Art, Galleries & Museums
Award-winning Film on Life, Death and Rebirth of One-Room Schools to Screen at German American Heritage Center PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Kelly Lao   
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 09:32
Davenport, IA—Award-winning filmmakers Tammy and Kelly Rundle will appear with their documentary film Country School: One Room – One Nation at the German American Heritage Center, 712 West Second Street, Davenport, Iowa on Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. The program will feature a special presentation on German influences in Davenport schools by Jim Schebler from the Davenport Community Schools Museum followed at 2:00 p.m. by the documentary film and Q&A with the filmmakers. Apples and pencils will be given out on a first-come basis to attendees. This program is free for members and free with admission to the GAHC museum for non-members.

From immigration issues in early schools to the controversial demise of their widespread use in the 1950s and 1960s, Country School: One Room – One Nation combines visually stunning images of a myriad of restored and decaying buildings—including one designed by Frank Lloyd Wright—with surprising, humorous, and heartwarming stories from former teachers and students. More than just nostalgia, Country School also delves into the dark side of the one-room school experience and dispels the myths behind the revered institution that helped bind a young nation together.

Quad City Times film critic Linda Cook gave the film 4-out-of-4 stars and wrote: "Another documentary gem...vivid and fascinating."

Film reviewer Mike Schulz of the River Cities Reader wrote, "Country School emerges as a definitive portrait of education in a one-room environment, a work that's every bit as informative, engaging and impassioned as those telling its tales."

Country School: One Room – One Nation premiered at the State Historical Building in Des Moines in November 2010 and has been screening throughout the U.S. ever since. The DVD was released regionally in March and a national DVD release is scheduled in the fall through the Passion River Films. Midwestern PBS broadcasts are planned for Country School in 2012.

The filmmakers previously produced the award-winning documentaries Lost Nation: The Ioway and Villisca: Living with a Mystery. They are currently in production on the documentaries Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg and the sequel Lost Nation: The Ioway 2 & 3.

Country School: One Room – One Nation was funded in part by Humanities Iowa, the Kansas Humanities Council, the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area.


Area Artists Compete in World’s Largest Art Competition PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Dawn Wohlford-Metallo   
Thursday, 01 September 2011 08:26
Dawn Wohlford-Metallo, Bettendorf , IA ; Lisa Higby-Lefevre and Kate Askegaard, Dixon , IL all entered and gained acceptance into the world’s largest art competition, ArtPrize®, taking place in venues throughout Grand Rapids , Michigan from September 21 - October 9, 2011 .
ArtPrize® is an international competition with no jury or curator. The public votes on the top 10 pieces and eventually the overall winner. In its third year, ArtPrize® has become an unexpected phenomenon. Part arts festival, part social experiment, part civic project, the event overtakes an entire city bringing visitors in the hundreds of thousands. Venues and artists register and find each other through

Unlike any other event, ArtPrize® gives away the largest cash prize for an art competition--$250,000 to the winner, $484,000 total. The winner is decided solely by a public vote. The vote turns everyone from passive observer into active participant. Anyone 16 years of age or older with an email and valid government ID can vote at no charge, yet all voters must activate their voting status in person at the event. Yes, local residents wishing to support these regional artists will have to make the trip to Grand Rapids . Those making the trip will be immersed, enlightened and amazed by over 1500 works of art by artists from around the world, all within three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids .
The competition will be steep, yet Wohlford-Metallo, Higby-Lefevre and Askegaard all hope to make a name for themselves by participating in this competition.
States Wohlford-Metallo,
“The exposure alone is invaluable. When I attended ArtPrize® in 2010, I was the 1000th person to enter a particular venue on a particular afternoon. Multiply that by 19 days and you’ve got a lot of people seeing your work.”
Wohlford-Metallo, Visual Art Director for Quad City Arts in Rock Island , creates sculptural works primarily with paper pulp she makes herself in her home studio. In the past year, she has shown her work at the Crystal Cork Art Quarterly in Dixon , IL , Art@ Rock River GAP in Rock Falls , IL , and Bucktown Center for the Arts in Davenport , IA.  Dawn’s entry, “Compartmentalized States of Being” consists of 12 components, each cast from the same mould using handmade paper. The paper is then embellished with found objects and various surface techniques to illustrate a state of being or a state of mind.
Higby-LeFevre, artist and co-owner of Distinctive Gardens in Dixon , works in the pastel medium, most recently over-sized pastels of intricate abstraction.  She coordinates several local art venues including Dixon ’s Second Saturdays Art Happenings, a monthly cultural event. Showing extensively in the region, she captured numerous awards including third place at Freeport Art Museum ’s Regional Show 7 in Freeport , IL .  Her work is on continuous display at The Crystal Cork Wine Shoppe and Distinctive Gardens in Dixon .  Lisa’s entry, “Precipice of Change” is a 2’x4’ over-sized pastel depicting the brink of the Lower Falls in Yellowstone, National Park.  Using an abstract approach, the work when viewed from close range is shear abstract lines and shapes, but from afar is recognizable as the falls.
States Higby-LeFevre,
“ArtPrize® is like Second Saturdays on steroids.  Over 150 venues gather to
showcase artists for nineteen action packed days.  It’s phenomenal.”
Askegaard received her BFA in Sculpture in 2002 from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. After graduating, she worked creating patterns and molds for planters and fountains and helped create the ash urns in front of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City , and planters at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago Illinois .  She then went abroad, living in Ireland .  Upon return, she searched for a small town that had foundries and a strong art scene and found Dixon , IL .  She has shown at The Next Picture Show in Dixon, receiving an honorable mention for her work.  Kate’s entry, “True Love” is a multi-panel, 2-D life-size stippling drawing of Michelangelo’s “Pieta”.  Using ten’s of thousands of tiny, pain-staking dots, Kate created nine 19” x 24” panels for a final size of 5’x 5’ with a Steadler .05 Pigment liner on 100s Rag paper.
States Askegaard,
“I can't wait to see all this great art and interact with so many artists.”
For more information on ArtPrize®, and to view the three artists’ entries, visit:  For additional information:  Lisa Higby LeFevre website:; Kate Askegaard Blog:; Dawn Wohlford Metallo:

News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Art Gumbo   
Thursday, 01 September 2011 08:20

[DUBUQUE, IA.] Art Gumbo, a quarterly soup dinner that supports local art projects with community-supported micro-funding, is now accepting applications from arts groups or organizations for the fall funding cycle.  Applications for Art Gumbo mini grants for the fall funding cycle are available now through Thursday, September 22. Application questions are available at

Submission guidelines include the separation of individual artists and organizations or groups during funding cycles. Individual artists are not eligible to apply during the fall funding cycle. The first seven eligible applications received by 11:59 p.m. on September 22 will qualify to compete for funding.

Art Gumbo is an independent community-based initiative that funds local arts projects using money collected at quarterly soup dinners. During each Art Gumbo funding cycle, artists or arts organizations are invited to submit a brief project proposal that demonstrates an impact on the Dubuque community. The public is invited to attend and vote for their favorite proposal. A $10 donation at the door entitles the attendee to a locally prepared soup dinner and the opportunity to review all submitted proposals and to vote for their favorite. The Art Gumbo fund’s nightly proceeds will be awarded to the proposal that gets the most votes. Art Gumbo sessions will be hosted at new locations each quarter featuring soup by a regional food source. The next Art Gumbo Soup Dinner is scheduled for Thursday, September 29, 6-8 p.m. at Voices Warehouse Gallery, 1000 Jackson Street in Dubuque. The evening will feature a farmers market soup created and donated by members of Green Dubuque, cold beverages by Dubuque County Fine Arts Society & Voices From The Warehouse, with a special musical guest and a birthday cake to celebrate the Art Gumbo project’s first year.


For more information visit or contact Paula Neuhaus or Megan Starr at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Iconic Turn of the Century Posters at the Figge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 08:52

Davenport, Iowa - August 2011 – On Saturday, September 3, an exhibition of original nineteenth century posters from the Krannert Art Museum will open at the Figge Art Museum.  The exhibition highlights original posters by artists including Pierre Bonnard, Alphonse Mucha, Jan Toorop, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and illustrates how artists utilized lithography for different purposes and with varying regional stylistic characteristics.

In the late nineteenth century, the rise of color lithography along with an increasing demand for advertisements presented artists with an alternative space to exhibit their artworks. Mass-produced posters ranged from large-scale ads for consumer products such as lamp oil and bicycles, to promotional materials for cabaret performances at the Moulin Rouge or the Divan Japonais. Artists were also sought after to create intimate, small-scale prints for literary journals, playbills, and exhibition announcements, enabling their art and reputations to reach an ever-broadening audience.

The Figge will host a number of events in conjunction with this exhibition.  On Wednesday, September 7, Figge docents will lead an Art Lovers Book Club discussion at 1pm in the Figge’s Arts Café.  The club will discuss Toulouse-Lautrec: Scenes of the Night by Claire Freches-Throy and Jose Freches; this compassionate narrative is combined with reminiscences of the artist’s friends to vividly evoke Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s tragic, bohemian life.

A public reception for the exhibition will be held on Thursday, September 8 at 6pm.  A cocktail reception will begin at 6pm and at 7pm Kathryn Koca Polite, the exhibition curator from the Krannert Art Museum, will lead a talk that will explain how posters reflect changes in society and how the new technical developments in lithography inspired painters to use the largely commercial medium for artistic purposes.  Following the talk, Joseph Lappie and Allison Filley from St. Ambrose University will introduce lithography, and provide an opportunity to draw on lithographic stones and plates.

On Thursday, September 15 at 7pm Dr Dorothy Johnson will offer the art talk “Entertaining Visions: Toulouse-Lautrec and Fin-de-Siècle Paris”.  This talk will explore the fascinating career of Toulouse-Lautrec with particular emphasis on his engagement with the entertainment culture of Montmartre in fin-de-siècle Paris.   On September 22, Zaiga Thorson will lead a gallery talk at 7pm that will highlight elements of good design demonstrated in the exhibition.

Families are invited to a Free Family Event on October 1 from 1-4pm to celebrate the exhibition with studio art activities, stories, refreshments and more.  This event is sponsored by John Deere and Butler Insurance Services.

This exhibition and its programs are supported, in part, by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The views and opinions expressed by this program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities Iowa or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Turn of the Century Posters from the Krannert Art Museum Collection is curated by Kathryn Koca Polite, organized by Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and sponsored in part by Illinois Arts Council, a State Agency; Krannert Art Museum Director’s Circle; and Krannert Art Museum Council.

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


News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Tuesday, 30 August 2011 11:51

Davenport, Iowa - August 2011 – Architecture students in Iowa State University’s College of Design created designs for the construction of a fictional museum in Columbus, Indiana’s already architecturally diverse community and a selection of those designs will be on view at the Figge Art Museum starting September 3 in the exhibition, Innovative Objects of Design: Museum Proposals for Columbus, Indiana.  The student exhibition was preempted by a tour of the Figge last fall as part of a senior design course. Students were asked to design architecture based on several factors: creating an environment that goes beyond the traditional museum structure and one that has the ability to both stand out and blend in to a community that is already known for its architecture. Of the 75 proposed designs, only ten were chosen for display at the Figge.  


The exhibition will be on display in the Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery from September 3 until October 23. An exhibition reception is scheduled from 2-4 pm Saturday, September 24. At 2 pm, Rod Kruse, FAIA, LEED AP, Principal at BNIM Architects, will give a talk entitled, “Design Reflections.” A second talk, “Eponymous Exhibition: Developing Innovative Objects of Design,” will be presented by Rob Whitehead, AIA, LEEP AP, Principal at Whitehead Design Workshop and lecturer at Iowa State University Department of Architecture, and curator ofInnovative Objects of Design. The two short talks will last about an hour, and will be followed by a reception.  


With its strong commitment to art and design education, the Figge is committed to exhibiting the highest quality student work by area students in the Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery. Innovative Objects of Design was sponsored by Iowa State University, College of Design, and selected Department of Architecture students.  All exhibitions in the Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery are sponsored by the Brand Boeshaar Foundation Fund.  


Figge admission is $7. Admission to the talks and reception is free to Iowa State University students and alumni and their guests.  


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



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