If a picture says a thousand words and the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the next exhibit, called Into the Light, at the Sioux City Art Center will open one's eyes to the complexity presented in the faces of women.

The Gardner Room features painted portraits by South Sioux City artist Anita Yeska. Over the last couple of years, Yeska has followed her inner muse to complete a series of two dozen female faces, each framed in white, ornate round frames.

"It seems to me our thoughts and our feelings are shown in our faces, our lips, our eyes," Yeska explained. "I chose to paint women because their faces are more evocative than men's. Women tend to be nurturing and their vulnerability allows them to be more evocative."

Not a doodler or artist as a child, Yeska related her interest in art was spurred by a picture of a wolf in a children's book.

"I kept the book for six years," she said. "One day, about 11 years ago, I looked at the book and I thought I was going to paint that. I pushed things back on the table and began."

Yeska struggled with explaining what was driving her to capture the image.

"Do you ever get up in the morning and just know something?" she asked. "I go up that day and found the picture and I just knew I should paint it."

The painting took Yeska over six months to complete.

"I had previously done a lot of drawing, mostly with colored pencils, and it was such a pleasure to do that," she said. "When I looked at the wolf, I knew I could do it. I wanted to paint that wolf."

No models were used for the portraits; instead, an inner muse compelled Yeska to create her female face portraits.

"Especially with the women's portraits, I would have to wait and then go with what I think, almost automatically," she said. "I call it a muse moving me. Perhaps it's inspiration. All art work is by inspiration."

Yeska would start with the lips, then the nose and eyes, although some might be missing a feature.

"With some of the larger faces I would measure where I wanted the eyes, but most of the time, I put them whre they seemed to look right," she said. "Then I might create a face to finish it up."

Yeska's portraits join two other exhibititons which open in conjunction with the Sioux City Art Center's second annual ArtSplash Holiday Gift Premiere in conjunction with the opening reception for three new exhibitions.

The Fine Print: Works from the Collection of Morningside College and Prints by Amy Foltz includes works by many of the most important artists of the last half of the 20th century, featuring legendary artists such as David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg. These works form part of Morningside College's Helen Levitt Collection that was donated to Morningside in 1996. The exhibition consists exclusively of prints created by these artists during the years 1977-1982, a time of great creativity and activity in printmaking.

The Fine Print is paired with Prints by Amy Foltz, an exhibition of the Sioux City artist. An art instructor at Morningside College since 2004, Foltz is a master of many art forms, but this exhibition focuses on her skills as a printmaker.