Art exhibit by artist with local connections

Written by Theresa Rose on February 10, 2020

During February we can only look out the window at a cold dreary landscape, devoid of color, battling cabin fever and dreaming of spring.  However, the PEO Art Gallery on the Iowa Wesleyan University campus is blooming with the wildflowers of spring, summer and fall.  Now thru March 4 you’ll find cabin fever relief while enjoying an exhibit created by Lydia Curtis.  Lydia passed away in 1973.  Her grandson, Andy Hayes has brought the exhibit to Mt. Pleasant because of his connections to the area thru family. His father grew up here, the son of Columbus and Beulah Hayes.  Andy grew up in Des Moines where his father was a lawyer and teacher at Drake University.  But Andy did and still does spend a lot of time in Mt.Pleasant.  His father’s siblings and parents graduated from IW and family members have served on the University board.  His aunt was Martha Hayes and his great uncle was Ernie Hayes.  His mother’s father was raised in the Agency area.  Stan Curtis of Mt. Pleasant is Andy’s cousin. And while, family history could be the story here, the real story is the collection of 32 pieces of art painted by a woman who was inspired by the wildflowers of the upper Midwest at the age of 72 following retirement. Lydia also researched and wrote a narrative for each of her pieces that are also featured in the exhibit.  The PEO art gallery is open, free to the public, Monday thru Friday 8 am to 5 pm.