Iowa Arts Council's Artist Fellows Prep for Statewide Tour

    DES MOINES – This year's freshly minted batch of Iowa Artist Fellows will tour the state this fall and next spring to talk about their work with local artists and arts supporters as part of the 2018-2019 Meet the Artist series.

    Noah Doely of Cedar Falls, Julia Franklin of West Des Moines, Lauren Haldeman of Iowa City, Mary Jones of Indianola and Molly Wood of Des Moines will discuss their work and the arts in Washington, Winterset, Clarinda and Maquoketa. The events are free and open to the public.

    The 2018-2019 Meet the Artist meeting schedule follows:

    More information about this year's Iowa Artist Fellows follows:

    Noah Doely has received national and international attention for his visual artwork addressing the various ways the natural world has been interpreted throughout history with exhibitions at the Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Viafarini in Milan, Italy, and the Des Moines Art Center. "I'm very grateful for the (fellowship) because I have so many ideas to do, if I only had the funding for it," he said. Doely works primarily in photography, but spends the bulk of his creative efforts doing research and sculpting. He's interested in "origins, especially speculative origins" and using photographs as a way to alter perceptions.

    Julia Franklin has been creating art from discarded objects for more than 20 years, telling stories from the objects people leave behind. She said receiving the Iowa Artist Fellowship changed her whole view on her work and career. "It's validated my work and given me permission to keep making work and doing what I'm doing," she said. Currently, she's sifting through boxes of her deceased father's belongings, using his old ties, handkerchiefs and cuff links to develop an ongoing exhibit called "Picking up the Pieces." The exhibit was on display recently at Simpson College and will reopen at Graceland University in January 2019.

    The author of "Instead of Dying," Lauren Haldeman started writing as a girl in Washington, D.C. At 18, she moved to Iowa City to attend the University of Iowa and has stayed for 21 years. "I've made a home in Iowa City," she said. "It's full of makers and crafters and has a vortex of energy fueled by writers and artists and musicians." Her poetry and illustrations have appeared in numerous publications, and she's a former fellow of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She plans to donate 10 percent of her Iowa Artist Fellowship grant to Public Space One and the Center for Afrofuturist Studies.

    In her latest project, Mary Jones walked portions of Des Moines' east side neighborhoods and created a mixed-media exhibit about urban walking, focusing primarily on the city's infrastructure. "That was a solitary adventure," she said. "Next time, I'm going to seek out people in the neighborhoods and learn things only they know about their neighborhoods, because they're going to be the ones who have all the stories that can be shared with others."

    Using only window light and inspiration from Dutch still-life paintings, Molly Wood's photography explores botanicals as metaphors for the natural cycles of life, death and rebirth. As a new Iowa Artist Fellow, she's "anticipating learning so much to take (her work) to a more prominent level and connect with other artists," she said. "The fellowship is a boost of confidence, and I'm excited to meet artists in other cities." By day, she manages photo shoots for Meredith Corporation, and her artwork has been exhibited at universities and museums in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas.

    The Iowa Arts Council created the multi-discipline Iowa Artist Fellowship Program in 2014 to support professional, active Iowa artists who are at a pivotal point in their careers and who demonstrate exceptional creativity and the capacity to contribute to the excellence and innovation of the arts in Iowa.

    In addition to participating in the Meet the Artist series, each fellow receives access to professional development opportunities, promotional support to enhance their careers and a grant of $10,000 to support new work. The fellows also participate in Creative Capital's Core Weekend Professional Development Program, one of the nation's premier artist professional development programs.

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    The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations. 

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