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'Celebrate the Hills' art show opens
Barbara Mann, coordinator of the "Celebrate the Hills" juried art show at the Cultural Center of the Loess Hills in Moorhead, shows one piece of art in the exhibit -- "Reconstruction I," a mixed-media painting by Bryce W. Gerking of Bronson. (Photo by Becky Irvine)

MOORHEAD, Iowa -- The annual "Celebrate the Hills" juried art show has opened at the Cultural Center of the Loess Hills.

This year's show features 53 works of art created by artists from the Loess Hills area and from as far away as Boone and Ames, Iowa, and West Point and Omaha, Neb., according to Barbara Mann, the show's coordinator.

"This show is always a highlight for the many visitors to the Loess Hills who stop by on their car or bus tour of the hills in the fall," Mann said. "Artists for this year's show range in age from high school students to people in their 70s. We are fortunate to have several artists who have been bringing their new artworks every year since the show's beginning in 1993. We are also fortunate every year to have new artists who are entering their artworks in this show for the very first time."

A special added feature for visitors to "Celebrate the Hills" this year is that Ned Shipley, an artist from Omaha, has again donated one of his wood and acrylic bird sculptures to the Cultural Center to be used as a fund-raiser for the Cultural Center's programs.

The art judge for "Celebrate the Hills" this year is Chere' Fox O'Reilly. O'Reilly and her family live in the Loess Hills, near Turin. A graduate of Dana College with a major in fine art education and commercial art, O'Reilly worked for a time in the graphic arts field in Omaha. Later, after staying at home to raise her children, she re-entered the teaching field. O'Reilly has taught for the past 12 years at schools in Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa. She is currently the art teacher at West Monona Junior-Senior High School in Onawa. O'Reilly plans to bring her art classes on a field trip to the Cultural Center to view "Celebrate the Hills."

An artists' reception will be held at the Cultural Center on Oct. 12 to honor the artists who entered the show. O'Reilly, who prepared a written critique for each artist's work, will also be in attendance.

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Judged as "Best of Show" this year was a pastel painting titled "A Path Less Traveled" by Ginny Wing of Sloan.

Awards of Excellence were given to "Swallow-tailed Butterfly," a colored pen artwork by Sue Cutler of Blencoe, Iowa; "Overlook South, West, & North," a set of three watercolor paintings by Patricia Cink of Missouri Valley; and "The Hills II," a watercolor painting by Mary Lou Wright of Ames.

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Receiving Judge's Awards were: Bonnie Johnson of Hornick, Iowa, for her acrylic painting titled "Chore Time;" Pam Cates of Missouri Valley for her watercolor painting called "Vineyard Memories;" Aaron Erickson of Castana for his pencil artwork titled "Castana;" Janice Lubker of West Point, Neb., for her acrylic painting called "Country Lace;" Barbara Mann of Turin for her pen and ink titled "Moorhead Christian Church;" Ginny Wing of Sloan for her pastel painting called "Trees;" and Mary Lou Wright of Ames for her watercolor painting titled "The Hills III."

There will also be three People's Choice awards given at the close of the art show. For these awards, visitors to show vote for their favorite artwork by secret ballot.

Visitors may view "Celebrate the Hills" on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4:30 p.m., now through Oct. 12. For those who need to view this show at another day or time, an appointment can be made by calling (712) 886-5200, (712) 886-5384, or (712) 886-5441.

A Cultural Center volunteer will also be available to answer visitors' questions about "Celebrate the Hills" during the art show's open hours.

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