Art, Galleries & Museums
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Friday, 24 February 2012 15:12

The Figge Art Museum is opening its new Artica Gallery on Saturday, February 25th, at 2 pm. A formal program in the auditorium will honor all project participants, followed by a ribbon cutting. Light refreshments will be served. The installation was made possible with support from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.


Artica helps visitors discover where artists find inspiration, how artists use their imagination to be creative, and how artists express their ideas. Artica also encourages visitors to look, imagine, and create. Five images from the Figge’s permanent collection, reproduced in vinyl, serve as the inspiration for the displays and hands-on activities. “Artica Guides” offer tips for parents and caregivers on what to talk about with children when viewing the five works of art.


Activities are designed for children, but many activities can be adapted to visitors of all ages. A brief description of each station is listed below:


Station 1:  Artists challenge us to see the world differently.

A linoleum print of a woman’s face by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso is the inspiration for the drawing activities at this station. To learn about the relief printmaking process, watch the 7-minute video featuring St. Ambrose University Art professor Joseph Lappie demonstrating how a multi-colored linoleum print is made. The film was produced by Matt Carroll, a professor in the Communications Department at St. Ambrose University. Self-portraits drawn by students who attend elementary schools in Bettendorf, Davenport, Geneseo, Moline, and Pleasant Valley are sprinkled throughout the gallery.


Station 2: Artists express what we feel.

Why are penguins vacationing in the Caribbean? After viewing this humorous picture painted by Haitian artist Jasmin Joseph, make your own penguin finger puppet or draw a picture of your favorite animal playing a musical instrument. Colorful pictures depicting animals playing musical instruments drawn by students who attend elementary schools in Bettendorf, Davenport, Geneseo, Moline, and Pleasant Valley will serve as inspiration.


Station 3: Artists make the ordinary extraordinary.

How could an artist transform a simple chair into a throne? One Haitian painter did just that by embellishing it with painted designs and flowers. After viewing this colorful work, try making your own miniature chair using a variety of materials.


Station 4: Artists engage our imagination.

The colorful “gingerbread” houses that were constructed in Haiti around the turn of the 20th century are characterized by bright colors, tall ceilings, decorative latticework, and wrap-around porches. After viewing this imaginative painting, construct your own “gingerbread” house using the provided template. Colorful blocks and Legos are also available for aspiring young architects.


Station 5: Artists play with line, shape and color.

The Spanish artist Joan Miró created playful images using expressive lines, unique shapes, and bright colors. Experiment with color using the large wall board or the computer software programs.


The Artica Gallery also includes picture books that help teach children about the Artica concepts of inspiration, imagination, and expression.


Leanne Paetz of Pederson Paetz, Omaha, designed the Artica Gallery. The palette of cool colors including aqua, blue, and green was inspired by the colors in the painting of the penguins described above. The playful font and design elements create a lively, animated space that will appeal to children and those young at heart.


Admission to the reception is $10 per families. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members. The Artica Gallery is open during regular museum hours and is free with admission or membership.


For information about museum programs, visit the Figge website at



Local Artist, Mark Soenksen to Make Gallery Debut at Peaceful River PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Jake Glimco   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 09:23

McCausland, IA / February 17, 2012 – Peaceful River Trading Co. will feature the work of DeWitt, Iowa native, Mark Soenksen on Thursday, February 23rd from 4pm to 7pm at Peaceful River Trading Co. in McCausland.  Mark’s show this month will be the first in a series of gallery nights hosted throughout the year by this unique McCausland shop.

Mark Soenksen expressed, “I am honored and thankful for the opportunity to exhibit my work and I appreciate all the support Peaceful River Trading Co. has given me”.   Soenksen has come a long way from his childhood days of doodling on the walls of the family farm.  As a youth, he honed his creative energy by drawing his heroes from Sci-Fi stories and comic books.  His passion for art intensified as he grew older, leading him to enroll in as many art classes as he could in high school.  Mark later attended Iowa State University and graduated in 1994 with majors in Drawing, Painting and Print Making and a minor in Sociology.  Since then, Mark has explored his zeal for painting by focusing on the human figure, usually incorporating Sci-Fi themes into his work. He also enjoys drawing his family farm.

“Mark just needed a little push to start selling his work and we are glad to help.  We are so excited to have a place for local artists and crafters to display and sell their beautiful and creative work!  We look forward to promoting local artists throughout the year,” says Peaceful River Owner, Sheila Bosworth.

Peaceful River brings visitors back to a simpler time and is housed in a beautiful, circa-1916 bank building, formerly the home of McCausland State Bank. They carry many items from arts and crafts to antiques, gifts, and collectibles. Peaceful River Trading Co. is open from 10am to 5pm Wednesday through Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sundays.  McCausland is located about 20 miles northeast of Davenport, just off Utica Ridge Road on F33 and 5 minutes north of Scott County Park.  Explore Peaceful River Trading Co. at


News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Sharyn Reitz   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 08:55




IOWA CITY – SUNDAYS AT FOUR, a free community arts series, will present JOY KILLS SORROW, a Boston-based string band, on March 4 at 4pm, at the Congregational United Church of Christ, 30 N. Clinton Street in Iowa City.

Joy Kills Sorrow is a “newgrass” band with five young performers who joined together in Boston after their classical training.  Iowa City native Bridget Kearney is the bassist and primary songwriter for the band.

Come and spend an hour with the lamenting music of the heartland, singular stories of heartache and laughter, beautiful string arrangements and pure ensemble singing.

For more information on the SUNDAYS AT FOUR series, call 319-337-4301 or visit the church's website at  The Congregational United Church of Christ is located at 30 N. Clinton Street, across from the University of Iowa Pentacrest.  The Church is handicapped-accessible.

Artist Mary Zeran "Small Branch:New Collage" PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Maquoketa Arts   
Friday, 17 February 2012 15:39
Maquoketa Art Experience Exhibits “Small Branch: New Collage” by Mary Zeran

From March 1st to April 13th, 2012, Maquoketa Arts Experience will be exhibiting Small Branch: New Collage by Cedar Rapids, Iowa artist Mary Zeran. The exhibition will held in MAE’s Maquoketa 124 S. Main St. space.

Small Branch: New Collage by Mary Zeran, consists of new work Zeran created specifically for the MAE exhibit. “I feel a certain calm when I am in Iowa. There is nothing like driving through the countryside to help me feel grounded and soothed.” Zeran said. “When I look at our landscape, I see and hear music and movement. Our landscape is like a wonderful musical passage filled with curves, movement of the wind, and scruffy colorful wildness.” Exploring the idea of “place”, Zeran is fascinated with what it means to be a native Iowan. Seeing the landscape with fresh eyes after moving back to Iowa in 2005, her boldly colored abstract collage describe the movement, emotions, and rhythm of her native state.

Iowan by birth, Cedar Rapids artist Mary Zeran has lived in 12 different cities including Portland, Or, and Seattle, WA. Her work can be found in permanent collections throughout the state and country. Her collages are created primarily in acrylic on Duralar (an archival acetate) and are known for their juicy colors, and organic forms suspended in multiple layers of glaze. “I am thrilled to be exhibiting at Maquoketa Art experience.” said Zeran. “ I am inspired by their mission to share art with their local community.” .

From March 1st to April 30th, an online version of the exhibition will be posted on Zeran’s flickr site at .

An opening reception will be held March 9th, 5pm to 7:30pm at Maquoketa Arts Experience, 124 S. Main St., Maquoketa, IA 52060

For further information about Mary Zeran’s work including dates and times for upcoming exhibitions, please visit her website at or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information call: Maquoketa Art Experience (563)652-9925 or visit

High resolution color images available on request.

Minneapolis Children’s Book Illustrator to Lead Workshop at the Figge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 12:45

(Davenport, Iowa – February, 2012)  On Saturday, February 18 the Figge Art Museum will host “The Luck of the Draw,” a 3-part program led by illustrator Cori Doerrfeld.  The program begins at 1pm with a presentation in the auditorium.  At 2pm, Doerrfeld will lead an illustration demonstration in the studios.  Program participants will be invited to take part in hands-on activities at 3pm.  The program is designed for aspiring illustrators of all ages and is free with museum membership or paid admission.


In her presentation, Doerrfeld will review her journey towards becoming a published illustrator and author. She will share the stories that have shaped her career, revealing what she did to get noticed, but also how luck played a part in each and every step. Doerrfeld says she was never a huge risk taker, but nevertheless, decided to take a leap and pursue a career as an illustrator.

"I fully believed in my abilities, but the luck factor is a hard thing to control. Finding my way from a child drawing unicorns on school folders to a published illustrator/author is really the result of a perfect mix of both ambition and luck. Where I went to grad school, how I got my agent, or how I even got my first book deal are all partially due to simply being in the right place at the right time. Each subsequent book project has also felt like a mixed blessing of ingenuity and getting lucky," states Doerrfeld.

The presentation will include several personal images such as childhood drawings, sketchbook pages, and process photos. Doerrfeld will also discuss some of her personal experiences in the publishing world and what it has been like to work with different publishing houses and editors.  Following the lecture, Doerrfeld invites guests to spend some time with her in the studio. There will be original artwork for people to view, process materials, and a few simple projects for people to participate in.

Cori Doerrfeld received a B.A. in studio art from St. Olaf College, as well as her Post Baccalaureate in illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She has illustrated Welcome to Your World, Baby! and It’s the Best Day Ever, Dad!, both by actress Brooke Shields (Harper Collins), as well as both Seashore Baby and Snowflake Baby by Elise Broach (Little, Brown). Doerrfeld recently released a picture book she wrote herself, Penny Loves Pink (Little, Brown). Doerrfeld lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is represented by Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency.

At 4pm, the Figge Museum Store will hold a book signing with Doerrfeld.  Four books that Doerrfeld illustrated will be for sale, including Penny Loves Pink, Seashore Baby and Snowflake Baby. Little Bunny Foo Foo (Dial Books) by Doerrfeld was released in January 2012 and will also be available.


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