The ?Colors of Summer? comes to Iowa Wesleyan

By Gretchen Teske, Mt. Pleasant News


On Friday, July 20, the Iowa Wesleyan University art gallery hosted the Mt. Pleasant Art?s Impact gallery show, ?The Colors of Summer.? The gallery featured over 60 pieces of art by 10 local artists, which was hosted by the Friends of HCHC as a fundraiser for their scholarship fund.

Kirsten Heerdt, an organizer of the event, said the idea for the show developed from the desire to try something different. ?We tried to come up with something other than our supper that we do for our community, and the arts are something that we don?t do a whole lot of,? she said. ?As far as art, there was just a need in the community.? With the Mt. Pleasant Arts Impact recently developed, the opportunity to feature local artists turned from a dream into a plan.

Of the 10 local artists, nine were present for Friday evening?s gallery. The proceeds from the gallery went toward the Friends of HCHC scholarship fund, which is available to a student entering the medical field and staying in Henry County for at least five years. Heerdt hopes the event will raise awareness not only for the scholarship, but also for the arts in Mt. Pleasant. ?I think this just compliments what we already have in place,? she said. ?This has never been featured in any way in Henry County, and so it?s pretty innovative.?

Offering a place for the Arts Impact to be featured semi-permanently was a goal not only of Heerdt, but the Arts Impact board. Annie Swarm Gudberg, a board member, was excited to help bring artists together to be featured. They are hoping to make an annual event of it and host an open call for artists next year. All artists are members of the group and most have been featured in other art galleries, but Gudberg says the goal with this gallery is to showcase the talent within the community. ?What we?re trying to do is bring it all together,? she said. ?This is like a really perfect chance.?

?I think as a community, supporting artists is a great thing you can do not only for the artists, but for the richness of the community,? she said. ?It opens peoples? minds to new ideas and brings things that aren?t already here to the town.? Gudberg grew up in Mt. Pleasant, but did not feel she had a place to showcase the art she created. She moved away for college but says if she had this opportunity, she would have been positively impacted from it.

BJ Grimmer, of Mt. Pleasant, featured her art at the show and has been featured in several art shows in the Midwest. She has been featured in this space before, but was happy to see the opportunity offered for all local artists. ?Having it in your hometown is awesome,? she said. ?Seeing people from the community come in is wonderful. I wish we had more of this.? Grimmer also feels that being on a college campus is a positive for not only the community, but for young artists as well. She says the gallery offers them a chance to come in and ask questions, gain mentors and insight. ?Art is something you can appreciate from preschool on up,? she says. ?You never really outgrow art.?