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MUSCATINE — A delegation of Iowa State University faculty and staff visited Muscatine on Thursday for an art exhibit.

A reception was held at the Muscatine Art Center where Rose Frantzen’s “Faces of Iowa State” exhibition is on display. The 39 portraits range from students, faculty, staff, alumni and individuals tied to the university.

The delegation included the University’s President Wendy Wintersteen, who explained that the project began two years ago at the Iowa State Fair.

“If you had been at the State Fair watching Rose paint, you would have been with small children sitting on the floor for an hour watching her paint because it is such an extraordinary experience to see this created,” Wintersteen said.

Wintersteen said that watching the portraits come together on the easel was evocative.

"It starts out and you think, 'What will that be?' And then all of a sudden as you watch, it's like magic. All of a sudden, this face emerges from these blotches of color that you cannot imagine how could that turn into a beautiful portrait,” Wintersteen said.

The exhibit’s focus on the portrait reminded Wintersteen of a strength she sees in both the state of Iowa and Iowa State University:

“To me, people are our greatest strength at Iowa State or in Muscatine,” Wintersteen said. “And with wonderful leaders — community leaders, industry leaders — you can do almost anything you set yourself out to do. Wonderful people lead to great accomplishments and successes. That's true of Iowa State; that's true of Muscatine.”

The exhibition began in the artist's hometown of Maquoketa in December of 2017. The collection will be on display at the Muscatine Art Center until April 15, 2018. It will reopen again at the Pearson Lakes Art Center in Okoboji on April 26.

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