Art worlds collide in Perry Thursday

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"Baled" by Gary Ernest Smith

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The paintings of Gary Ernest Smith and the artists of the Art Harvest Tour are the focus of Thursday’s activities in Perry.

Autumn means art in Perry, and two events are converging Thursday to start the season on a high note.

The painter Gary Ernest Smith will visit Perry Thursday to lead a tour and answer questions about his paintings, which are on exhibition in Perry through the end of the year. The artist’s Perry visit will focus on his portraits, and he will turn around and discuss his landscapes Friday at a parallel event at the ISU Brunnier Museum in Ames.

Gary Ernest Smith addressed youngsters at the Hotel Pattee Thursday morning. He will give a tour of his art again at 6:30 p.m.
Gary Ernest Smith addressed youngsters at the Hotel Pattee Thursday morning. He will give a tour of his art again at 6:30 p.m.

Smith met with local elementary school children Thursday morning at the Hotel Pattee to discuss his work and introduce the young people to the art of painting and of seeing.

Hometown Heritage is sponsoring Smith’s visit and will lead a bus excursion to Ames Friday for the landscapes tour at the Brunnier. The bus trip will include light refreshments, and Perry artist Betsy Peterson of Hometown Heritage will discuss Smith’s work on the drive up and back.

The bus ride to Iowa State University is free, but seating is limited, and registration is encouraged at 515-465-5961.

Complementing Thursday’s thrilling visit by the painter from Utah is the Art Harvest Tour kickoff reception in the Cellar at La Poste. Eleven area artists are opening their studios and exhibiting their works for visitors on this year’s third annual Art Harvest Tour.

Perry's latest addition to public art is an Art on the Prairie-inspired panel featuring the Art on the Prairie logo surrounded by a border of clay tiles made by the public at last year's November art festival.
Two new tile panels will be installed at 5:15 p.m. Thursday outside La Poste as part of the Art Harvest Tour kickoff reception.

The kickoff reception will begin at 5:15 p.m. outside La Poste, when a pair of new public art tile panels will be erected alongside the first tile panel on Third Street.

The tile installation will be followed by an artists’ reception in the Cellar. This year’s Art Harvest Tour features works by 20 area artists.

Tile panelists Pam Dennis and Ryk Weiss created the second and third panels thanks to a Bock Family Foundation grant landed by the Art on the Prairie committee. The Art Harvest Tour serves as a September prelude to November’s Art on the Prairie event.

The Art Harvest Tour is self-guided, with a downloadable map. The full tour loop totals 90 miles and goes through Perry, Ogden, Boone, Madrid and Woodward. The event is free and open to the public.

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