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Reception marks opening of local exhibit

By Nancy Grindle, Marion Times | June 4th, 2015 |

On Sunday afternoon, May 31, a special reception was held at the Marion Heritage Center. Called a “Celebration of Talent” by Center Director Lynette Brenzel, the event was held to honor artists whose works are now on display as part of the exhibit called “14th Annual Art by Your Friends & Neighbors.”

The exhibit features more than 70 works by area artists in a wide variety of artistic media, including water color, oils, acrylics, 3-dimensional, wood, pottery, and photography, to name only a few. Some of the works are available for sale and prices range from under $100 to a top of $800.

Artists and their families, as well as members of the Historical Society, were on hand Sunday. Although a bio of each artist was posted for visitors to read, it was particularly enjoyable to be able to talk with the artists and hear their stories of how their work came to fruition — their hopes, creative ideas, etc.

For instance, one lady was still working on hers the night before she had to leave on a plane. Thankfully, her piece was a watercolor, as she said she would paint a little bit, pack a little bit while it dried, and then paint a little bit more. She finished shortly before it was time to leave for the airport.

Another lady was part of the Creative Artists Group. She was one of six artists who were invited to interpret the same subject, a farm scene depicted in a photograph.

The photo and the six interpretations were exhibited in one area of the room so visitors could see how each artist started from the basic photo and created his or her own work of art. This lady created a grouping of fluffy baby ducks in the forefront of her painting.

The exhibit will be open from now until August 1 during regular Heritage Center hours, which are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday through Sunday. Or a special appointment can be made. Admission is free, thanks to sponsor Hills Bank & Trust.

In addition, visitors are invited to vote for their favorite work each day they view the exhibit. At the end of the show, Hills Bank will award cash prizes to the three most popular artists.

Two permanent exhibits can be viewed as well. On the north wall of the lower level is “Communication by Mail,” by artist Dan Rhodes. This work is special in that it is one of only three fresco murals in Iowa. It was completed in 1939 and moved to the Heritage Center through much work and many sizable donations. The other permanent exhibit is upstairs in the same room as the art exhibit. It is called “Tales From the Rails” and is a model of the City of Marion in the time when the railroad was key to commerce and local life. It was created by custom model railroad builder Darren Ferreter, Model Railroad Dreams. The miniature trains ran both directions during Sunday’s reception.

Two other art-related presentations will be offered later this summer. One of them – to be held on Sunday, June 14, at 1:30 p.m. – is a program called “China Painting” with Lori Bramley. Admission is free.

The second is to be held on Sunday, July 12, also at 1:30 p.m. It is a program on “Photography,” presented by Chairman Jay Kacena. Again, thanks to sponsor Hills Bank & Trust, admission is free.

Residents of the area are also invited to contact the Heritage Center if interested in submitting works for next year’s “Art by Your Friends and Neighbors” show.

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