CIAA kicks off new ‘Be Inspired!” series

Marshalltown’s Central Iowa Art Association has lined up a former CIAA instructor to inaugurate a new series of artists who will give monthly inspirational programs.

Artist, teacher and sculptor Melissa Nelson of New Hampton, who recently finished a stint as a CIAA instructor earlier this month, will present “Journey of an Artist” Aug. 5.

Cost is $10 for CIAA members and $15 for non-members.

All proceeds benefit the CIAA, said Janet Busch, CIAA volunteer.

“I have a very eclectic view of art, and all of its media and techniques,” said Nelson. “I believe that art can bridge the gap between so many things, and it is a tool that is absolutely essential to our children of today. My personal artwork of collagraphs currently deals with the idea of our own Identity, and how we change from group to group, wearing different ‘hats.'”

Nelson graduated from Marshalltown Community College with an associates of arts degree in psychology. She then attended the University of Northern Iowa, and was awarded a bachelor’s degree in psychology and studio art, with an emphasis in sculpture. She later returned to UNI and earned a teaching certificate.

Nelson will speak from 6 to 7 p.m., and will entertain questions from 7 to 8 p.m.

To learn about Nelson and her art, visit

“CIAA developed ‘Be Inspired!’ to create awareness of our organization, raise funds to help us fulfill our mission, and spotlight a particular artist each month,” said Busch.

The Sept. 2 program will be Renata Pecar. Her presentation is “How to Put the Sparkle Back in Your Marriage.” Watch the CIAA website for details.

CIAA is a not for profit 501(c)3, dedicated to enriching the central Iowa community through teaching and providing awareness in fine arts. The organization has been serving the Marshalltown area by offering art classes and workshops for all ages, as well as hosting special events since 1946.

For more event information contact 641-753-9013, or visit

Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or