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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Arts Center hosts local student show

Throughout the month of March, the Grinnell Area Arts Council is hosting a show at their newly renovated building downtown. The gallery exhibits works done by Grinnell Middle School and High School students.

The Arts Director of the Grinnell Area Arts Council, Judy Arendt, welcomed visitors to the show.

“This is our first time hosting this show … it has traditionally been in the Mayor’s Art Gallery, which used to be up in the Community Center,” Arendt said. “When we opened this space about a year ago, we took a lot of the shows that were in that gallery and hosted them.”

Gallery space is comfortably divided, with the middle school art to the left and the high school art surrounding the main space.

The works featured throughout the exhibit vary in theme. Students from the high school were each allowed to submit one piece, after approval from their instructor. Students from the middle school were allowed more freedom in what they could submit.

Media that were used include paint, pastel, photography, ceramics and pencil. The middle school students’ display includes many color wheels and grayscales, along with more personal pieces from their sketchbooks. Themes that run throughout the work of the high school students are pastel pieces of feet and hands, photographs of nature, and self-portraits.

One particularly interesting piece hangs on the far wall. This drawing features blue feet with green toenails, and the piece plays with perspective, proportion and foreshortening. Around the high school art exhibit are other, similarly drawn hands.

Another interesting aspect of this gallery show is a photography collection that combines many small square images to form three photographs of leaves, with colors moving from greens to autumn reds. Ceramics pieces of seashells, alphabet letters and pots lined the walls and are set on white podiums throughout the area.

Overall, the gallery space does a great job of exhibiting young, local talent and is an aesthetically pleasing and free downtown detour for cash-strapped college students.

The Arts Council has refurbished this space in the old Stewart Library building downtown in hopes of exhibiting as many of the town’s arts and theatre events as possible.

“When Drake Community Library [was] built, our board was in conversation with the city of Grinnell,” Arendt said, “and they negotiated the Grinnell Area Arts Council to rent us this space. We have been in existence in this building since December of 2009.”

Current offerings include after-school art classes for children from kindergarten through fourth grade, summer arts camps, foreign language courses and adult workshops. Additionally, the Center hosts shows and readings from resident artists, as well as other local and regional artists and performances.
Molly Rideout ’10 is currently the Residency Coordinator and Administrative Assistant for the program.

“This space is used for all sorts of things. You can hear the kids screaming downstairs, so that’s our Studio 4 class. We have the art shows. You see the remnants of the Waiting for Godot production. I personally run the Grinnell Artist Residency,” Rideout said. “So we encompass all number of activities.”

The Arts Council is planning an elementary art show this coming May.

“We’ve had a few more [projects] recently such as Community Band, which is soon going to be under our umbrella,” Rideout said.

This art show featuring local students will remain in the gallery until Mar. 24. Gallery hours are 12–4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 1–4 p.m. on the weekends or by appointment.

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