Eastern Iowa Arts organization hosts weeklong workshop with renowned artist Ellen Wagener, including one day event at Grant Wood's Stone City highlighting Regionalist Art.

Maquoketa, Iowa, Monday, July 13, 2009: Maquoketa Art Experience launches the first of four seasonal landscape workshops, each featuring a noted landscape artist as the instructor. The first of these workshops is in August and includes a two hour symposium with Grant Wood scholars.

    Dates: August 17th- 21st, 2009

    Location: Maquoketa Art Experience Studio and Gallery, 124 S. Main Street, Maquoketa, IA 52060

    Cost: $395 - Space is limited, and a $200 deposit is required to reserve a space for the workshop.

    For more information or to register: Call 563-652-9925.

    Workshop deposits can be mailed to PO Box 993, Maquoketa, IA 52060.

This summer workshop is the first of four seasonal workshops focusing on the natural resources and beauty of Eastern Iowa. This five-day summer landscape workshop with pastel painter Ellen Wagener is geared to both beginning artists and "seasoned masters." The workshop will combine on-site studies with studio work in the Maquoketa Art Experience Studio and Gallery. The workshop will cover working processes including sketching, idea-generation, compositions, photography, and color palettes. Ellen will demonstrate and teach techniques to achieve descriptive and evocative landscapes from any location. Special emphasis will be given to pastel technique, support mediums, and approaches to framing. The workshop will also include opportunities to attend lectures at the Figge Art Museum and the Dubuque Museum of Art, where Ellen will discuss her work and influences.

The final day's events will begin in Stone City, the site of Grant Wood's Stone City Art Colony and will be open to participants who are only able to attend for one day (fee: $85). Ellen will be joined in landscape painting by Maquoketa Art Experience resident artists Rose Frantzen, Charles Morris, and Thomas Metcalf. From 3 to 5pm, at the historic General Store Pub, a symposium will be held with prominent Grant Wood scholars looking at Stone City's Regionalist history. This will lead to a discussion of possibilities for Neo-Regionalists in Eastern Iowa.


    Sean Uhlmer, Curator, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

    Edwin Ritts, Director, Dubuque Museum of Art

    Dr. Randy Lengeling, Grant Wood Scholar and Collector, Dubuque Museum of Art Trustee

    Kristy Raine, Archivist, Mt. Mercy College

The symposium at the General Store Pub is open to the public. For those who wish to attend only this event, there is a recommended donation of $20. All artists who have done landscape paintings throughout the week or during the final day at Stone City will be invited to show and sell their paintings at a closing reception and exhibition to be held at 7pm, Friday the 21st at Maquoketa Art Experience Studio and Gallery. The reception is open to all, free of charge.

Biographic Information:
Ellen Wagener received her B.F.A. from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1989. Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums including the Des Moines Art Center, Phoenix Art Museum, Tucson Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and Art in Embassies, Vilinus, Latvia, and J. Cacciola Gallery, New York City. Her work can be found in many private and public collections, such as the Figge Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa, Tucson Museum of Art, MasterCard Corporation, New York City, and Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. Jane Milosch, Curator of Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. says of Wagener,

    "Wagener's landscapes demonstrate her awareness of the great tradition of landscape painting, but she makes it her own, experientially. The Hudson River School, American Luminism, the French Barbizon School, Impressionism, and the 20th-century Iowa artists such as Grant Wood and Marvin Cone are models for her approach to landscape. Contrast is key in Wagener's work: crops are hard-edged and rendered in great detail while the clouds are soft in focus and more abstract; fields are tactile in quality while the sky is elusive; and the land is warm in tone while the sky is cool.  Her ability to capture the color, light, shapes, and textures of nature allow us to feel the cultivated land and to marvel at the power of a beautiful sky. She digests the characteristics of a location and recreates it anew on paper. Her works, including F5 Tornado (collection of Figge Art Museum), demonstrates her ability to work within an alphabet of landscape imagery to create symbolic, more abstract works. Stormy clouds, burning fields, dust storms, and tornados move across her formerly pristine, carefully groomed landscapes, demonstrating the powerful force of nature."

Information about Maquoketa Art Experience:

Maquoketa Art Experience is dedicated to bringing accomplished artists to Maquoketa, Iowa for short- and long-term residencies, workshops, and exhibitions. Springing up in one of the Grant Wood Scenic Byway communities, Maquoketa Art Experience exists to nurture artists and provide opportunities for developing art-related businesses in the area. Recognizing what Grant Wood saw in Iowa, Iowans and the surrounding landscapes, the artists and board of Maquoketa Art Experience are dedicated to creating easily accessible resources for Midwest artists. Similar to the Stone City Art Colony of the last century, Maquoketa Art Experience is committed to supporting arts and artists by creating local opportunities for artists to nurture and expand their talents and skills within the inspiring landscapes of Eastern Iowa.

For more information: www.maquoketa-art.org or phone: 563-652-9925


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