Artwork leaned against walls awaiting their final spots on Monday. Fruit in still life, collage peeking beyond its canvas, a figurative face looking around at the ceramics atop pedestals.

On Friday, July 5, the exhibition will be ready and in some places, the art of an instructor will appear next to a piece created by a student, perhaps a professional in his or her own right, but one who still enjoys taking classes.

This is The Art Center's annual Student/Instructor Exhibition, which opens with a reception from 6:30–9 p.m. Friday at The Art Center, 1803 N. Seventh St. There will be hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar at this free event.

"This show is for our people. This show really hits home," said Matt Jones, curator at The Art Center. "These people are family."

More than 100 pieces will be on display from more than 50 artists of all abilities and ages, including some in the center's children's art programs, the Artability programs for individuals with special needs as well as its adult programs.

There is sculpture, ceramics, paintings, collage and drawing. There is naturalistic, conceptual and abstract. "We kind of have the full gamut," Jones said.

The exhibition is a way to display the caliber of instructors who teach at the center, as well as a way to show the great work that can result from taking their classes, he said.

"We want the community to see what The Art Center has to offer," Jones said.

In addition, it's good for the community to see local artists who are showing work both at the national level and in the community, he said.

Among those artists is Ajay Gustafson, a Colorado Mesa University student who qualified for the exhibition after taking an Art Center workshop with master figure painter Ron Hicks. Three of Gustafson's pieces can be found in the exhibition.

"It warms my heart to see people like her," Jones said.

The idea of putting the talent of local artists on display extends to another exhibition set to open Friday as well.

"Remembering our Roots: The Founders Collection" will feature artwork from the center's permanent collection created by the individuals who founded The Art Center in 1953.

It's a way or remembering and recognizing the legacy of the individuals who made exhibitions such as the Student/Instructor Exhibition possible, Jones said.

Both exhibitions can be viewed through July 28. For information about The Art Center's exhibitions and programs, go to

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