Fine Arts on 5th in Malvern, Iowa

Jim Ahern takes painting lessons at Fine Arts on 5th in Malvern, Iowa, last year. The city is one of a dozen on the Southwest Iowa Art Tour next weekend.

Pssst, across the Missouri River is a state called Iowa.

It’s got rolling hills, sweet little towns and next weekend, a special art tour.

It can be easy for Omahans to forget that western Iowa is sooo close, even closer than parts of Omaha. But Sept. 20-22, Nebraskans are welcome to tour a dozen towns and check out the works of 90 different artists in them as part of the Southwest Iowa Art Tour, now in its sixth year.

There are so many towns and artists to check out that you might need all three days.

The art tour is organized in part by Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, a nonprofit trying to improve life in eight southwest Iowa counties.

For more information, check the website at

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Metro columnist

Columnist Erin Grace has covered a variety of beats since she started at The World-Herald in 1998 — from education to City Hall and from the city's western suburbs to its inner-city neighborhoods. Follow her on Twitter @ErinGraceOWH. Phone: 402-444-1136.

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