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 photography, painting and sculpture. It is at this interdisciplinary intersection that “reality” and “fiction” blurs, and new thoughts, emotions and conclusions can be drawn.

My process is to be playful and intuitive. As a career photojournalist, many of my paintings stem from past photographs digitally altered, painted on and sometimes rephotographed.  I also often use texture to add a sculptural quality to the canvas. Mixing media allows me to suggest and subvert reality and raise questions about life, beauty, and preciousness.

I strive for paintings that are raw, energetic, and disruptive. Because I prioritize intellectual engagement over traditional esthetic concerns, I believe I am working in the realm of avant-garde and abstract surrealism.

My art is about dreams, illusions, possibilities, and what-ifs. My greatest reward comes when I create a work that shows me something … something that can’t be expressed in words.


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


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


2001Artist Grant, Quad City Arts, Rock Island, IL           
2000Artist Grant, Quad City Arts, Rock Island, IL
1997Artist Grant, Quad City Arts, Rock Island, IL
1995United Way of the Quad Cities Photo Contest, 2nd Prize
1992Artist Grant, Quad City Arts, Rock Island, IL
1991Artist Grant, Quad City Arts, Rock Island, IL
1986Quad City Showcase, Davenport Art Museum, 3rd place
1986Artlink Contemporary Artspace, Fort Wayne, IN, award winner
1986Gallery of the Old Post Office, Dayton, OH, award winner (2)        
1986Photo Metro Magazine, 4th Annual Contest, San Francisco (CA
1985Rock Island fine Arts Exhibition, 2nd place
1982Featured in Pictures For Organizations book by Phil Douglis
1980Creativity Annual (Gloria Steinem portrait)           
1978Gold Quill, Photography Award, International Association of Business Communicators
1976Honor Award, Photojournalism, Chicago Business Communicators