OTTUMWA — The Indian Hills Community College student art exhibit is reinforcing that these are artists, not just college students.
The annual art show features students of IHCC art instructors Mark McWhorter and Lisa Fritz. At the artists' reception Monday evening, the Indian Hills Art Gallery was filled with students and their friends and family.
"It's usually our biggest show, and we've got well over 200 pieces here," McWhorter said. "I think of this as our yearly salon, like the French would do in the Lourve in Paris, where they would just hang from floor to ceiling if they had to."
The only requirement is that they've had an Indian Hills art class in the past year, so they can enter pieces they've done outside of the classroom as well.
"We encourage our students to start doing their own work in their own time and not always reacting to assignments. That's always a good sign, when they're bringing in things and saying, 'What do you think of this?'" he said.
Freshman Mazie Burnside has three pieces in this year's show, one in watercolor and and two in pencil. She is currently in the watercolor class after taking two drawing classes, which is the program's natural progression. Art is something she has been interested in all her life and something she definitely wants to pursue.
"Ever since elementary school, I've always wanted to do something in art," she explained. "I really want to be an illustrator. That would be a lot of fun. I want to write graphic novels, like comic books," giving life to her words through her art.
A wide array of media are included in this year's show, such as chalk, acrylics and gel pen, and there are also Photoshop prints, digital photos and stoneware pieces.
"We have a really talented group of artists, a lot of standouts," McWhorter noted.
The collection of student works will be on display through May 8. The Indian Hills Art Gallery is located in the library on the Ottumwa campus. Gallery hours are 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4:30-9 p.m. on Sundays.
— Follow reporter Laura Carrell on Twitter @CourierLauraC