Molding her love into Alley Art

Friday, August 11, 2017
(Sentinel Photo by Thomas Schreiber) Glenda Drennen stands in front of her latest contribution to the Le Mars Main Street Alley Art program. Drennen said the unique shape of her canvasses, three panels, inspired her to think outside the box and paint French high-rises. Drennen already has plans in the works for more Alley Art projects.

LE MARS — As an avid artist, it’s no surprise Glenda Drennen, of Sioux City has been heavily involved with the Le Mars Main Street Alley Art program.

Drennen has been responsible for the mural of ladies drinking tea behind Zestos Sheperd’s Closet, 35 Central Ave., and three panels behind Family First Dental, 29 Plymouth St. West.

“I always loved painting and artwork as a child,” Drennen said. “As an adult, mid-life even, I recognized that I enjoyed it so much that I spend a lot of time painting and doing artwork.”

Drennen’s latest contribution, three picturesque French businesses painted on approximately 4x8 feet panels behind Century 21 ProLink, 41 Central Ave. N.W., were completed and installed in July.

“They made panels to fit exactly over where the windows had been. The panels are a little unusual in terms of size and their ratio in terms of height to width,” Drennen said.

The unusual size meant Drennen had to think outside the box when coming up with a design.

“Since they’re tall and narrow, I chose to paint high rises somewhere in France,” Drennen said.

Before she started painting, Drennen turned to a sketch pad.

“I come up with a drawing. If I’m not happy with the drawing, I’m not excited about painting,” Drennen said. “If you paint large, what you draw as a plan on a small scale sometimes does not translate well to a larger format.”

Though she said it’s always satisfying to see her finished work displayed, Drennen said she gets more satisfaction from seeing bystanders stop to gaze at the downtown displays.

“I get a lot of comments, and I enjoy the fact that bystanders enjoy them,” Drennen said. “I feel it’s a wonderful project for Le Mars. Even though I moved to Sioux City, when I have friends or guests come from out of town, we frequently drive to Le Mars to look at Alley Art, and not just my own art.”

That desire to help better Le Mars has the Alley Art veteran putting her name down to complete even more projects in the future.

“I have a lot more Alley Art lined up. It’s waiting for me,” Drennen said. “I’m very pleased to be included in this wonderful project, and I’m proud for all the other artists and what’s been done for beautifying the alleys thus far. I know there’s more to come.”

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