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The Gazette KCRG
Posted May 14, 2012
“Repeat, Repeat and Repeat Again” Promises Creative Artistic Impressions

CEDAR RAPIDS — Rather than art being in the eye of the beholder, it has been put into the hands of the artists in a unique exhibit to be unveiled to the public Thursday night at Prairiewoods in Hiawatha.

In an exercise reminiscent of a classroom assignment, artists in the local group, Creative Artists, received a black and white copy of a color landscape photograph taken by club member Noma Lucas with the purpose of giving it a new look. Twenty-eight artists took up the challenge to use watercolor or pastel, oil or acrylic, calligraphy or pencil, to recreate all or part of the rustic barn farm scene as they see it.

“I think this will be one of the most fun things we’ve ever done,” says Helen Hunter, president of Creative Artists. “I’m really excited to see what people will bring.”

While Helen displayed her own interpretation and three others at her home, recently, she has yet to see what other artists have submitted for the exhibit, “Repeat, Repeat & Repeat Again” that runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with a wine and cheese reception. Open free to the public, the reception will feature some paintings for sale.

“We’ve got a great group of people, a creative group,” she says.

Founded in 1970 by a group of YMCA art students under the leadership of Edwin J. Bruns, Creative Artists has numbered between 40 and 60 two-dimensional artists as members. With the purpose of fostering public interest in art through programs, workshops and exhibits. Its big show of the year, The Great Autumn Art Show and Sale, is Sept. 15-16 at the Kirkwood Community College building on Armar Drive in Marion.

The organization meets on the second Monday of each month. Tonight’s meeting, at 6:30 p.m. at Mr. Beans in Marion, features guest artist Lizzie Dvorsky, 17, of Cedar Rapids, an artistic face painter. (For more information see creativeartistsiowa.org)

Helen’s own story is a prime example of the artists the organization wants to attract.

“I always wanted to paint,” says Helen, 72, of Cedar Rapids. “I never thought I could. I wasn’t a gifted artist.”

She grew up in Shellsburg, took an art appreciation class at Kirkwood Community College, worked at the now defunct Killians Department Store in Cedar Rapids before going to Minneapolis where she became a marketing vice president at Powers Department Stores.

In 2004 she read a book that said anyone could paint, so she signed up for a class and began painting still lifes. She would take her watercolors home to her husband, Bud, who died in March, and he would say, “That’s really great.”

Helen knew he was being kind. So, she persevered. And since then painting has become a fun adventure.

“I got started,” she says. “That’s the key. I’ve been painting ever since and now I’m winning ribbons.”

Comments: (319) 398-8323; dave.rasdal@sourcemedia.net

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