Painting a new perspective: Guttenberg artist begins unique project

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GUTTENBERG, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A northeast Iowa painter has paintings from all over, but found a new project- putting a new perspective on one of Iowa's historic river towns.

When riding around or through Guttenberg, passers by might see an easel, a lawn chair, and an artist.

More than likely that is Rabecca Hennessey- a Guttenberg native who has been painting since the 1980's. Recently, she decided to take on a new mission- an idea that was staring her in the face all along.

"Why am I not painting here?" Hennessey realized. "And so then I thought: 'what if I painted here and then did a collection of the paintings of all the beautiful, historical buildings that we have in town."

Then after a discussion with her husband, the president of the Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce, Hennessey decided to take it a step further.

"And so we're talking about tourism and I said: 'well what if I feature a business every week and it's a 'Greetings from Guttenberg- Reasons to come to Guttenberg,'" Hennessey said.

Hennessey started the project only started a month or so ago, and the work she's doing will go unpaid- a price she is more than willing to pay, to show off what visitors or long-time residents may take for granted.

"They're so used to seeing the way the sun hits that yellow building, or they're so used to seeing the landscape when they come down the hill," Hennessey said. "And so I'm hoping to maybe put a different perspective on the landscape and the history in the area."

When the paint dries, she'll display them for northeast Iowa to see.
And possibly published into a book for the rest of the country to enjoy, or find a reason to visit.

Hennessey said she came up with the idea to paint this series more than a year ago, but she knew it was the right thing to do when she saw a book of paintings from an Ohio artist who had a similar idea.

"And I went 'oh my gosh!' Because it was exactly what I wanted to do," Hennessey said. "So sometimes you get that little nudge from up above. And so I said it out loud. And once I said it out loud it's like ok, now I have to do it."

"It's just something a little different, a little fun thing to do," Hennessey said.