Art, Galleries & Museums
“Dribs + Daubs: Painters Mary Zeran and Dena Tollefson Explore Nature” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Paula Neuhaus   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 14:53
Art Exhibit October 4-November 4, 2011

Opening Reception on October 4, 6-9 p.m.

[MAQUOKETA, IA] Maquoketa Art Experience welcomes Iowa artists Mary Zeran and Dena Tollefson this October for their group exhibit “Dribs + Daubs: Painters Mary Zeran and Dena Tollefson Explore Nature”. Through their work, the two Cedar Rapids artists explore various acts of exploration including scientific, observation, deconstruction, and creation. Each artist employs differing methods and materials in their paintings, but the common link is the innovative approaches to leaving a mark on a surface.

Dena Tollefson’s body of work is a unique process she developed called “Daubism”. A true colorist, Tollefson individually mixes oil paint and applies “daubs” to the canvas with a palette knife. The largest daubs are applied with a serving spoon, allowing ridges of paint to catch the light and appear to dance as the viewer moves past the painting. Tollefson has exhibited nationally in Texas, New York, California, and Georgia and in galleries throughout eastern Iowa. Her work is part of permanent collections in The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, St. Luke’s Hospital, and The Marion Arts Council.

Mary Zeran’s work is seeped with juicy color, organic forms and lots of movement. She uses drips as an expression of rhythm, and motion, translating feelings and sensations into visual form. Pushing the limits of collage, Zeran layers multiple pieces of acetate to create imaginary abstract worlds. Zeran has exhibited nationally at galleries in New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles and in galleries throughout eastern Iowa. Critics from Artweek, The New Art Examiner, and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer have reviewed her work. Her paintings are part of permanent collections with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The University of Iowa, and The University of Iowa Hospitals. She is a recipient of the Len Everet Scholarship and a graduate of The University of Iowa.

Maquoketa Art Experience will host an opening reception for Mary Zeran and Dena Tollefson on Friday, October 4 from 6-9 p.m. at 124 S. Main Street in Maquoketa. The exhibit will run through November 4.

Maquoketa Art Experience is dedicated to bringing accomplished artists to Maquoketa for short- and long-term residencies, workshops, and exhibitions. For more information contact Director Paula Neuhaus at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling 563.652.9925.

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Figge introduces new art and w(h)ine program to Thursday nights PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 08:17

Davenport, Iowa - September 2011 – Coming to the Figge this fall is “W(h)ine & Art.” Held on the first Thursday of the month, this two hour studio activity will provide a relaxed, creative outlet without the pressure of a committed class schedule. Each month will feature a different artistic project taught by local Quad Cities artists.  Participants can learn painting, sculpture, printmaking and more while enjoying a glass of wine and light hors d’oeuvres. The first “W(h)ine & Art” program is Thursday, October 1 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the project will be printmaking. Come be a part of the casual conversation and creative atmosphere. Each program is $15 per person. The price includes wine, hors d’oeuvres and art materials.

To preregister or for additional information about this program, please contact Heather at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 563-326-7804 ext. 2045.

The Figge Art Museum is located on the riverfront in Downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, Sundays noon to 5 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  To contact the museum, please call 563-326-7804, or visit www.figgeartmuseum.org.

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ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS ARTIST CREATES DYNAMIC SCULPTURE FROM DEBRIS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 08:06

Installation of Plastic Debris Sculptures Opens Saturday

Davenport, Iowa - September 2011 – Environmental recovery is an issue that begins with pollution and affects each person. For some, it is a subject for inspiration. Brooklyn-based artist, Aurora Robson, uses pollution as a vehicle to communicate her nightmares, while converting the negative into something positive. She creates large scale sculptures from plastic bags, bottle caps and similarly discarded materials and shapes them into masses, composed of unique forms. Each sculpture in Everything, All at Once, Forever is unique, and when placed together, acts as visual commentary on the movement of artists against pollutants. The relayed messages of good growing from bad, light sprouting from darkness and new ideas stemming from old challenges are strong, yet poetic. In her own words, “in nature, everything occurs at once, always” and change is constant: what is negative and dark has the potential to become positive and light.

Robson’s work shines a light on a growing theme in contemporary art circles. Environmental awareness and problem-solving has impacted the art community just as it has the science community. It’s a topic that students are learning more about in schools, which gives this installation another facet of purpose at the Figge. The exhibition is an educational example of the power of art, as well as a thought-provoking ensemble reflecting passionate creativity.

The exhibition Everything, All at Once, Forever opens on September 24 and will be on view until January 14, 2012. The installation pieces will supplement Up Drop, a piece that the Figge has on loan from Gallery 212 in Denver. The exhibition will be located in the Orientation Gallery on the first floor.

Everything, All at Once, Forever is sponsored by Iowa American Water.

The Figge Art Museum is located on the riverfront in Downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, Sundays noon to 5 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  To contact the museum, please call 563.326.7804, or visit www.figgeartmuseum.org.

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Brucemore’s Autumn Landscape Hike PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Tara Richards   
Monday, 19 September 2011 09:14

Embrace the harvest season by joining Brucemore’s gardeners on Saturday, October 15 at 10:30 a.m. for the Autumn Landscape Hike.  Set amid the subtle and spectacular dressings of the 26-acre autumnal landscape, this 90-minute walk will blend a discussion of current preservation issues, the importance of public use, and the seasonal chores that preserve the historic grounds. Participants will see how planting choices with sensitivity to native species and seasonal display affect the overarching impact of a landscape design. The colors of the season – from dusky plum to rusty barn red – will naturally highlight the “outdoor rooms” of the original landscape design by O.C. Simonds. Participants will have the opportunity to seek advice about their own gardens and landscapes from Brucemore Gardeners Deb Engmark and David Morton or ask questions ranging from the cultural needs of particular plants to landscape design issues past and present.

Admission is $10.00 per person and $7.00 per Brucemore member. Space is limited. Advance ticket purchase required. Please call (319) 362-7375 or stop by the Brucemore Store to purchase tickets. For more information, visit www.brucemore.org.

Brucemore, Iowa’s only National Trust Historic Site, is located at 2160 Linden Drive SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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Muscatine Art Center Offers Free Admission on Smithsonian Magazine’s Seventh Annual Museum Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Lynn Bartenhagen   
Monday, 19 September 2011 09:04
--Museum Day 2011 Poised to be Largest to Date--

 

Muscatine and the Civil War: A Sesquicentennial Commemoration

 

Muscatine, Iowa—On Saturday, September 24, 2011, the Muscatine Art Center will participate in the seventh annual Museum Day. The Muscatine Art Center will join participating museums and cultural institutions nationwide to open their doors free of charge to all visitors who download the Museum Day Ticket from Smithsonian.com. Museum Day is a celebration of the dissemination of knowledge to anyone and everyone interested, without a price tag, emulating the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, D.C.-based facilities.

 

With support from CITGO, Museum Day 2011 is poised to be the largest to date, outdoing last year’s record-breaking event. In 2010, museum goers downloaded 227,747 tickets resulting in more than 500,000 museum-goers visiting over 1,300 venues in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

 

The Muscatine Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine, Iowa has an exhibition on view through January 29, 2012 detailing the role the citizens of Muscatine and Muscatine County played in the Civil War. The exhibition will include the unveiling of original letters penned by Muscatine soldiers Daniel J. Parvin and Charles T. Ruger. These letters provide a remarkable first-hand account of the daily life of a soldier. On September 21, 1861 Daniel James Parvin said goodbye to his wife Sarah and their infant son Fred and enlisted as a private in the Union Army, Iowa 11th Infantry, Company H, in Muscatine, Iowa. Mr. Parvin wrote 117 letters to his wife and other family members back in Muscatine from the time he left home until the time he returned in the fall of 1864 after sustaining a critical injury in the Siege of Atlanta.

 

To make history come alive for students and other visitors the Art Center will be re-creating a battlefield campground using Civil War artifacts. As part of this campground there will be a laser projected 3-D image of an actor dressed in Union Army uniform portraying Daniel Parvin and reading portions of his letters to the audience. By pushing a button visitors may experience every-day camp life including: writing and receiving letters, sickness and medical services, army food, pay and discipline, guard and picket duty, and much more. Visitors will also learn of Parvin’s emphatic opinions of contemporary people and events, including his opinions of Abraham Lincoln, General Ulysses S. Grant, the Emancipation Proclamation, the advent Union black regiments, Southern sympathizers in the North and the Confederate cause in general.

Other original material including Civil War rosters, mustering-in rosters and personal artifacts belonging to half a dozen Muscatine soldiers are included as is a Civil War flag made by the Methodist Church Ladies Aid of Wilton Junction (now Wilton), Iowa.

 

The Museum Day Ticket is available to download at www.smithsonian.com/museumday. A list of participating museums is available at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/venues/. Visitors who present the official pass will gain free admission for two people to participating museums and cultural venues. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. For more information about Smithsonian magazine Museum Day 2011 and links to participating museums’ and supporters’ sites, please visit Smithsonian.com/museumday.

About Smithsonian Media
Smithsonian Media comprises Smithsonian magazine, Air & Space, goSmithsonian, Smithsonian Media Digital Network and the Smithsonian Channel. Smithsonian Media’s flagship publication, Smithsonian magazine, is one of the nation’s largest magazines with a circulation of more than 2 million and nearly 7 million readers. Smithsonian Media is a division of Smithsonian Enterprises, the revenue-generating business unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. Approximately 30 million people from around the world visited the Smithsonian in 2010.

 

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