Keep following "Art Matters" at the UIMA's new website

The UIMA's redesigned website has officially launched! You can keep following the "Art Matters" blog on the new site: http://uima.uiowa.edu/blog/.

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoy the blog's new look and location. This site will remain up here for reference to previous posts from 2008-2009.

—Claire Lekwa, UIMA Marketing and Media Assistant


"Art Matters" is moving!

First off—apologies for the recent lack of posts on the "Art Matters" blog! Over the past two months, the UIMA staff has been in the process of putting together a new, redesigned website, which will launch this week. The "Art Matters" blog will now be located within the official Museum website, making it easier for people to find and more cohesive with the rest of the UIMA's communications. The archived posts from 2008-2009 will remain at this address (uima.blogspot.com) for reference, but all future posts will be located on the new website. I will post more information about it here, as well as a link to the new site as soon as it goes live!

Thank you to all the readers for your support and interest in the University of Iowa Museum of Art!

Please let us know if you have any questions about this transition.

—Claire Lekwa, UIMA Marketing and Media Assistant


UIMA@IMU hours over Thanksgiving break

Beginning Sunday, Nov. 22, the UIMA@IMU art space, located in the Iowa Memorial Union's third-floor Richey Ballroom, will hold special hours over the University's Thanksgiving break. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Sunday, Nov. 22 and Monday, Nov. 23: Closed
Tuesday, Nov. 24 and Wednesday, Nov. 25: Open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Nov. 29: Closed

Have a great holiday!

--Claire Lekwa, UIMA Marketing and Media Assistant


Press release: UIMA fundraiser raises more than $154,000 for programs, events, exhibits

More than 200 guests attended the seventh annual University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) fundraising event, The Museum pARTy!, on Saturday, Oct. 24 to celebrate the museum’s 40th anniversary. This event, sponsored by the UIMA Members Council, raised more than $154,000 for programs, events and exhibitions for 2010.

“The UIMA relies on private support, including annual gifts and its endowment fund at the UI Foundation, for nearly 40 percent of its annual budget,” UIMA Interim Director Pamela White said. “These gifts provide meaningful cultural programs and stimulating exhibitions, and they secure the museum’s vitality for future generations.”

The occasion also marked the release of the UIMA’s 40th year anniversary book, Building a Masterpiece: Legacy of the University of Iowa Museum of Art. Illustrated with images from the permanent art collection and the museum’s 40-year history, the book celebrates the story of the museum’s founding, the people who have enabled the UIMA to carry out its mission to facilitate the experience of art over the years, and UI President Sally Mason’s vision for the future. Author Abigail Foerstner, journalism professor at Northwestern University), attended and signed books. Copies of the anniversary book are available for $10.00 at the UIMA administrative offices, located at the Studio Arts building, 1840 SA, 1375 Highway 1 West, Iowa City or by calling 319-335-1727.

The Museum pARTy! is the culmination of the UIMA Sponsorship Program, a fundraising approach that enables patrons to direct their financial support to museum programs that particularly appeal to them.

“Guests were able to select a sponsorship of their choice from a broad range of attractive options planned for 2010,” Pat Hanick, the UI Foundation’s director of development for UIMA, said. “Patrons choose one or more items to sponsor, either through an outright gift or a pledge paid throughout the year. The proceeds from this memorable evening help sustain the museum for the entire year, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude for all who contributed.”

Chaired by Kristin Hardy (above left), The Museum pARTy! was held at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center and featured hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and entertainment by local band The Recliners, as well as remarks by  Joyce P. Summerwill (above right), honorary chair of the event.

The Museum pARTy! was made possible with support from sponsors James P. Hayes and Rohrbach Associates P.C. Architects. Additional support for the event was provided by hosts Alan and Liz Swanson, Curt and Sharman Hunter, Gerald and Leesa Elseman, H. Dee and Myrene Hoover, Hodge Construction Company-Old Capitol Mall, Kristin Summerwill, Lowell Doud, Margaret C. Clancy, McComas-Lacina Construction Company, Neumann-Monson Architects, Oaknoll Retirement Residence, Phelan, Tucker, Mullen, Walker, Tucker, & Gelman, L.L.P.; Pleasant Valley Flower Shoppe, Rob & Paulina Muzzin, and Shive-Hattery, Architecture-Engineering.

The UIMA’s collection is currently on display at two locations: a newly opened, temporary, visual classroom, the UIMA@IMU, located in the Iowa Memorial Union's (IMU) third-floor Richey Ballroom, and at the Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second St., Davenport, Iowa. Exhibitions will be on display in the IMU’s third-floor Black Box Theater starting in Spring 2010.

For up-to-date museum information, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/uima or the UIMA blog "Art Matters" at http://uima.blogspot.com, or call 319-335-1725.

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 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 and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Steve Parrott, University Relations, 319-384-0037, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu; Patricia L. Hanick, University of Iowa Foundation, 319-335-3305, pat-hanick@uiowa.edu; Writer: Claire Lekwa


UIMA art safe and unaffected by Iowa House Hotel fire

You may have seen the news about a small fire early this morning in the Iowa House Hotel adjoined to the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU). Don't worry -- our art in the UIMA@IMU, located in the third-floor Richey Ballroom, is safe and was not affected. You can read the University's press release about the incident here. Keep checking the blog for more updates and information.

--Claire Lekwa, UIMA Marketing and Media Assistant


Over $150,000 raised for UIMA at The Museum PartY!

What a great night! More than 200 guests attending The Museum PartY! on Saturday, Oct. 24 demonstrated their support for the Museum by raising over $150,000 for the UIMA's 2010 programs, events, and exhibitions. In keeping with the year-long celebration of the UIMA's 40th anniversary, Abigail Foerstner's new book, Building a Masterpiece: Legacy of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, made its debut. These friends of the Museum mingled (see the photo slide show above!), enjoyed wonderful hors d'oeuvres, and danced to the music of local favorite, The Recliners. Honorary chair for this year's PartY! was Joyce P. Summerwill and the event chair was Kristin Hardy.

A special thanks to our PartY! Sponsors and Hosts who helped make this event possible:

Thank you to our PartY! Sponsors: James P. Hayes and Rohrbach Associates P.C. Architects.

Thank you to our PartY! Hosts: Alan and Liz Swanson; Curt and Sharman Hunter; Gerald and Leesa Elseman; H. Dee and Myrene Hoover; Hodge Construction Company-Old Capitol Mall; Kristin Summerwill; Lowell Doud; Margaret C. Clancy; McComas-Lacina Construction Company; Neumann-Monson Architects; Oaknoll Retirement Residence; Phelan, Tucker, Mullen, Walker, Tucker, & Gelman, L.L.P.; Pleasant Valley Flower Shoppe; Rob & Paulina Muzzin; and Shive-Hattery, Architecture-Engineering.

--Claire Lekwa, UIMA Marketing and Media Assistant


UIMA staff members' thoughts on Pollock theory

Jackson Pollock, Mural, 1943, oil on canvas, 19' 10" x 8' 1"
Gift of Peggy Guggenheim, copyright 1959 UIMA

Jackson Pollock's ever-intriguing Mural (above), part of the UIMA's permanent collection, finds itself at the center of another debate online and in the paper. In an article from Smithsonian magazine's October 2009 issue, art historian Henry Adams, professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio and author of the upcoming book, Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock, claims that the artist composed the work around the letters of his name, hidden within the painting's vibrant swirls.

Three UIMA staff members give their responses to the theory here on the UIMA "Art Matters" blog:

"Jackson Pollock wrote his name on Mural once, in the bottom left corner. He dated it, too. One of the significant aspects of Pollock’s Mural is the fact that it doesn’t reference the physical, external world. Many claim to see the human form, people dancing or some sort of stampede; the stampede imagery is derived from a quote by Pollock himself, but he was speaking metaphorically. Whatever people see, or think they see, says more about them than the Pollock masterpiece, and it seems to serve as an upscale Rorschach test for some. Like all great works of art, Mural takes time to reveal itself to the viewer. To turn it into a “circle-a-word” puzzle that you can find in any newspaper is to do a disservice to the work, as well as yourself."
 -Dale Fisher, UIMA Director of Education
"People seem to be uncomfortable looking at abstract art without trying to impose literal images on its surface.  Pollock himself called the painting a herd of thundering animals—but we are pretty sure he meant this metaphorically.  For me, I just can’t see the painting being about his name.  And, I think that limits the painting’s possibilities.  It is for me a limitless, all-encompassing image that completely envelops you as you look at it—I like the feeling of being submerged in the painted surface and have no need to try to find quantifiable images."
-Pamela White, UIMA Interim Director
"(The theory) is reflective, I think, of what people think about when they look at that painting. Maybe some people think it's there for some reason and they are driven to find something that's literal to them, to make sense of it...I'm not going to say that it's completely out of the question."
 -Kathy Edwards, UIMA Chief Curator, quoted by The Gazette

You can read The Gazette's recent coverage of the question here:
The story has been picked up by many online art news sources as well. Here are links to a few of them:

The debate continues on the UIMA's Facebook page. Contribute to the discussion by adding "Iowa Art" as a friend and commenting there or posting your comments here on the blog.

You can see Mural to decide for yourself in the exhibit, A Legacy for Iowa: Pollock's Mural and Modern Masterworks from the University of Iowa Museum of Art, on display at the Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second St., Davenport, Iowa until Dec. 31.

--Claire Lekwa, UIMA Marketing and Media Assistant


UIMA@IMU: New photos and press coverage

The UIMA@IMU, located in the Iowa Memorial Union's (IMU) third floor Richey Ballroom, is open to the public, and in case you haven't checked it out yet, here are some photos of the completed installation to entice you!

Come visit the space and take a look at some of the more than 250 art objects on display during the public hours:

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday
12-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Also, the UIMA@IMU was featured in the news around its Sept. 8 opening. Here are links to the articles:

UI finds homes for music, art programs, Iowa City Press-Citizen

State of the arts, The Daily Iowan

Swing by the IMU sometime and post a comment here on the blog letting us know what you think!

--Claire Lekwa, UIMA Marketing and Media Assistant


UIMA Word Painters: Work from Cheyenne Nimes

Last night in the Old Capitol Museum, the UIMA hosted its first Word Painters reading of the semester. Cheyenne Nimes (right), a graduate student in the UI Nonfiction Writing Program and one of the University of Iowa Museum of Art's Fall 2009 "Word Painter" fellows, read from her recent work, as did Ryan Van Meter, who currently holds the 2009-10 Provost's Postgraduate Writing Fellowship in Nonfiction.

Following each Word Painter reading, the UIMA "Art Matters" blog will be featuring work from the Word Painter fellows. The first selection (below) comes from Nimes, who is currently working on her thesis statement, a group of nonfiction essays addressing issues of the world's water crises. This selected essay focuses around the Cuyahoga River located in northeastern Ohio. The piece is just one example of how Nimes' work really makes you think about rivers in a completely new way, from their raw power and natural mystique, to their role in the larger water crisis issues of the world.

Make sure to check the blog next week for another highlighted work by Nimes, a piece about the Colorado River.

--Claire Lekwa, UIMA Marketing and Media Assistant

Running from the surface.
By Cheyenne Nimes

Call this "Cuyahoga," "crooked river" in Iroquois.
Usually 3-6 feet deep, most of us can stand in it. I meant mostly can’t stand it. Time magazine says it "oozes rather than flows" and in which a person "does not drown but decays”.
Fires occurred on the Cuyahoga River in 1868, Dying would have been better at the beginning, 1883, the rules to survive this situation? 1887, A voice so far back having it is a haunting, and explanatory, 1912, toy, plaything to ring in the century, 1922, All-out war, 1936, It has no before or after now, 1941, she grinned black blood out her toothless mouth, tongue cut out pleased for them like that, 1948, ___slipped quietly away with the current, drifting down the river that stretched into the darkness and in 1952. The 1952 fire caused over 1.5 million dollars in damage. River sound goes dry, 1969, A flame that never really left. Flames going into and out from, going in as many directions as there are.


UIMA preparator to tell challenges of converting old ballroom into UIMA@IMU

How do you transform an old ballroom (above), used mostly for meetings, into a multi-functional, visual classroom suitable for housing museum artwork, all in five months?

The task that Steve Erickson, preparator for the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA), faced in creating the museum's new, temporary on-campus art venue, the UIMA@IMU, challenged him quite unlike his past experiences in exhibition design.

Erickson will discuss the design process for the UIMA@IMU in his lecture "You Want Me to Build What???...Where???" at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 23, in the University Athletic Club, 1360 Melrose Ave. The event is free and open to the public.