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The Bucolic Life: Art and Illustrtions
Joe Hox was raised on a farm in southern Iowa, a region made up of farmland dappled with ponds, thick timber, and shale hills from bygone coal mines. Certainly, farm life included toil, but this was also a fertile place for a boy’s imagination to grow. Joe earned his BA in Studio Art, Art History, and Art Education from Dordt College, and his MA in Art Education from the University of Nebraska. Today he lives with his wife, author Kate Hox, and their four children in Pella, Iowa, just a stone’s throw away from the family farm. Joe works as a book illustrator and freelance artist. He enjoys many forms of art, but the art in this show consists mostly of pencil sketches and digital drawing, or sometimes a combination.

Artist Statement:

bucolic adjective

bu·?col·?ic | \ byü-?kä-lik \

a. relating to or typical of rural life
b. idyllic
(Miriam Webster, 2021)

As an illustrator, I work to craft scenes that work with the text to transport young readers into a story. My artwork is borne out of that same impulse. I want to offer the viewer an invitation to momentarily step out of a world of pandemics, paperwork and politics and into the setting of a charming story.

There are few places to which I’d rather escape than a storybook version of my youth on the farm. And though not all of my works are set in the country, I do want my work to convey the same mirth I experienced as a kid climbing on gates to commune with curious cows.

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