Chris Anderson’s art shown in Beyond a Sunny Day exhibition

Chris Anderson with his painting "A Sunny Day" on display in Muscatine Center for Social Action's peer drop-in center.

MUSCATINE, Iowa–In September of 2020, The Muscatine Center for Social Action opened its peer drop-in center to provide a new mental health resource to the community. To mark the occasion, local artist Chris Anderson created a quartet of paintings, done in the style of famous artists who faced mental health challenges of their own. From Feb. 12-27 at the Sunrise Galleries, 144 E. Second Street, Anderson will exhibit these works, along with several sculptures on loan from the National Pearl Button Museum @ History and Industry Center.

“A Sunny Day,” one of Anderson’s most recognized works, reflects the style of Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.” Anderson reinterpreted the work by painting the sunrise over Muscatine from his apartment window.

“Sail,” reflects some elements of Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory,” marked by its iconic melting clocks. In “Sail,” Anderson included a waterfall to represent Dali’s search for renewal, as well as a flock of birds following a single white bird and a sailboat, which represent escaping bullying and finding a better future.

Throughout his life, Louis Wain created many paintings of cats ranging from highly realistic to psychedelic and abstract. In Anderson’s “Boots,” he captures Wain’s love of cats and bright style while celebrating Boots, MCSA’s beloved cat.

Jean Basquiat created a wide variety of both graffiti and exhibited art that deeply influenced hip hop culture. His works highlighted his own personal struggles and his experiences of racism. In painting in Basquiat’s style, Anderson created “The Message,” one of his favorite works to date, as it explores dealing with feelings of insecurity and moving past obstacles to achieve goals.

As Anderson prepares for his exhibition to open, he thanks everyone who helped him make it happen. He also welcomes further supporting MCSA, as a portion of sales from prints of his work will go to them. “I feel privileged to be able to help others in the community who need assistance dealing with issues like mental health, homelessness, and drug abuse,” he shared.