Level 8 JCP
Through August 16, 2013
Pink Conch Shells and Valladolid Masks
“I work primarily in oil paints that are on 44 in x 30 in black printer’s paper has been monoprinted with black water-based printing ink. This gives the paper a surface like a slate board and allows my pencil line drawings to show through when I coat it with a polymer substance. I sometimes use a sketch book to plan out these narrative paintings before I put them on the large paper. At other times, I just draw on the surface as the images come to mind.
“The images are about my personal life, about political happenings, and just daily life things that have an effect on me. Sometimes the characters in the paintings take on animal forms that a person reminds me of or sometimes they can be inanimate objects. At times, the images are on a level plane along a horizon line and at other times they may be floating through the air in a dreamlike manner. I use color in a bold, expressionistic manner, and I have had the comment many times that my work resembles stained glass windows. This is probably because the lines from the pencil markings show through like a black lead line.
“I have just returned from a trip to the Italian Riviera, Florence, the French Riviera, Paris, and Strasbourg. I would imagine some of the images from this recent trip will show up in my new paintings. In January I had stayed in Isla de Mujeres in the Yucatan Penisula. This entirely different landscape will probably make its emergence. I love palm trees and the turquoise color of the water in this area. I hope to make some paintings that will take the viewers to another imaginary place and let them dream their own thoughts into the works.”
Level 8 JCP
Michael S. Ryan
Through August 2, 2013
Last Bit of Snow
Michael S. Ryan (b. 1947) is a native Iowan and has lived in Iowa most of his life. He was educated at Drake University, Old Dominion University, and the University of Iowa. He is passionate about landscape painting and, in particular, the upper Mississippi River valley and the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Ryan teaches classes in oil painting and landscape painting for both beginning and advanced students in studio and is a mentor to young artists in eastern Iowa. His work is part of the permanent collections of both individuals and large institutions. His work is also included in the permanent collections of the University of Iowa and the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.
"The importance of the hand of the artist in the visual arts cannot be overstated in this age of instant access to virtually everything. The hand is, of course, is not only the actual mark that the artist makes, but also the process of creating a piece of art and that is what ultimately makes it valuable. My paintings are not true landscapes per se, but are rather paintings about landscapes using color, shape, and composition to express a concept of landscape. I hope that the end result is contemporary and poetic.
"The paintings in this exhibition are a collection of impressions of the landscapes found in the upper Mississippi Valley and in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, two of my favorite places to paint. Most of these paintings have their origin in plein air (painting on location) but are expanded upon and finished in the studio. No attempt has been made to render them precisely as you would see them in nature. Instead, this artist feels it is more important to make a painting that proclaims that this is art not a photographic rendering. To that end, colors are frequently more vibrant, designs are altered, patterns are enhanced, and the poetic elements found in landscape are often emphasized. This is all done in the hopes of positive response from the viewers of this exhibit."
Level 8 JCP
Fiber Mosaic Art
Through July 12, 2013
Lori Miller was born and raised in the Quad Cities area. A graduate of Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa, she is largely self-taught and has developed a unique fiber mosaic style. Working in this medium for over thirteen years, she continues to find new inspiration and techniques. In 2012, Miller was chosen by the Iowa Arts Council as the second place winner for her original work Pieces of Iowa to the World, which celebrates Iowa’s agricultural impact.
"Over the years, I’ve been asked numerous times how I came up with the idea to use fabrics in my artwork. It’s one of the easiest questions to answer because I simply love fabric. I like how different fabrics feel, how they look and behave when I’m working with them in my projects. I was never much of a seamstress, so this technique gives me the opportunity to be around a lot of different fabrics without the pressure of actually sewing.
"Taking this love of fabric and combining it with the beauty of mosaic, I have created my own type of art. The strong contrast of the colors and the addition of textures make this pursuit enjoyable and challenging. I keep finding ways to expand my thinking and play within my medium. My current style is much more time-consuming, as I develop the pieces and work to capture an overall image. It has been highly satisfying to see each piece play its part in the whole as I strive to create the energy of my ideas in mosaic form."
Elevator C, Level 1
Through July 9, 2013
"Welcome to my enthusiasm for gourd art! I received a B.A. in Studio Art from Dickinson College in 1976. Since then I have had a self-taught hand in woodcarving, cartooning, and watercolor painting. A passion for working with gourds began in 2002. My design sense comes from my father, Joseph D. Messner, founder of the Iowa Watercolor Society. I live and work in Cedar Rapids, IA, and am a member of the Iowa Gourd Society.
I enjoy researching cultural imagery along with ancient symbols and patterns, combining them with the primitive feel of a gourd, a natural object. Contemporary themes are also fun and challenging. Several pieces have found their way as gifts to friends in other countries. Cultures represented in my works include Native American, Mayan, Celtic, African, Japanese and many more.
A variety of carving techniques are used. My most useful tool is patience. Carving gourds requires a good balance of design, color, Exacto knife skills, and hand strength. Gallery-quality gourds are acquired from gourd farms in Arizona and Southern California. (Try visiting Welburn Gourd Farm, my favorite). Coloring is done with permanent inks, wood stains, and leather dyes, and cabochon stones often accent the design work. Enjoy!"
The Enchanted World of Elves and Fairies
Through July 11, 2013
A collaboration between artist Debra Pughe and the students of Iowa City's Southeast Junior High, this exhibit features two fantastical dioramas showcasing the everyday lives of elves and fairies throughout the four seasons of their magical world. It includes a snowy sledding hill and elfin ice cave; an autumnal tree of fairy queens; a summery display of flowers and an elf tailor, bakery, market, and butterfly carousel; and a spring fairy castle and fairy potions laboratory, boutique, school, reading nook, and garden café.