Copyright John Gerstner. All Rights Reserved.

About Me

My art is about dreams, illusions, possibilities, and what-ifs. I strive for images that arrest the eye, provoke multiple interpretation and raise questions about life and the human condition.

John Gerstner has career experience as a writer, photo-journalist, magazine editor, multi-media artist, video producer, Internet/intranet strategist, and book author/creative director.  He authored and edited Genuine Value: The John Deere Journey, a coffee-table art business book named Best Coffee Table Book of 2001. Amidst his corporate career, John has never wavered in his passion for art. His art has been published and exhibited in U.S. shows and galleries and is in private collections worldwide. His latest works combine digital photography and painting.


I would be happy to have my artworks seen as a collision at the intersection of photograph, painting and sculpture. It is at this multi-media intersection that “reality” and “fiction” becomes most interesting, and sometimes clear. My images raise questions about life and the human condition. I begin with the beauty I find in life, but never end there. Just as in life, the beauty in my work is bittersweet … adorned with ambiguity, mystery and conflict. Alluring but abstract.  I am questioning the truth of beauty.


  • Video Art & Multimedia, MA, University of Iowa, 1989 
  • Journalism & Mass Communication, MA, University of Iowa, 1984
  • Journalism, Kansas State University, BS, 1968.


  • January Artist of the Month Award, Northern Light Gallery                              2023
  • Believe Exhibition and Publication, Gallerium Art Gallery                                 2023
  • Rock Island fine Arts Exhibition (honorable mention)                                      2001
  • United Neighbors, Davenport, IA (solo)                                                         1996-2001
  • Art From The Neighborhood, Quad City Arts, Rock Island, IL (group)             1996
  • Rock Island fine Arts Exhibition, (group)                                                       1996, 1994, 1993
  • Photo-Link Internet Website (solo)                                                                1995
  • Quad-City Arts Council (2-person)                                                                1994    
  • Artefino Gallery, Charlotte, N.C.                                                                   1994
  • NAACP Art Exhibition, Davenport, IA (group)                                                1993
  • University of Iowa Hospitals, Iowa City, IA (solo)                                           1993
  • Corps of Engineers, Arsenal Clock Tower, Rock Island, IL (group)                 1993
  • CSPS Gallery, Cedar Rapids, IA (group)                                                       1992
  • Essence of Diversity, King Center, Rock Island, IL (group)                             1992
  • A. Allen Albert Gallery, Palm Desert, CA                                                       1992
  • Performing Arts Gallery, Davenport, IA (solo)                                                1995,1993, 1991
  • Percival Gallery, Des Moines, IA (group)                                                       1990
  • Beverly Hills (CA) Antique Auto Show Benefit (group)                                    1989
  • Mitchell Museum, Mount Vernon, Il (2-person)                                               1989
  • Quad City Arts Council, Rock Island, IL (3-person)                                         1988
  • Governor’s State University, University Park, IL (2-person)                             1988    
  • Highland Community College, Freeport, IL (solo)                                          1987
  • SPE Photography Conference, University of Iowa (group)                              1979
  • Davenport Art Museum, Davenport, IA (group)                                              1978


  • Artist Grant, Quad City Arts, Rock Island, IL                           2001, 2000, 1997, 1992, 1991
  • United Way of the Quad Cities Photo Contest, 2nd Prize                                 1995
  • Quad City Showcase, Davenport Art Museum, 3rd place                                1986
  • Artlink Contemporary Artspace, Fort Wayne, IN, award winner                       1986
  • Gallery of the Old Post Office, Dayton, OH, award winner (2)                         1986
  • Photo Metro Magazine, 4th Annual Contest, San Francisco (CA)                     1986
  • Rock Island fine Arts Exhibition, 2nd place                                                     1985
  • Pictures For Organizations book, Ragan Publishing, Chicago                        1982
  • Creativity Annual (Gloria Steinem portrait)                                                    1980
  • Gold Quill, International Association of Business Communicators                   1978
  • Honor Award, Photojournalism, Chicago Business Communicators                1978