“Welcome to my brain! I am mainly an upcycle artist taking seemingly random, otherwise discarded items, breathing new life into them, so that they have transformed and can live again.”
Heather Houzenga


Heather Houzenga | Zenga’s
Artist – Mixed Media

An innovative re-designer of upcycled materials, Heather received her BA in English Literature/Studio Art and K-12 Education from Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her work includes, but is not limited to, painting, 3D assemblage, collage, stained glass, printmaking, ceramics, wearable clothing and functional accessories. A self published author and illustrator, she runs her business, and brand label, Zenga’s, from her studio at Now & Zen Gallery in rural Mount Carroll, Illinois, an aspiring zero-waste facility. 

An award-winning painter and Martha Stewart runner-up, Heather’s works have been included in private collections across the nation (including Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Seattle, NOLA, LA, NYC, to name a few). Locally, within her decades long career, her public murals and installations have made an impact on the NW IL region. 

Currently serving in her 15th year as elementary art educator for both the Easton Valley and Andrew, Iowa CSD, she is mentoring and enriching the lives of 400+ students daily. Along with teaching, her personal mission is bringing the arts to the forefront in her local area via maintaining her studio. 

Her passion of the importance of art has lead her to speak at local community colleges; tailor individualized student lessons from her studio; serve as president of the Main Street Art Guild; create an arts endowment with the local Community Foundation; serve as artistic vendor coordinator at Codfish Hollow Barnstormer, a local music venue and participate in regional festivals who’s mission supports artists and arts advocacy.

208 W Market St | Mount Carroll, IL 61053
By Appointment Only

Board of Directors

  • Henry Matthiessen III
  • Amy Laskye
  • Stephonie Schmitz
  • Jenna Lueck