All are invited to the Annual Ice Cream Social presented by the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center. This family-friendly event will be held on Sunday, June 25th from 1 to 5 p.m. As always, there will be plenty of ice cream, desserts, children’s activities, and live entertainment.

Families are encouraged to join the Family Bike Ride organized by the Melon City Bike Club and Harper’s Cycling & Fitness. The group will depart from Discovery Park at 1 p.m. and will have the option of a short 3-mile round-trip ride or a longer 10-mile ride. Both rides will stop at the Art Center, and participants will receive a coupon for a free ice cream.

This year’s entertainment begins with the Muscatine Civic Choral at 1:15 p.m.; the Tubador will take the stage at 2:15 p.m.; and Pandelirium will perform at 3:15 p.m. The Pandelirium Steel Drum Band performs on instruments cut and hammered from 55 gallon oil barrels and their performances include a blend of musical styles ranging from traditional Calypsos and Soccas of Trinidad to Reggae. Their performance is presented in conjunction with the University of Iowa’s Arts Share program.

Much has changed at the Muscatine Art Center since last year’s Ice Cream Social. The historic Musser-McColm house has reopened following many improvement projects. The house features a new “Learn to Look” family gallery - a hands-on space for kids - on the second floor. Another room in the house has been dedicated to the pattern glass and art glass collection. The central hallways on both the first and second floors have been re-installed with artwork from the permanent collection. The second floor hallway features a variety of portraits. On view in the changing galleries in the house is “Spring-motor Phonographs” from the collection of Brian Walter.

New technology features have been incorporated into the period rooms of the Musser McColm house. Two touchscreens provide detailed information about the objects on view on the main floor. In addition, a video kiosk has been installed in a newly formed orientation space.

The Stanley Gallery features the exhibition, “Not So Ordinary: Iowa Regionalists and Scenes of Rural Life”. The exhibition showcase the Muscatine Art Center’s permanent collection of works by Iowa artists such as Grant Wood, Marvin Cone, Harold Allison, Alma Held, John Bloom, and Juanita Jamison. The exhibition is on view through July 30, 2017.

Activities for children include kids’ games sponsored by CBI Bank & Trust and crafts in the studio. Borrowing from the themes of the works of art included in the “Not So Ordinary” exhibition, farmyard scenes and animals inspired many of this year’s games and crafts. Kids can try to “catch” cattle in the Steer Roping Ring Toss, play Tic Tac Toe with pigs and cows instead of X’s and O’s, and try to pin the tail on the Muscatine Art Center’s own pig, “Madame”. In the studio, kids can glue together an adorable doily sheep and recreate the famous rolling hill landscapes of Iowa Regionalist artist, Grant Wood, with a paper collage. Visitors are encouraged to pick up a passport with a list of all the activities. Kids who complete at least three of the six activities can select from a variety prizes.

Admission to the Ice Cream Social and related events is free. All proceeds from the sales of ice cream, desserts, and beverages go to the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center. Each year, the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center contribute financially toward the educational programs offered at the Muscatine Art Center, provide scholarships for students to attend Art Center studio classes, and pay for busing for area schools to visit the Art Center.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

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