The Members Council of the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) will host the fifth annual "Museum Party!" from 8-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, at hotelVetro, 201 S. Linn St. in Iowa City. The event, co-chaired by Kristin Hardy and Paulina Muzzin, will raise funds to support the museum's flood relief efforts, exhibitions and programming.

The evening will include a strolling feast of hors d'oeuvres, live entertainment by local band the Diplomats of Solid Sound, featuring The Diplomettes, and brief remarks by UI President Sally Mason, honorary chair of the event with her husband, Ken Mason.

Throughout the evening, UIMA staff members will be available to explain available sponsorship opportunities to "Party!" attendees. The UIMA sponsorship program, now in its second year, gives museum contributors the opportunity to direct their support to specific events or exhibits.

Last year's switch to this sponsorship program was a resounding success. According to museum and UI Foundation officials, the Oct. 20, 2007, "Museum Party!" and associated fundraising appeals generated a record $173,000 in gift commitments.

"These sponsorship opportunities give our donors a greater sense of ownership of museum events and activities," Pat Hanick, the UI Foundation's director of development for the UIMA, said. "This approach also allows contributors to direct their support where it's most meaningful to them, as well as to the museum."

More than 600 art patrons contribute to the UIMA throughout the year. The UIMA relies on non-university financial support, including annual gifts and its endowment fund at the UI Foundation, for nearly 40 percent of its annual budget. These gifts provide meaningful cultural programs and stimulating exhibitions, and they secure the museum's vitality for future generations.

Tickets for "The Museum Party!" are $100 (fair market value of the evening is $25). Call 319-335-3676 by Tuesday, Oct. 7, to make reservations.

"The Museum Party!" is made possible with support from generous sponsors and hosts. "Party!" Sponsors for 2008 are: James P. Hayes and Rob and Paulina Muzzin. Hosts are: Gerry Ambrose and Kristin Hardy; Lowell Doud; Gerry and Leesa Elseman, Vision Industrial Sales, Inc.; David and Jayne Hansen, Endodontic Associates of Iowa City, P.C.; McComas-Lacina Construction Company; McDonald's Restaurants; Alex, Lauren, Lily and Kevin O'Brien; Phelan, Tucker, Mullen, Walker, Tucker and Gelman, L.L.P.; Pleasant Valley Flower Shoppe; Rohrback Associates, PC, Architects; Kim Schulz, M.D., Infinity Skin Care and Spa; Shive-Hattery, Architecture-Engineering; Kristin Summerwill; Alan and Liz Swanson; Pamela J. White; and Candace Wong.

The UI Museum of Art was evacuated from its building in June due to the flood. Many exhibitions and events slated to be held at the UIMA have been moved to alternate venues. For more information on the UI Museum of Art and the latest schedule information, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/uima.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its Web site at http://www.uiowafoundation.org.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Maggie Anderson, Museum of Art, 319-335-1731, margaret-anderson@uiowa.edu; Patricia L. Hanick, University of Iowa Foundation, 319-335-3305, pat-hanick@uiowa.edu; Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072; cell: 319-541-2846; peter-alexander@uiowa.edu.

Photo illustration by Drew Schiller: The Plaid Sweater, Grant Wood, 1944. Oil on Masonite.


Looking Ahead

Things are slowly but surely progressing here at the UIMA. As detailed in today's newsletter, the Museum staff will be moving from Macbride Hall (where we've been sharing offices with the Museum of Natural History) to the Studio Arts Building (the old Menards) in the coming weeks. That facility is currently housing the studio arts area of the School of Art and Art History.

This larger space will reunite the staff with the Museum collection files, which contain detailed information about the history of each artwork in the UIMA collection. This information is needed for research and to explore the possibility of traveling exhibitions from the UIMA collection. In addition, the space will have room for storage of materials salvaged from the Museum building, including tools, furniture, and goods from the Museum Store and Coffee Bar.

The move to the Studio Arts Building is very temporary, and does not allow access to any work from the UIMA collection. Plans are currently underway to create two more long-term temporary spaces that would provide student access to key works from the UIMA collection. First, Special Collections at the UI Libraries has provided room for two boxes of prints, a key component of many classes, including a "History of Prints" class being taught this fall. This space could be available as soon as next week. In addition, creating a secure space at the Iowa Memorial Union for parts of the African and Ceramics collections, as well as the UIMA staff, is being explored. It is unknown how long that process will take, as the IMU is itself recovering from flood damage. Until this project is complete, the UIMA staff will remain at the Studio Arts Building temporarily -- possibly a year or more.

The long-term future of the Museum is still to-be-determined, but UI President Sally Mason has expressed a firm commitment to the arts at Iowa and the Museum of Art. She has said that art will not go back into the old UIMA building because it is too risky -- instead, we can expect and look forward a new, state-of-the art Museum facility. This is a very long-term project that will require much planning, so stay tuned, and we'll keep you updated with new information as the things progress!