in classes at the Art Students League of Denver. It didn't take long to realize this is where my lifelong passion was and decided to go for it, quit my job and paint full time! I've never looked back!

I feel so very blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to fulfill my passion as an artist. How many people can really say they love what they do? As painters we get to live our dreams by creating works of art each and every day, something I will never take for granted.

I look forward to the year ahead of working to make 2016 the best year ever as an artist and as Vice President of AIS.

All my best,

Cheryl St. John

Kathryn Riedinger, 2016 Show Chair

Idaho artist, Kathryn Riedinger works in oils to create fresh plein air and studio landscape paintings of moments in nature.

Living in the mountains of central Idaho and traveling often to the mountains, rivers and rural areas of Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, I find endless inspiration and ideas to express my awe of nature and fleeting moments. I never stop striving to learn - from great contemporary painters like Quang Ho, Kathryn Stats, G. Russell Case, Jill Carver and Kevin Macpherson, but also from reading, studying and thinking about painting in a new way everyday. An interest in drawing in painting began at an early age, but I veered off the art major track and decided to pursue advertising as a career. I continued to take classes while working and raising my kids - mainly at the Art Students League of Denver with many great teachers. I began selling my work in 2008 and tip-toed into the world of juried shows. We moved to France for one year where I continued my painting and studying, and then to Sun Valley in 2009. With three college-age kids and husband, Kirk, two dogs and a busy lifestyle - I love to ski and practice yoga - life is busy and productive. Painting and art balance me.

My partners and I, Tom and Sandy at Wood River Fine Arts, started a workshop series in 2015 in Sun Valley taught by the artists they represent in the gallery. This has been a fun outlet for me and a rewarding opportunity to bring world-class art teachers to Sun Valley. I am an active member of AIS, OPA, PAAC (Plein Air Artists of Colorado) and PAPI (Plein Air Painters of Idaho.) I have been juried into various national shows and have won awards at PAAC shows - 2nd Place and Honorable Mention. I have served as a juror on the Sun Valley Arts and Crafts Festival.

A message from your Show Chair:

Hello -
I am honored to be your 2016 Show Chair for this year's juried exhibition at Howard/Mandville Gallery in Seattle. We are excited to announce that Master Painter, Calvin Liang has agreed to be our Judge and will also offer a 3 day workshop before the event which will sell out quickly. The opening will be on Thursday, September 29 and the show will be up through the month of October.

Thank you for placing your trust in me. I have worked with Debra Joy Groesser in the past and have a fairly good grip on advertising and marketing. I will polish up my organizational skills. (You should see my studio…) I am in awe of the number of talented artists in this organization which places AIS in the top tier of art organizations in the country. Having just visited Musee D'Orsay in November, I realize the quest of contemporary Impressionist artists to capture the essence of light and color and value in new ways is as alive and exciting today as it was in 1887 in Giverny.

AIS is an organization that brings together artists and acknowledges the many creative avenues we, as artists, travel to get to that painting that "works" on all levels, as Quang would say. Our show is intended to showcase the best of those paintings and share them with the world. I look forward to meeting you and gratefully accept any volunteers who would like to help make this year's show an incredible one.

Thank you,

Don Groesser, National Treasurer

Donald A. Groesser, our AIS National Treasurer, was born and raised in Weeping Water, Nebraska, where he grew up on the family farm. He holds a degree in accounting and has a wealth of business, sales and management experience, including 23 years at Union Pacific Railroad and 10 years with NCR/Teradata. Don was one of three partners who owned an Omaha real estate firm and also he owned an auction company with his brother for many years. He recently learned that he attended the same auction school in Kansas City as AIS Chairman Emeritus T.R. Dickinson did! He is currently serving his 5th term (19th year) as the Mayor of Ralston, Nebraska, (a city of 6,000 people adjacent to Omaha) and works part time in commercial real estate. He also volunteers his time serving at his church and performing benefit auctions for local charities. Don has served as auctioneer for the Door County Plein Air Festival and for the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (Montgomery AL) Biennial Art Auction for the past several years. Don and his wife Debra (AIS CEO/President) have five children and seven grandchildren.

Charlotte Dickinson, Founding Member

Charlotte Dickinson along with Marjorie Bradley, Pauline Ney and their mentor William Schultz, created the AIS in 1998. She has worked diligently along with other members to see it grow to be one of the finest art organizations in the country today.

She keeps a full schedule of classes and workshops teaching the impressionist style of painting in oil and watercolor and sells her work through galleries.

TR Dickinson, Chairman Emeritus

Theron Dickinson....most members and friends call him T.R. He spent his childhood on a beautiful Century Farm in Pennsyllvania..Later a family with 6 children to raise,he worked hard coming up the ladder to become Branch Manager with Crowell-Collier Publishing Co. In Richmond,Va. Several years later acquired the position as territory Supervisor for KiWi Cavalier covering the D C, Maryland,VA and W.VA. Under his supervision, his territories became the # 1 in Sales Volume in the United States.

After retiring and moving to Fla. TR became employed by the USDA. It was then, April 23, 2003 he was asked to become A I S Membership Chairman and Treasurer by the AIS Board of Directors. He loves his work and enjoys talking with the members.

Through the years the Board has seen T R as a strong leader. Helping to bring the American Impressionist Society to it's present level of credibility as being of of the finest Art Organizations in the US.

T R believes all good things come from GOD. His guiding rule at eye level on his desk is: The word INTEGRITY and it's full dictionary interpretation. He reads this everyday. T R carries his responsibilities with the greatest possible pleasure.

Contact Us

©Copyright 2014 American Impressionist Society, Inc.,
Copying of any material from this site is strictly forbidden.
All paintings Copyrighted by the Artists. Images are not to be copied,
reproduced or remanufactured in any way.

Home - AboutOfficers - Members - Join - Instruction- Contact - 2016 Show