|Honored by:||Rhonda Pennings|
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Rhonda Renee Pennings was born in Canton, South Dakota the eldest of six children of Clarence and Henrietta (Tilstra) Pennings. Shortly thereafter the family moved to Orange City, Iowa. She attended Christian elementary and high schools in the Orange City area. A lifetime member of the First Christian Reformed Church Pennings was involved in church societies and Bible studies. She attended Northwestern College on an art and academic scholarship receiving an BA with majors in art and English.
For the next few years she worked as a newspaper reporter and circulation librarian. In the summer of 1985 attended the University of Iowa studying under printmaker Mauricio Lasansky and art historian Dr. Wallace Tomasini. Working primarily in the area of intaglio printmaking she produced several prints displayed in art shows across Northwest Iowa. In 1986 she pursued her literary aspirations at the University of South Dakota where she received the Margaret Sanger scholarship.
For the next two years she pursued a master's degree in English taking graduate courses and teaching freshman literature and composition classes. She was president of Lambda Iota Tau an English organization of campus. During this time she published several articles in literary journals and college publications. She taught at Northwestern College while working on a doctorate in educational education. During this time she was the co-founder of Live Poet's Society a writing group in Northwest Iowa that produces and supports activities pertaining to the arts.
In 1990 she graduated from the University of South Dakota with a doctorate degree in educational administration with concentrations in adult and higher education. Currently she is an arts and science English instructor at Northwest Iowa Community College teaching composition, literature and communication courses. Dr. Pennings promotes student participation in all of the arts including introducing a writer's club on campus. She frequently participates in writer's workshops and displays her art work in the community.
She enjoys traveling abroad and learning about other cultures. Her primary goal for her creative pursuits is to reflect and reexamine her life to promote her growth as a person. She writes "my philosophy is that creating art is a tool to access life. It is a way for me to ask questions about life such as--Who am I? and What is the meaning of life?"
Through her art she examines these philosophical issues from a religious perspective. She believes that all of life is religious and the creation of art is a means to express her religious convictions. Her future plans include producing new art work for upcoming shows and writing the great American novel.
Patron of Arts"