Chris Brees exhibit in MCC Ray Frederick Gallery begins Jan. 24

MARSHALLTOWN – The Ray Frederick Gallery at Marshalltown Community College has thehonor of hosting Chris Brees’ upcoming exhibit “Our Pain is Never Wasted,” Jan. 24 – Feb. 16. A public reception will be held on Wednesday, January 24, noon to 1:30 pm. Chris Brees exhibit in MCC Ray Frederick Gallery begins Jan. 24

This will be Brees’ second exhibit at MCC but the first in the renovated gallery. It will be a continuation of his first exhibit “Attic of My Disposition,” held in 2020. “Even though this is similar to my first exhibit, the feel will be quite different,” commented Brees, “I want this exhibit to be more thought provoking. It is going to be more of a reflection on things that are painful when they are happening but build your character and who you are as a person. You may think at the time you can’t handle anymore but it helps push you through.”

The display will include graphite, pencil, charcoal, and pastels. There will also be some installation pieces that include both large and small and even several that are two or three pieces that are displayed together.

The exhibit will include pieces that are very personal to Brees. “People won’t need to know the story to enjoy the piece of work. Some of them have been therapeutic for me. Every piece of art that I create has some personal value.” The first exhibit Brees has was during COVID. He feels his pieces at that time felt a little darker. Not the pieces but the thought behind them. The loneliness of the time.

For the exhibit starting Jan. 24, he feels there is more of a feeling of coming out the other side of that loneliness. “We went through it. We won. It is a time for reflection, of watching students grow and wanting to show them that it is fine and any pain or things they are going through will only make them stronger.”

Brees feels that his art is a way for him to share a little part of who he is. “As I have grown older, I care but I don’t care. This is me. If it offends someone it’s not meant to but I’m not going to hide who I am. It’s cool to share a part of myself but even if they don’t even know what they are looking at.”

Some “hidden” aspects to the art that will be on display for Brees. Every show he has includes at least one piece that has a crown of thorns. “There is even one piece that is still touring since I was in college that has the same symbol.” Along with the crown of thorns, the title of each piece is from a song lyric. Both of these aspects help tie Brees’ pieces together.

Brees is looking forward to displaying in the new Ray Frederick Gallery. “The space is much more open now. I’m looking forward to seeing how it translates from my mind in person.”

When asked what he is hoping others will take away when viewing his art he said, “I hope people enjoy it. That being said, I have struggled my whole life having to meet others’ expectations in my own head. But sometimes what you are is enough and what you are giving is enough. I want people to take away your pain is enough. It’s not wasted, it’s part of your life. Everyone has a purpose. We all walk in different shoes. Just remembering. There is too much hate in this world to hate someone you know nothing about. Don’t bring others’ pain onto yourself.”

Even though there is a lot of meaning behind the art for Brees he commented that it is also just a creative avenue for him. Create for the sake of creating. “I appreciate the opportunity to share my art in the Ray Frederick Gallery. I also appreciate that Marshalltown is trying to revitalize art in the community. I think there needs to be more of it. Any time a creative mind can be working there should be that opportunity. I love art. Seize the opportunity to take an art class. Just take one. You might find a passion or interest that you love.”

All of the pieces on display will be for sale. 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