“Message from Our Planet: Digital Art from the Thoma Collection" at the Figge Art Museum -- October 1 through December 31.

Saturday, October 1, through Saturday, December 31

Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA

A collection of 20 unique software, video, and light-technology artworks, the Figge Art Museum's latest touring exhibition Message from Our Planet: Digital Art from the Thoma Collection, on display from October 1 through December 31, will treat visitors to the Davenport venue to an arresting assemblage created by a diverse group of international artists working at the forefront of digital and electronic art.

With the exhibition backed by supporting sponsor American Bank & Trust and the contributing sponsors of the Carolyn Levine & Leonard Kallio Trust, Message from Our Planet: Digital Art from the Thoma Collection is curated by the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Foundation, and proposes that media technologies -- from vintage devices to cutting-edge digital algorithms -- offer distinct ways for artists to communicate with future generations. Organized like a time capsule, the exhibition’s artworks reflect the artifacts and ambitions of contemporary society. Inspired by the interstellar time-capsule containing examples of human culture sent with NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched into outer space in 1977, the exhibition recognizes that artworks may be theoretically reconstituted from their digital code by future worlds, to witness the multivocal message by this grouping of Earth’s artists who share the human desire to be understood.

Inspired to make contributions with wide-ranging yet personal impact, Carl and Marilynn Thoma founded the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation in 2014 to distinguish their initiatives in and support of the visual arts. The Thomas hold a strong belief that the arts play a seminal role in society, and the establishment of an arts-specific foundation allowed them to be secure in the knowledge that their passion in this area would be sustained for decades to come. In 2021, the Foundation was re-named to more broadly reflect our expanded efforts. The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation’s philanthropic reach extends beyond the artworld to strengthen community, leadership, and education initiatives in under-resourced and rural areas.
From 2015 to 2022, the Foundation has lent more than 1,100 works of art to over 165 exhibitions across the globe. In addition, the Foundation has made over 100 grants to nonprofit organizations totaling more than eight million dollars, awarded funding to 21 individuals for scholarly research, and hosted 26 exhibitions at its spaces. The Foundation’s collection numbers more than 1,600 works of art and continues to grow.

Message from Our Planet: Digital Art from the Thoma Collection will be on display from October 1 through December 31, with regular museum hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays (10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays) and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Museum admission is $4-10, and more information is available by calling (563)326-7804 and visiting FiggeArtMuseum.org.

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