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

Welcome to the 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 new newsletter will keep you up to date.

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

Student News

Serena Stevens

Congratulations to MFA Painting & Drawing student Serena Stevens on her solo exhibition, “Iowa Dream,” at Postmasters in New York City!

"Iowa Dream" is a show of large-scale, unrushed, and unpopulated paintings, at once personal and neutral, humane, observant and SLOW. Paintings that are simultaneously empty and loaded, and that are best experienced one-on-one, by viewing in a real (physical) space. Quiet paintings that risk being rendered invisible amidst the digital fog, or suffocated by the frenetic, figurative, pop-infused iconography of art optimized to perform online. 

Visit the online gallery and read more about the exhibition.

Isabel Baldrich

Congratulations to PhD Art History student Isabel Baldrich for successfully passing her comprehensive exams! Isabel is researching eighteenth- and nineteenth-century black portraiture in French art in an age of abolition, revolution, imperialism, and orientalism.

She is also revising her qualifying paper, “Black Skin, White Hands: Ambivalence in Girodet’s Portrait of Belley,” for publication. The portrait has been interpreted either as a racist image or a depiction of issues about race and racism. However, the artwork does not fall on the ends of the black-and-white spectrum.

Faculty News

David Johnson

This summer, Visiting Professor in Photography David Johnson's collaboration with poet Philip Matthews, Wig Heavier Than A Boot, was featured in Houston-based FotoFest's Creative Conversations with Executive Director Steven Evans; this talk is available at FotoFest's YouTube channel.

In July and August, Filter Space in Chicago featured a solo exhibition of Wig Heavier Than A Boot. Photography, video, and poetry from this body of work is currently on display in a two-project exhibition entitled The Space Between at Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver. 

In addition to continuing new creative research over the summer months, David has worked as a co-curator of a forthcoming exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany. This exhibition is part of a year-long celebration of the 60th anniversary of creative exchanges between Stuttgart and its sister city, St. Louis, Missouri. Vote, for... situates seven photographers working within the St. Louis region whose work discusses racial justice, transgender rights, environmental concerns, and economic reform, and will be staged during the American presidential election season this fall.

"Flowerbud Stool" by Monica Correia, Unviersity of Iowa

"Seating by Design," an exhibition curated by Professor and Head of 3D Design Monica Correia, will be on view from September 1, 2020, through January 17, 2021, at the Figge Art Museum.

This exhibition will feature innovative furniture designs created by 24 former students of the 3D Design program, as well as by Correia and her mentor, Professor Hung-Shu Hu (1935-2015), former Head of Design of the School of Art and Art History. Sculpturally dynamic as well as functional, the seating designs will include chairs, stools, and soft-form seating, among others. Together, these designs demonstrate the varied materials, contemporary technologies, and formal solutions possible in the 3D design field. Several of the works have been exhibited internationally, including at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy, and at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in Stockholm, Sweden, among others.

Learn more and visit the exhibition at the Figge Art Museum.

Daniel Maze

Renaissance Art Professor Daniel Wallace Maze has been busy editing his reviewed manuscript, “Young Bellini,” due at Yale University Press this fall. The book explores the early life and career of Giovanni Bellini, generally considered the greatest artist of fifteenth-century Venice, and argues for a controversial new birthdate for Bellini.

Professor Maze has also been asked to write the article on Giovanni Bellini for Oxford Bibliographies, which will be among his next projects. This spring, he is scheduled to present a paper on Bellini’s early artistic approach at the Renaissance Society of America Conference in Dublin, but the conference may be moved to an online venue.

Stephanie Dowda DeMer

Visiting Professor in Photography Stephanie Dowda DeMer’s second solo exhibition, Sandbagging: A Field Manual of Care, at her gallery, Whitespace Gallery, in Atlanta, Georgia, will open on October 24, 2020.

Stephanie Dowda DeMer is the recipient of an OpenHawkeyes Creation Grant for her photography textbook concept, Material Encounters.

The contemporary literary collaborative project, The Letters Festival, is in its 6th year and planned as a series of virtual events spanning from October 2nd-18th, 2020. More information:

Rachel Cox, Untitled 22 from the “Mors Scena” series, 2020

Assistant Professor of Photography Rachel Cox's solo exhibition “Mors Scena” will be held at the Des Moines Art Center from October 16-January 3. After participating in funeral arrangements for family members, Cox became interested in the décor of funeral homes, and how the colors, lighting, and formal elements of these staged environments manifest within the grieving process.

Professor Cox also received an Arts and Humanities Initiative (AHI) grant to help fund this exhibition through materials and research.

Read the full press release and register for an entrance time.

Serina Sulentic

Congratulations to Professor Serina Sulentic on her promotion to Associate Professor of Instruction, Graphic Design!

For the past ten years Serina has worked for numerous types of clients, both national accounts and local businesses, with the most recent works in the natural foods industry, striving to bring sustainable practices into the everyday workflow. Her other areas of interest include printmaking, package design, handmade books and publication design. 

Alumni News

Watershed Globe Project by Susanna Crum

Congratulations to alum Susanna Crum (Printmaking MFA 2012/MA 2011) on her solo exhibition at the Carnegie Center for Art & History in New Albany, Indiana, August 29 through November 11! The work in “Watershed Globe Project” uses drawing, printmaking, animation, and sculpture as tools to examine maps of the Ohio River from 1793 to 2019.

Read More:

"Milkweed" by Rachel Singel

Congratulations to alum Rachel Singel (Printmaking MFA 2013, MA 2012) on her recent exhibition "Metamorphosis" at Buckham Gallery in Flint, MI! Singel’s use of line develops into curves, from curves to semi-circles, and from semi-circles to the full circle. This stylistic tendency comes from her interest in openings in nature—those places around which nature’s complex forms develop. Close studies of natural objects reveal holes in their surfaces. Singel’s hand-printed intaglio etchings evoke the fragility of her subject in the object of her work. Delicate handmade papers gently hold her natural world.

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