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Exhibit displays local artwork

BY Kaitlin Gebby - kgebby@chronicle-tribune.com

Local artists were featured in an exhibit at the Hostess House that opened on Monday evening.

The art exhibit “Art Lives Here” displayed the work of artists in Grant County and featured all mediums of work, from sketches to painting and photography.

Debbie Luttrull and Brenda Horsman, board members at the Hostess House, planned the art exhibit to bring people in the community together. They said there was a plethora of artists in the area waiting to be seen and heard, and this was an opportunity for them. Local art was the only thematic detail for the gallery. Everything else, the medium, the style, the subject, was open-ended.

“We truly have an eclectic collection of work here,” Luttrull said. “And we’re so lucky to be able to show it here in a historic building in Marion.”

Debi Shepler, a local artist and former teacher for Marion Community Schools, entered artwork that she felt showed the beauty in ordinary things.

“I love painting because it’s so soothing, and you have all of these thoughts and feelings while you do it,” Shepler said.

She described one of her paintings that recreated a photograph she took of a dead tree among other lively and colorful plants:

“At first, I loved the contrast of the white, dead tree against a background of living ones,” Shepler said. “But the more I looked at it, the more I felt that most people would see this tree and feel there’s no longer a use for it. Even though it’s dead, there are animals who have made it there home, there are so many reasons why that dead tree is valuable and that’s what makes it and art so fascinating,” she said.

Don Artamas is a full-time artist who specializes in “revealing the unseen” through his abstract paintings. He uses dark tones that he said may not be as eye catching, but he’s drawn to them for how little they’re used and admired.

“When I paint, I go through different thoughts and emotions, and each piece cannot be pinned down to one thought or feeling, but it’s many all at once,” Artamas said.

Margaret Gugel has been an artist and painter all her life. She said she draws her inspiration for her paintings of countryside and farm life from visiting rural areas of Indiana and being “an animal nut.”

Gugel also said Marion is lucky to have such a strong creative community in a smaller part of Indiana, but she knows more are out there waiting to be seen.

“So many young artists live in this community, but they’re afraid to pursue it or put themselves out there,” Gugel said. “To them, I would say ‘Go for it! What do you have to lose?’”

The art exhibit will be on display in the ballroom inside the Hostess House until March 2. The free exhibit will be open during regular business hours, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.