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Artist premiers new show

When she was a little girl, Judy Hostvet-Paulson enjoyed first-run Hollywood movies at the Old Gem Theater.

Little did she know that decades later she would be the star attraction at the facility's latest show.

The work of this New Richmond multi-talented artist is featured at the Old Gem this month. An art exhibit opening and artist reception were held as part of the "Do It Downtown" promotion last Thursday.

"I don't display my work very often in New Richmond," Hostvet said as she set up her pieces in anticipation of the evening's festivities. "I usually have it displayed elsewhere."

She admits that she's delighted to be exhibiting at the Old Gem, where she saw her first horror movie ("The Fly") many years ago. She even fondly recalls attending a campaign speech by John F. Kennedy in the theater in the early 1960s.

"I have a lot of good memories here," Hostvet said, adding that there were a few humorous moments as well. "When we'd wait outside for our parents, the June bugs would fly in your hair."

Eventually, her own children came to appreciate the Old Gem building and its art programming. Her kids were involved in children's play productions for many years, and Hostvet often volunteered to create sets or handle other chores.

With her current exhibit, Hostvet feels as if she's come full circle.

A teacher at West Elementary for 24 years, Hostvet has been getting more involved in her artwork every year. She's been practicing various art mediums for about 18 years.

Her home work space, Back Water Studio, allows her to experiment will a variety of art forms. She works with pastels, water colors, acrylics, collage paper and mixed media.

She takes a variety of classes from other artists through the year to sharpen her skills or pick up new techniques. She even teaches a few classes herself at an art studio in Clear Lake.

Her art will be on display at the Old Gem through the entire month of April. Pieces are exhibited upstairs and down and many are for sale.