Lennis Moore

Decorah, IA

Artist’s Statement

Lennis Moore was born in 1950 and grew up on a small family farm in Northeast Iowa. He graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, with a BA in Art Education. Lennis learned the relief printmaking process from Orville M. Running and credits Running with instilling in him a life-long desire to create woodcut prints.

“The majority of my woodcut prints depict the rural landscape. I grew up on a farm and have always been fascinated with the ever-changing shapes, textures, and colors of the countryside. My eyes are usually drawn to some small, intimate portion of familiar surroundings; a snapshot if you will. The resulting images are my interpretation of that brief interlude with the land.”

Moore worked from a printmaking and illustration studio at his home in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. He designed and cut his images on birch plywood blocks that are colored with high quality lithography and monotype inks. Almost all of the blocks are printed on Hosho Professional paper and run on a Dickerson Combination press or an antique Challenge proof press.

The documentary below by Derek Nelson is about more than an artist, reflecting on bygone farming days, rural landscapes, and inspirations, Lennis Moore lets us into his life and his truly Iowan persona: “It’s just a lot of hard work and you keep doing the craft and the more you do the better hopefully you become.”. Filled with Lennis’ woodcut prints, archival photographs, and Iowa landscapes, this film is a departure into a beautiful geography few of us know.

Lennis passed away in the summer of 2014.  He proudly served as the CEO of Midwest Old Threshers in Mt. Pleasant from 1978-2014, coordinating the annual Old Threshers Reunion. His wife, Sandy, taught in Mt. Pleasant Middle School. Lennis and Sandy have three adult children: Luke, Ben, and Catie.

The family of Lennis Moore has arranged for all art sales to endow an art scholarship at his alma mater, Luther College.