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

“Bread/Net” by Kelly Clare

MFA Sculpture student Kelly Clare’s piece “Bread/Net” was awarded Jurors Choice in the MFA Online Exhibition 'Raw' at the University of Montana.

‘Raw’ is an online exhibition epitomizing the brave work of graduate students. It represents work from a vast array of content, material and approaches. Graduate school strips us bare, allowing for clarification and analyzation that rebuilds and refines our artistic practice. ‘Raw’ is the broken skin of 2020, while simultaneously being the vibrant nourishment.

Clare’s short video “out of service” was also included in the Witching Hour Festival in Iowa City, an event dedicated to exploring the unknown, discussing creative process, and presenting new work.


"Lure" BFA exhibition by Olive Phan, VAB

BFA Printmaking Honors student Olive Phan (YAZZIEWONPHON) had a solo exhibition, "Holobiome for Oddkins," at CSPS in Cedar Rapids this fall.

Phan's BFA exhibition "Lure" (pictured) took place in the Visual Arts Building in November.

See more of Phan's work on her website.

Faculty & Department News

“Accumulation Vessel 61,” 2020, by Andrew Casto

Andrew Casto, Professor and Program Head of Ceramics, currently has work on exhibition at Winston Wächter Fine Art in the Chelsea District of New York City.

Roberto Lugo

This fall, artist Roberto Lugo visited the Ceramics Department in partnership with the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art. Lugo uses porcelain as his medium of choice, illuminating its aristocratic surface with imagery of poverty, inequality, and social and racial injustice. 

Lugo presented a 2-hour lecture with graduate and undergraduate students in Ceramics, along with several community members. Over 80 people attended his two artist talks.

Alumni News

Zora J Murff, Self Portrait as a Dreamed Man (after Bayard), 2020, from the series American Mother, American Father

Photography alum Zora J Murff has been awarded the Inaugural Next Step Award from Aperture and Baxter St. Camera Club of New York. Murff will receive a $10,000 grant, the publication of a photobook with Aperture, and an accompanying exhibition. The Next Step Award aims to identify strong emerging or evolving voices whose work deserves greater recognition.

Murff's work is also part of the exhibition “Companion Pieces: New Photography 2020,” currently on view online at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Trudy Kawami in Samarkand

Trudy Kawami (MA Art History 1969) is currently the Director of Research at the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation in New York. She resides in Brooklyn and her work on the art of the Ancient Near East has taken her from Turkey to Kazakhstan to Kuwait. Dr. Kawami has recently published on dress in Elamite Iran and on a 6th century BCE burial in Khuzistan, Iran.

At the American Schools of Oriental Research (virtual) annual meeting in November, she presented her research on the Sumerian goddess Ninhursaga, usually considered a mother figure, but actually portrayed as a militant figure in the 3rd millennium BCE.

Margaret Hart, Untitled, mixed media collage

Margaret Hart (BFA Photography 1989) has a solo exhibition of new work at the Kingston Gallery in Boston, MA, through December 6. She is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she teaches all levels of photography.

House designed by Kevin D. Scott

Kevin D. Scott (MA Painting and Drawing 1982), AIA, is a mixed media artist and Principal architect at Davis Partnership Architects in Denver, Colorado. Pictured is a house he designed.

IQTEST collection in Vogue UK by Melissa Lockwood

Melissa Lockwood (MFA Intermedia 1996) studied with Hans Breder at the University of Iowa and moved to New York to continue her arts career. She worked on major installations at the Guggenheim Museum's fabrication department and worked as a studio artist for Matthew Barney helping create sculptures. She also co-founded a performance space in New York with another UI alumni named Grace Space.

Lockwood has been focused on a design science research project on fashion industry fabric waste and applied performance art to her research. 

She has been doing a 10-year performance piece taking fashion industry waste fabrics and creating clothing with the landfill-bound fabrics. After discovering massive amounts of usable fabric in dumpsters, she wrote a grant proposal to open a store selling garments made from fabric local designers had thrown away. She was given a storefront in New York's fashion district to do this three times.

She is continuing her systems analysis of the fashion industry's waste fabrics and offering solutions for designers to adopt green procedures. All of the garments she makes are with salvaged fabrics and tend to Zero Waste.

Learn more about Lockwood's salvaged fabric garments on her website.

"UnRavel" by Luisa Caldwell

Luisa Caldwell (MFA Sculpture program 1986-87, BA Art History 1986) did an Instagram Live interview with Elena Lazareva from Polenovo House Museum and Residency in Tula Province Russia (introduction in Russian, interview in English).

Her work is included in “i5olation,” a digital print portfolio of works for sale by 50 women artists, and she made a one-minute video called “Quarinterior” for Zoom Against The Machine at Public Space One in Iowa City.

Her project “Welcome In Spirit” is included in Art Off-Screen, curated by Eileen Jeng Lynch, a quarantine-inspired public art exhibition of work that can be viewed from the street.

She will be presenting another public piece called “I Spy Butterfly” for Treasure Hunt at Art Prospect, a city-wide arts festival in St Petersburg, Russia, with many international artists participating.

Caldwell was to attend two artists' residencies this year. In May she would have been at Brickscape Artists Residency in Charleston, WV, which went virtual. She produced the installation “UnRavel,” based on her West Virginia heritage, in her Brooklyn studio.

In September she would have been back in St. Petersburg, Russia, for a second CEC Back Apartment Residency. She will collaborate with St. Petersburg artist Zhenya Machneva when they are able to proceed anew, hopefully in 2021.

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