William Havlicek's “The Sanctuary of the Sun: Seasons & Time" at the Muscatine Art Center -- through September 11.

Through Sunday, September 11

Muscatine Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine IA

With the exhibit's title taken from Psalm 19 and its sacred celebration of the sun and the life that flourishes under its radiant light, painter William Havlicek's The Sanctuary of the Sun: Seasons & Time will be on display at the historic house of the Muscatine Art Center through September 11, its series selections described by the artist as "a poetic eulogy to Iowa’s seasonal changes, ochre harvests, russet woods, and silent streams.”

In the early 1970s, Havlicek, a Cedar Rapids native, had one of his first museum shows at what was then known as the Laura Musser Museum, and while he currently lives in California, the artist explains that “Iowa has left deep roots in me.” After graduation from Cedar Rapids' Jefferson High School, Havlicek enrolled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), where he earned a BFA degree in painting. During his junior year of college, he completed a foreign-exchange program in Haarlem, Netherlands at Atelier ’63, an international Dutch art program that attracted celebrated artists such as Eva Hesse. That year in Holland planted the seed for an area of interest that eventually resulted in the book, Van Gogh's Untold Journey, published in 2010 and an upcoming three-volume set Havlicek is co-authoring about Van Gogh's sister-in-law Johanna Van Gogh Bonger and her key role in bringing his art and letters to the world.

Following his graduation from MCAD, Havlicek was drafted and worked as an Army psychiatric orderly at Tripler Military Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. While on leave, he toured Japan and the Hawaiian Islands and attended the University of Hawaii's renowned East/West Center, taking courses in Asian and Islamic art and studying the collection at the Honolulu Academy of Art. Havlicek enrolled in graduate school at the University of Iowa after his military tour, earning MA and MFA degrees in painting and art history and living in Kolona, Iowa, in an Amish community, working part-time as a field hand. His studio was located on the second story of a 19th-century farm house and was immersed in the constant change of seasons on view through the tall windows opening onto massive clouds, wild flowers, dense thickets, and woods. Graduate school also afforded professional participation in group shows at Laura Musser Museum, Des Moines Art Center, the University of Iowa Art Museum, and the Cedar Rapids Art Museum.

"The Sanctuary of the Sun: Seasons & Tim"

Academic life at MCAD, the University of Iowa, and later a doctoral program at Claremont Graduate University meant learning from prominent art historians and artists including Josef Albers, Harold Rosenburg, Roberto Matta, Christo, Esteve Vincente, and many others. A full-time professorship at Laguna College of Art and Design and a key role in their Summer Abroad Program afforded absorbing hours in great European museums and helped clarify his vision as an artist. Havlicek’s exhibition history spans over 40 years with numerous group and one-man shows both nationally and internationally, and his paintings are included in more than 100 collections both public and private.

The Sanctuary of the Sun: Seasons & Time will be on display through September 11, with regular gallery hours Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. While admission is free, donations are appreciated, and more information is available by calling (563)263-8282 and visiting MuscatineArtCenter.org.

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