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Coming home: Sunrise River Gallery to display young artist's works

Coming home: Sunrise River Gallery to display young artist's works


MUSCATINE, Iowa — New art hangs in the First Light Corridor of the Sunrise River Gallery, the first of many the owner hopes to display in a section of the gallery dedicated to featuring young up-and-coming area artists.

Sunrise River Gallery opened in November with owner and artist Jim Elias saying he hopes the positive reception of the works of artists from the Muscatine community will continue.

"This whole journey with this gallery has been an amazing ride, it's just been a blast," he said.

Lee White, an MFA candidate at the University of Iowa, grew up in Buffalo Prairie, Illinois. White said he has long been familiar with Muscatine with family in the city, and is looking forward to having a home for some of his work over the next month.

"It's almost like when you go revisit your childhood home," he said. "It feels like there's a sense of I always drifted around the area. But now I found a place that feels like I belong rather than being on the outside looking in."

White's show, Early Works: Letting the Brushstroke Show, is composed largely of oil paintings, a medium White said allows him to connect with the physicality of the paint to express emotion.

"I think the paint has a kind of substance or a matter and I try to use that matter as a method of expression," he said.

His paintings include images of people surrounded by rich colors, which White said is almost a reflection of how he felt when he first got to graduate school and was surrounded by "chatter" from Facebook, media, and other people.

"The figures are sort of stuck in this turgid brew of opposing sensations, it's kind of overwhelming," he said.

White’s show at the Sunrise River Gallery will run through Feb. 26.

"I'm thrilled to have him, because not only is it brilliant work but it's an opportunity to help a young artist get started," Elias said.

The next young artists to have their work displayed in the First Light Corridor section of the gallery will be students from the Muscatine High School Art Club.

"The mission of Sunrise River Gallery is to showcase local artists," Elias said in a press release. "We can’t think of a better way to do that, than by supporting up-and-coming young artists."

The Sunrise River Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, and by appointment. The gallery at 215 E. Second St., also features other area artists and their works. Fore more information call 563-607-5385 or visit


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