Centerville native Elizabeth Budiselich is the first featured artist of the month at the Gallery at the Ritz, starting Friday in Centerville. Budiselich’s exhibit is called “Playing in the Dirt,” and will be on display for three weeks.

CENTERVILLE — Bryan Ranes had, for many years, tried to build for what is taking place this weekend.

“I’ve been involved with my art for many years,” said Ranes, a gallery representative. “So this is kind of a dream come true.”

Indeed, Ranes will be showing art, but this time, someone else’s. Local artist Elizabeth Budiselich, a Centerville native, is the first featured artist at the Gallery at the Ritz. The facility is a loft above the Ritz Theater, which is currently being renovated. An open house for Budiselich will be Friday from 7-9 p.m., and her work will be on display for three weeks.

It’s part of a featured artist of the month, and Ranes hopes to attract more local artistic talent to the gallery. The gallery itself will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

“I wanted to do this, and my girlfriend, Tessie Rollins, relocated from Des Moines to help make this happen,” Ranes said. “I originally wanted to do this back in 2000 or 2001, so this is has been ongoing for many years.”

Artists of the month will begin featuring their art every second Friday of the month for three weeks at a time.

According to the artist statement, Budiselich’s art focuses on nostalgia, as she’s collected antique toys, fabricated objects and other materials, and crafted them “to look as though they are from a bygone era.”

Budiselich, who’s exhibit is called “Playing In The Dirt,” also does photography, using natural sunlight and landscapes from across the state. Budiselich graduated from both Indian Hills Community College and Central College, and is continuing her education to become a secondary art teacher.

The 23-year-old is the perfect first exhibitor for Ranes’ long-term goal.

The gallery houses Ranes’ work, as well as Walldog Public Art, which Bennett helped create and currently serves as a board member.

“We’re trying to bring in artists from all over, from Des Moines and elsewhere,” Ranes said. “The whole plan is to make this a community event.”

Chad Drury can be reached at cdrury@ottumwacourier.com, and on Twitter @ChadDrury


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