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A native Iowan, Tonja’s career began with a BFA in painting from Arizona State University. While being married to her high school sweetheart for over 28 years and raising 7 children, she has shown in galleries and participated in art shows all over the United States. Her work has found homes in places as far away as Australia, Taiwan and Japan. 

In 2014, the Ihlenfeldts adopted 2 children (ages 8 & 11) from an orphanage in Nicaragua.  The 4 months Tonja lived in that country greatly impacted her desire to help orphans and missionaries in poor countries.  From the experience came her “Shine” paintings.

In 2015,  Tonja and her husband purchased a 1925 brick church building that now serves as his office and her studio in Mason City, Iowa.

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