FOREST CITY, IOWA, Jan. 16, 2019 – Waldorf University will host an artist reception for local artist Tonja Ihlenfeldt on Thursday, January 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the university gallery located at 106 S. Sixth St. Forest City, Iowa. The gallery doors will open at 6:30 p.m. to allow individuals to view Ihlenfeldt’s work. Ihlenfeldt’s pieces will be on display until March 1. 
A native Iowan, Ihlenfeldt's career began with a BFA in painting from Arizona State University. While being married to her high school sweetheart for over 28 years and raising seven children, she has been featured in galleries and shows all over the United States. 
Ihlenfeldt’s work has been found in homes as far away as Taiwan, Australia and Japan. A large portion of the proceeds from Tonja J Fine Arts goes to help orphans around the world. This part of Ihlenfeldt’s work was inspired in 2014 when she and her husband adopted two older children from an orphanage in Nicaragua. These paintings she calls her “Shine” series.
Ihlenfeldt’s mixed media pieces are a combination of photography and painting. The process begins with a photo that she has taken or a historical photo. Ihlenfeldt edits the photo, prints it on canvas and paints on the canvas with oils. The process of creating the final piece includes a bold yet controlled procedure of applying paint, leaving brush strokes, exposing parts of the photo and transforming the photograph into a painting. She loves bringing photos to life, especially when the image alone may not normally get a second look. Her desire is that each piece speaks to the heart of the viewer and conveys a message of hope. 
The artist reception is free to the public. The Waldorf University gallery is open Monday-Friday during regular university hours from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is free to visit.
About Waldorf University
Founded in 1903, Waldorf University is a regionally-accredited liberal arts university located in the heart of Forest City, Iowa. Waldorf delivers engaging learning experiences through innovative residential and online instruction, providing its students associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees and certificates in the areas of business, communication, criminal justice administration, education, music, psychology, theatre and more. Visit Waldorf.edu to learn more.