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Charles City Arts Center to host Rockford artist in June exhibit

Charles City Arts Center to host Rockford artist in June exhibit
“The Chase” is one of the many works by artist Tracy Ingham to be on display in June at the Charles City Arts Center. A free public artist reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 2. Submitted photo
To The Press

Self-taught Rockford area artist Tracy Ingham will bring his western-themed acrylic works to the Charles City Arts Center for a June exhibit titled “Years Passed.”

The exhibit will kick off with an opening reception on Friday, June 2, from 5-7 p.m.

The work represents a sort of “come back” for the Iowa native.

“I had walked away from art before COVID,” he said. “During the pandemic, since I couldn’t go anywhere and do anything, I would sit in front of the TV with my drawing pad and make sketches. Then, I’d pick up the acrylics, spend 2 or 3 days in my studio and create a painting.”

Instead of painting “pretty things,” Ingham says he leans more toward storytelling in his art. He uses a variety of images to accomplish those stories.

“Sometimes I’ll have as many as a dozen photos out to create a single piece. I always change colors, light direction, the way someone is standing. My head is a lot like Photoshop. I’m always mentally cutting and pasting images.”

Ingham has exhibited at the Charles City Arts Center two times in the past, and as a self-taught artist he said he hopes to inspire other would-be-artists to pick up some supplies and start creating.

Charles City Arts Center Assistant Director, Karl Haglund, feels the same.

“I think a lot of people feel like art or creativity has to start in a classroom somewhere. While that is helpful in many ways, it is not entirely necessary. Some very exciting and important work is created by outsider artists. And I think it’s important for the community to see that work and embrace it.”

Haglund added, “And it’s why the Arts Center exists, really. We are here to be a part of that journey for people.”

Ingham is 30 years into his creative journey and said he is excited to be showing work at the Arts Center again.

“I just wanted to come back and let people see new work and where the years have brought me,” he said.

The exhibit will be on display for the entire month of June. It is free and open to the public.

For more information call 641-228-6284 or email the arts center at

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