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Siri Garcia’s “Dream Diaries” to be featured in Ray Frederick Gallery

Siri Full size photo

Ames artist Siri Garcia will be this year’s first featured artist in the MCC Ray Frederick Gallery. He’s pictured with some of his paintings that will be featured during the exhibit. All artwork displayed during the exhibit will be for sale.

MARSHALLTOWN – Ames artist and former MCC student Siri Garcia will kick off the new academic year as the first featured artist in the Ray Frederick Gallery, room 306, on the Marshalltown Community College campus. His exhibit, entitled “Dream Diaries,” opens with a reception from 6:45 to 9 pm on Thursday, Sept. 12, and will be on display through noon Friday, Oct. 4.

Garcia says his show will include mostly acrylics and some pieces using sharpies or pens.

Garcia attended Marshalltown Community College in 2014-16. After graduating from MCC he attended DMACC studying graphic design. During high school, his plan was to attend an art school, but during his senior year he visited MCC; after speaking with Art Professor Tim Castle, knew MCC was where he wanted to go. “Tim talked about art with me and I realized that he really knew what he was talking about,” commented Garcia.

Garcia’s exhibit will focus on Mexican-Americans. He will feature paintings of people and their stories of being directly affected by deportation as well as immigrants coming to America to live the American dream. When asked how he chose the theme of his exhibit, he said the subject was very close to his heart. “My mother was deported the spring of 2014, right before I graduated from high school. The people in the paintings are co-workers and friends. These people allowed me to tell their stories through my art. They have great stories to tell and even better to paint.” He will also have paintings of Mexican-Americans who have inspired him.

Because this is such a personal issue to Garcia, it is something he has not discussed a lot in the past. “I always felt like when it was my time to showcase my art, I would bring these paintings out and show where I started. This is what made me start painting.”

“My mother being deported was what motivated me to become a better person. It is what inspired me and drove me to go to school. I live my life to be excellent at whatever I do.”

Garcia’s love of painting is obvious in his work, but it hasn’t always been what he wanted to do. “I always hated painting and preferred drawing.” His Ames High School Art Teacher, Shelli Hassebrock, encouraged him to try painting. “She thought my style would transform well into painting. My first ever painting was right after my mom was deported. Painting allowed me to let it all out. My love for painting grew. If I could keep painting my stories, then maybe I could change lives, I could tell other people’s stories, too.”

Along with the art exhibit, the reception on Thursday, Sept. 12, from 6:45 to 9 pm at Marshalltown Community College, 3702 S. Center St. Faust Student Union will include a presentation. The evening will include, friends invited by Garcia who have suffered due to the current political upheaval. Guests will tell their stories on stage and Garcia will unveil a painting of them. An Ames band, K.u.b., will be performing during the reception as well. The gallery will be opened to showcase Garcia’s paintings during the course of the evening.

Though the subject may seem controversial to some, Garcia knows everyone is entitled to their opinion. “When I display my art I’m never worried about the reactions; if I was, I wouldn’t do it. There are people who are going through some of the same things I am and they can use my paintings as motivation,” commented Garcia. “I know this is a strong topic right now, but this is how I overcame what I’m going through. I hope my paintings inspire others.”

“We’re very happy to have one of our college’s favorite alumni come back and do this event,” commented Castle. “I know Siri’s work has progressed immensely since his time here at MCC and we’re excited to see his new creations.”

All artwork displayed during the exhibit will be for sale as well as Siricasso t-shirts designed by Siri. 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

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