NICEVILLE — The Mattie Kelly Arts Center Galleries' first exhibition of 2018 is "America — the Dream of an Artist’s Life," featuring the works of Emil Holzhauer.

The exhibition is on view in the McIlroy and Holzhauer Galleries through March 2, and a public reception honoring the artist and his work is 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at the galleries, located at Northwest Florida State College, 100 College Blvd., Niceville.

Local author Dr. Audrey Edwards will be on hand to sign copies of her book, "Emil Holzhauer: The Portrait of an Artist." Light refreshments will be served.

Throughout 2017, 50 works from the Northwest Florida State College Permanent Collection were on loan from the Arts Center Galleries to the Museum und Galerie im Prediger in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, the birthplace of artist Emil Holzhauer.

The works were shown there as part of a trilogy of retrospective exhibitions honoring Gmünd’s most famous artistic exports, all of whom made their names in United States: Holzhauer, Emanuel Leutze and Regina Baumhauer.

"America — the Dream of an Artist’s Life" celebrates the return of Holzhauer’s paintings to Niceville. Accompanying the show in the Corridor Gallery are recent gifts to the Holzhauer Collection, some of which are on public view for the first time.

Since 1967, Northwest Florida State College has worked to preserve the artwork of painter Emil Eugen Holzhauer (1887-1986).

The Mattie Kelly Arts Center Galleries are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 90 minutes prior to most MKAC Mainstage performances. The galleries are always free to visit.

Contact Gallery Director K.C. Williams, 729-6044 or williamk@nwfsc.edu, for more information about the galleries or the reception.