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Arts Center opens new oil painting exhibit

Arts Center opens new oil painting exhibit
A good crowd of people came out to enjoy the work of Tonja Ihlenfeldt, this month’s featured artist exhibit at the Charles City Arts Center. Press photos by Travis Fischer
By Travis Fischer,

A crowd of art enthusiasts came out to the Charles City Arts Center on Friday, March 1, to celebrate the opening of the new featured exhibit.

Arts Center opens new oil painting exhibit
Tonja Ihlenfeldt is this month’s featured artist at the Charles City Arts Center.

“Home Free,” a collection of oil paintings by artist Tonja Ihlenfeldt, will be on display through the month of March.

Ihlenfeldt is an Iowa native artist who received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Arizona State University and now works out of her studio in Mason City.

Many of the pieces on display are mixed media works, where Ihlenfeldt takes a photograph and reinterprets it as an oil painting. Some of the photos are ones she has taken herself, while others are reinterpretations of historical pictures.

“These are fun because you’re taking something from the past and making something new and interesting out of it,” said Ihlenfeldt.

Meeting Arts Center Director Emily Kiewel last year, Ihlenfeldt was invited to be one of this year’s featured artists and said she is impressed with how the Arts Center is featuring her work for the community.

“I really like the Arts Center,” said Ihlenfeldt. “When you have a community that supports arts, it’s fun to be a part of that.”

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