Glenwood Place resident’s work to be featured during art show Sunday

T-R PHOTOS BY ROBERT MAHARRY — The works of Glenwood Place resident Sandy Vas will be on display during an art show at the facility on Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Sandy Vas, a resident of Glenwood Place, has lived in Marshalltown for most of her life and created art since she was in kindergarten. This Sunday, her body of work will be on display for the public to view during a special show from 1 to 3 p.m. as part of Glenwood’s “Dare to Dream” program.

Her most beloved pieces include portraits of her family and iconic local institutions like Zeno’s Pizza, Lennox, school buildings and other instantly recognizable scenes — some paintings and some sketches. She also created a portrait of a beach house in Greece based on photos her friends took while traveling, which sits just above one of her favorite chairs.

As an adult, Vas was an elementary art teacher in the Marshalltown Community School District for nearly a quarter century, and she helped to spread her own love of art to youngsters across the community. These days, her works can be seen hanging in the hallways at Glenwood, and the staff of the facility is excited to share them with the public.

Her son Corey Vas, who now resides in New Mexico, said his mom’s mantra was always that everyone is an artist, and they just need to give themselves a chance.

“She took an active stance on trying to get kids to do creative thinking and creative learning,” Corey said. “Everybody can do it. You’ve just gotta set aside that inner critic in your head and suspend judgment on what you create and enjoy the process of creating rather than focusing on some outcome.”

T-R PHOTO BY ROBERT MAHARRY Several of Vas’s pieces already adorn the hallways of Glenwood Place. She has been creating art since she was a young girl and taught art in the Marshalltown Community School District for many years.

Sandy was also one of the first educators to participate in a master’s degree program called New Art Basics at Iowa State University, and it has taken off and inspired other teachers to do the same in the years since. Corey is excited that his mom will be recognized on Sunday and referred to her as something of a local legend in the art community for her portraits of the MCSD school buildings, the Marshall County Courthouse, the water works facility and some of the older houses in town. She also finished second place in the design contest for the Iowa state quarter for her spin on “American Gothic.”

“I think pretty much everybody knows her that way — either had her in class or they know her artwork because they either commissioned a piece or they have a piece that she did that they bought at a show,” Corey said. “It seems like she’s kind of, inasmuch as Marshalltown has local legends or celebrities, she’s kind of that.”

She hopes that her art has made a positive impact on someone else’s life, and her advice to anyone interested in creating is simple.

“Just keep trying. Keep doing it,” Vas said.

Glenwood Place is located at 2907 S. 6th St. in Marshalltown.


Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or rmaharry@timesrepublican.com.


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