About the Artist: Valerie Oertli

Valerie is a Nebraska native, having lived in South Dakota, Missouri, and then returning to Lincoln. She studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and has exhibited art at various competitions, including Ducks Unlimited in Kansas City, Mothers' Art Show at Noyes Gallery and Game and Parks Habitat Stamp Contest. Her art was entered in the Lincoln Arts Council Stores of Home and she has painted a stage backdrop for a Ruth Hill Elementary School play.

Valerie finds inspiration for art on Lincoln's trails, either while dog walking, taking photographs, or running (member of Lincoln Marathon Lucky 13 Club).

Artwork Interpretation: "Autumn Hawk"

Autumn was chosen as the setting to showcase nature's most colorful season. Nature provides many contrasts – the lighter gray tree against a darker tree is often seen along the trail. Southeast Nebraska is home to many hawks.

The intent was to camouflage the rain barrel into a garden or wooded setting.