The Art Lounge at the virtual Iowa Arts Summit provides opportunities to experience the arts throughout the day. Check out innovative arts projects, engage with Iowa artists, discover Iowa music, and create your own art at home.
between systems and grounds
Longtime collaborators Olivia Valentine, a new Iowa Artist Fellow from Des Moines, and composer Paula Matthusen of Middletown, Connecticut, combine textile construction and feedback-based electronic music. Previously, sharing time and physical space was an essential aspect of their work. But now, during the pandemic, online streaming tools and modifications to Olivia’s Compu-Dobby loom have enabled the artistic duo to create a 2-hour, pre-recorded performance that will stream on a continuous loop during the Iowa Arts Summit - only on August 7!
From Circuit Board to Textile
Iowa Artist Fellow Tibi Chelcea, a Romanian-born computer scientist from Ames, combines the parts and processes of both digital technologies and traditional art disciplines, such as printmaking and drawing, to create hybrid artwork that is uniquely his own. His unexpected correlations between new and old technologies raise questions about consumption, serial design and the pros and cons of automated and by-hand labor. In the video below, Tibi offers a brief demonstration and presents artwork that combines textiles and circuit boards to explore historical connections between the textile and computing industries.
Iowa Music Playlists
Take a break from your computer and go on a walk with a Spotify playlist curated by the Iowa Arts Council. Featuring musicians from across the state, this playlist showcases the incredible talent, passion and resilience of artists right here in Iowa -- and helps you immerse yourself in the arts anytime and anywhere. Pictured: Anna Gebhardt of Annalibera who will open the Iowa Arts Summit during the Morning Plenary.
Plague Town 2020
Iowa Artist Fellow Rob Stephens is finding new ways to create after recent changes to his health. The Des Moines artist currently lives in New Orleans and created the visual blog "Plague Town 2020" to explore grief and other feelings associated with loss of mobility, autonomy and isolation -- feelings many people are experiencing during the current age of the pandemic, quarantines, civil unrest, fascism and murder hornets.
Potion-Making for Cultural Equity in Iowa
Emerging from an Iowa Arts Council-funded project, Jonny Stax and a creative crew of artists, educators, healers, entrepreneurs and organizers are launching “Potions for Humanity.” Based on medicine shows of the late 1800s, this potion show encourages people to brew their own healing tinctures through storytelling, power-sharing and art-making. This summer, they are calling all creative Iowans to make potions that conjure powers to help society become more just, equitable, diverse and inclusive (JEDI). Use this set of instructional videos to help you make your own potions and join Iowa's creative force for JEDI transformation.
Readings from "We the Interwoven"
Writers from the Iowa Writers’ House in Iowa City will read excerpts from the anthology “We the Interwoven,” an ongoing project that showcases the stories of bicultural Iowans. Although the traditional story of Iowa focuses on farm families of European descent, today’s Iowa tells a different story—a uniquely beautiful tapestry woven from people of many backgrounds, many of whom are experiencing America for the first time. During the Iowa Arts Summit, you’ll hear from the following writers:
Andrea Wilson the founder and executive director of the Iowa Writers’ House. She grew up in Columbus Junction, a small town experiencing a cultural shift from the meatpacking industry and seasonal agricultural work, and is dedicated to creating greater empathy by encouraging under-represented voices to tell their stories.
Eyad Said was born in Damascus, Syria, and lives with his family in Cedar Rapids. A husband and father of two, he is an assistant professor of mathematics at Mount Mercy University and uses his writing to explore the wounds caused by the tragedies in Syria - and to share more Syrian stories with the people of Iowa.
Shalini Jasti, born in Chirala, India, came to the United States when she was just six months old and considers herself to be equally Indian and American. She hopes her story about her mother and literature will encourage other writers of South Asian heritage to confidently claim their own identities.
Alisha Jeddeloh, the associate director of the Iowa Writers’ House, grew up on a farm near Fairfield, where cornfields meet the golden domes of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the transcendental meditation movement. Those contrasting cultures helped her appreciate difference as a catalyst for creativity, which continues to inform her work as a writer and editor. She and her family live in Iowa City, where she is working on a novel that explores community and belonging.