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Mason City mixed media artist’s work is Charles City Arts Center’s March exhibit

Mason City mixed media artist’s work is Charles City Arts Center’s March exhibit
This painting, “Isolated but not alone Series: In the Reflection,” by Mason City artist Tonya Ihlenfeldt, is part of the Charles City Arts Center’s March exhibition. A free pubic reception for the artist will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, at the Arts Center. Submitted photo
To The Press

Mason City artist Tonja Ihlenfeldt is the featured artist of the month for March at the Charles City Arts Center.

The Arts Center will host an opening reception for Ihlenfeldt on Friday March 1, from 5 to 7 pm. The event is sponsored by Jeremy Rogstad State Farm and is free and open to the public.

The exhibit titled “Home Free” will feature Ihlenfeldt’s most recent mixed media work that she said she hopes will inspire those who come view the exhibit.

“I always purpose to touch the heart of each viewer with a message of hope and love,” Ihlenfeldt said. “‘Home Free’ can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. I desire that someone will walk away from this show seeing hope, that there is a path in life to make everything good.”

Ihlenfeldt’s work involves both painting and photography. The two mediums are blended together on canvas to form a unique final composition that starts with a printed photo on canvas that is either stretched on a frame or stretched over a birch box. Then she paints.

“I am a trained oil painter, but this process is different than traditional painting.” she said. “In traditional painting, I decide a composition first. In this, I have to ‘find’ the composition with the paint. Sometimes this includes leaving exposed photo images or covering much of the photo. Color, brushstrokes and parts of the photo all contribute to create a finished piece.”

Arts Center Assistant Director Karl Haglund said Ihlenfeldt’s art is an interesting contrast to much of the work the center usually exhibits.

“A unique medium like this often informs the work and leads to a unique end product with a conveyed idea that could not be obtained otherwise,” he said. “I am confident this exhibit will be a good representation of that concept.”

Ihlenfeldt has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from Arizona State University and currently works from her studio in Mason City.

The Charles City Arts Center is located at 301 N. Jackson Street across from Central Park in downtown Charles City.

For more information call 641-228-6284 or message

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