News from the School of Art and Art History
News from the School of Art and Art History

School of Art and Art History Newsletter

The students, faculty, and alumni of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa create extraordinary art and scholarship. Our monthly newsletter will keep you up to date.

Please submit your news and images for consideration for the SAAH newsletter. We'd love to share your accomplishments!

Student News

Jessica Dzielinski

Painting and Drawing MFA student Jessica Dzielinski received a 2021-2022 Marcus Bach Fellowship for Graduate Students in the Humanities. This award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is the college's highest honor for graduate students to support the completion of an MFA project or doctoral dissertation. View more of Dzielinski's work on her website.

Dadisi A. Curtis, Jr.

Printmaking MFA student Dadisi A. Curtis, Jr. received a Cultural Arts Award from the African American Studies program. His MA Exhibition, Birth of a Monster, was held in the Visual Arts Building in May.

View more of Curtis's art on his website.

Alumni News

Propelled Animals

Heidi Wiren Bartlett (Intermedia MFA 2015, MA 2014) and Barber (Intermedia MFA 2016, MA 2015) are founding members of the Propelled Animals collective; the cohort will be debuting their piece state(d) at the PIVOT ARTS Festival, Reimagining Utopia in Chicago, IL May 21 - June 5, 2021 at the Edge Theater. The piece is an immersive experience interrogating social agency, blending ritual and performance. 

The Propelled Animals are a collective of artists, dancers, scholars, musicians, and designers, bringing communities together for performances that honor nature, foreground radical tenderness, and deliver strategies for self-empowerment. The creative team includes: Esther Baker-Tarpaga (Philadelphia), Barber (Detroit), Heidi Wiren Bartlett (Pittsburgh), Raquel Monroe (Chicago), and Courtney Jones (Boca Raton).

women: hood

Satomi Kawai (MFA Jewelry and Metal Arts 2006, MA 2005), Allison Heady (BFA with Honors in Printmaking 2015), and Dani Sigler (BFA with Honors in Ceramics 2008) are exhibiting art this month, along with Vero Rose Smith (MA Art History 2014), in the collaborative art project Women: hood.

Women: hood explores complex experiences of femininity through interviews and responsive art works. Based in Iowa City, the collective sought and recorded interviews with 10 women living in the state of Iowa and beyond. These women’s stories, along with the art they inspired, are the heart of this project.

Visit the online exhibition on Satomi Kawai's website.

Join the Virtual Reception on Zoom, June 5, 7:30-8:10 pm, to speak with the artists and the people who shared their stories to make this project possible.
Meeting ID: 811 9967 2334
Passcode: 181103


Robert D. Cocke

Robert D. Cocke (MFA Painting 1975) recently had one of his large paintings acquired by the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA, for their permanent collection. The painting (illustrated) is A Twist of Fate, 2012, oil on canvas, 15 x 70 inches. Cocke also has work in the collections of the Phoenix Art Museum, The University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, among others.


Mirle E. Freel, Jr. (MFA Photography 1971) currently has a Legacy Permanent Collection exhibition of his photography from 1970-2021 at The Tucson Museum of Art in Tucson, AZ, curated by Dr. Julie Sasse, Chief Curator. The exhibition is on view through August 29, 2021.

See more of Freel's photographs, paintings, and drawings on his website.


Franklin Evans (Painting and Drawing MFA 1993, MA 1992) has a solo exhibition, Franklin Evans: Franklinsfootpaths, at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, IA from June 19 - September 26, 2021. 

Evans creates immersive environments that reflect his experience of blurred boundaries. His work mixes the personal and the historical, the chronological and the non-linear, the intuitive and the analytic, and the hand-made and the reproduction. For Franklinsfootpaths, Evans will use both the Figge's collection and the building's architecture to create a site-specific installation made up of painting, collage, sculpture, video, personal ephemera, and layers of artists' tape and other raw materials in the gildehaus Gallery. The installation will explore elements of his personal history in Iowa while also encouraging new ways of experiencing the museum.


Jeffrey Heinke (BFA 1980) displayed his illustrations at Twin Sisters Bakery & Cafe, San Antonio, Texas through the month of March 2021. The show "Music to Our Ears" featured pen and ink illustrations of jazz, rock, and country musicians. Currently his artwork and book, Music to Our Ears, are online for viewing and purchase on his website.

Heinke is a graphic designer and illustrator located in San Antonio. His commercial art firm, Jeffrey Heinke Design, was established in 1993. Operating under the mission of We Create to Communicate, Jeffrey Heinke Design helps clients communicate their business by developing well-designed brands that clearly convey their message across multiple platforms.

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