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Clear Lake artist creates pop art pieces featuring Holly, Valens, ‘Bopper’

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CLEAR LAKE — Artist Craig Kienast was commissioned by the Surf Ballroom & Museum in Clear Lake to create three pop art pieces featuring the three artists who had their last concerts there, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.

Kienast said the pieces were inspired by album covers and promotional pieces from the 1950s. He mixed his own style of art with the look and feel of Andy Warhol’s artistic style.

In the finished presentation, each piece is on canvas, stretched on 5-by-5-foot frames. They have been installed on the east wall of the ballroom 20 feet up.

It feels as if Buddy, Ritchie and The Bopper are presiding over all the events and concerts happening at the Surf, he said.

Kienast is owner of IMAGES photography and gallery in Clear Lake Iowa.


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