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Art Exhibit Features Homeland Landscapes

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Thursday, April 3 marked the opening of local artist Larry Rosenow’s exhibition at the Grinnell Arts Center Gallery. Titled “The Country Is My Home,” the exhibition, which boasts a collection of watercolor landscapes and country scenes, is scheduled to run until Friday, April 25.

“The Country Is My Home” is Rosenow’s first solo exhibition, who began his art career relatively late in life, although he has been interested in art since college.

“I used to draw animals and that kind of thing [as a child], but when I went to college I had a close friend who was an art student, and I just got interested in it,” he said. “I wound up teaching art.”

Rosenow began his teaching career in Marcus, Iowa and eventually moved to teach elementary art in Grinnell. After obtaining his master’s degree in art from the University of Wyoming and starting a family, Rosenow became interested in teaching younger students. Since moving to Grinnell for a teaching job in 1967, he has called the town his home.

Rosenow’s memories of growing up in scenic northwest Iowa, as well as visits to his wife’s country home in northeast Kansas provide inspiration for most of his work. His paintings boast a variety of intricately crafted scenes including babbling brooks, old farm houses and country markets.

“I like the outdoors, trees, mountains, water, farm scenes and that type of thing. My wife grew up on a farm in northeast Kansas, so the barns and houses are inspired by that area,” Rosenow explained.

The beautiful landscapes are captured perfectly through Rosenow’s use of color and line. He has managed to create a realistic and romantic representation of nature with watercolor paints.

While watercolor is now Rosenow’s preferred medium, this was not always the case. In fact, as an art student, Rosenow found working with watercolors particularly difficult.

“When I was an undergraduate, I hated watercolor. I had all sorts of trouble with it, but then I went to [the University of Wyoming] Laramie, and they tend to loosen you up a bit,” Rosenow recalled. “I got to splashing around and that taught me a thing or two.”

Still, the now-skilled Rosenow attributes some of his best watercolor manipulation to luck: “I tried to do a controlled wash; I’ve always had trouble with that. The best one is the flat blue of the water on the fishing painting. I think it happened as more of an accident.”

While Rosenow remains humble, the Grinnell community has recognized his talents, as the exhibition has been well-received by the community thus far. The formal opening reception held on Thursday, April 3 was extremely well-attended. According to the artist, both he and the staff at the arts center were surprised and delighted by the turnout.

Rosenow has received support from his family members, neighbors and even members of the College who all attended the opening reception last Thursday. He has no current plans for future exhibitions at the Grinnell Arts Center, but he intends to keep creating work and has already begun to explore alternate mediums.

“I have to get geared and [start] doing more [work],” he said. “I like watercolor, but I’ve started to do a little bit of colored pencil.”

Art Gallery - Matt Huck
Larry Rosenow’s art exhibit features a collection of watercolor landscapes of rural scenery.
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