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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Senior artwork well-received

  • There were quite a few people buzzing in and out of the Eldorado Memorial Library on Sunday afternoon during the reception for works the Southeastern Illinois College Senior Art Class.
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  • There were quite a few people buzzing in and out of the Eldorado Memorial Library on Sunday afternoon during the reception for works the Southeastern Illinois College Senior Art Class.
    The class, taught by Andi York, has opened many doors for the students.
    “We're old and we're set in our ways, but we always did what Andi said. She kind of got us out of our shells and made us do something different,” Janet Bixler said.
    Bixler, who has always been interested in art, only recently began painting frequently. Her work includes pictures of “real places and real things.”
    “I have always loved to paint, but you really have to have the time to keep up with it. I got back into painting when I retired, now that I have time,” she said.
    Not only has this door opened up opportunities in art, but it has brought old friends together and created new bonds as well, she said.
    “The people in this class aren't only classmates, they are also a support system. A classmate lost her brother this year, and we all came together to support her,” she said. “I met some new friends, and I reconnected with some people I've known for more than 10 years. It's been an experience.”
    One of Bixler's classmates, Jesse Rouse, certainly confirmed that. Rouse learned to draw at the age of three, learning from his brother and a cousin.
    “We used to draw in the dirt in our yard. They would sit me down in front of them, and I would draw what I saw them draw. I learned to draw upside down, but, here I am, 65 years later, and still drawing,” Rouse said.
    Rouse worked as a police artist for many years, sketching faces of criminals for warrants. Faces are Rouse's self-proclaimed talent. For an upcoming class reunion, Rouse profiled every female in his graduating class and put them in a booklet titled, “The Girls of '65.” He says the class has not only allowed him to share his talent, but to broaden his skills as well.
    “We all help each other out,” Rouse said. “It helped me put some variety into my work, which I thought I needed. It's a good group.”
    The class will start back up again next semester, with York as instructor for the third semester.

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