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Former MCC student next featured artist in Ray Frederick Gallery

Nick Beard Art Exhibit

Former MCC art student, Nick Beard, will be the next featured artist in the Ray Frederick Gallery.

Marshalltown native, Nick Beard, will be the next featured artist at the newest exhibit in the Ray Frederick Gallery, room 306, on the Marshalltown Community College campus. The exhibit opens with a reception at 12:15-1:30 pm, Wednesday, Jan. 20, and will be on display through noon Friday, Feb. 12.

Nick is a former MCC student and art major who looks forward to returning to the place where it all started. This month’s exhibit will feature a wide spectrum of Nick’s work, including ink drawings, collages, and sculptures.

“Some of my work is very simple, but most of my art is quite intricate and meticulously constructed,” says Nick, who is currently an art teacher (K-8) in the East Marshall School District. “I enjoy taking time in small spaces, both in reality and in my work. There’s just something incredible about breaking up space again and again. A seashell comes to mind—the further in you go, the smaller and more intimate the space becomes.”

Nick was born and raised in Marshalltown, attending Rogers Elementary School, Miller Middle School, and Marshalltown High School. In high school he began getting more interested in the arts and says he would “draw all the time”. After high school he attended MCC, earning his A.A. degree and eventually transferring to the University of Northern Iowa for his teaching degree.

“I attended MCC one semester after high school and took all the art classes I could wrap my mind around,” says Beard. “I loved being in the art studio and learned so much of my craft there.”

Nick says he chose MCC because it was close to home, and he wasn’t quite ready to commit to a university school. “Turns out MCC was a great fit for me. I still wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do with my life or career and I felt MCC was a good place to test the waters in different fields. I enjoy history and religious studies, as well as the arts, and MCC was able to provide those classes for me.”

MCC Art Professor, Tim Castle, is excited to welcome Nick back to campus. “This is a great example of a local citizen who came to MCC, went on to a university, and is now back in the area doing wonderful work in the arts with local kids,” says Castle.

The Ray Frederick Gallery is open weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information contact MCC Art Professor Tim Castle at 641-844-5776 or

“MCC really prepared me for college life and beyond. It taught me that I was responsible for my own education and that learning is a lifelong experience.  I learned the importance of being punctual, planning ahead, and being accountable. Overall, MCC played a huge part in my journey to become an artist/teacher.”

Nick lives in Marshalltown with his wife (Debra), daughter (Ajna), and dog (Alex).

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