If the talents of the latest group of Iowa Arts Council Fellows belonged to a single artist, that person could photograph their own spoken-word performance that was inspired by a drawing they made to illustrate one of their poems.
Fortunately, all that creative firepower belongs not to a single artist but five, who will crisscross the state over the next few months as part of the Iowa Arts Council’s 2016-2017 Meet the Artist series. One of their spots includes an artist talk and public reception at ArtHaus in downtown Decorah.
Photographer Stephanie Brunia of Oxford, multimedia artist Brent Holland of Des Moines, writer and poet Jennifer Knox of Nevada, performance artist Akwi Nji of Cedar Rapids and visual artist Yun Shin of Orange City plan to share their work with the public and cross-pollinate their ideas with local artists and art enthusiasts in Decorah. Events will also be held in Osceola on November 5, in Coralville on February 28, in Dubuque on March 25 and in Sioux City on April 8. Details on all of these events are available on the Iowa Art Council's website.
The multi-discipline Artist Fellowship Program was created by the Iowa Arts Council in 2014 to support professional, active Iowa artists who are at a pivotal point in their careers, and who demonstrate exceptional creativity and capacity to contribute to excellence and innovation in Iowa arts.
At an award presentation for the newly selected fellows in September, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds pointed out that Iowa boasts about 5,800 arts-related businesses that employ almost 23,000 people, including the five new fellows. “We’re proud to support artists who have contributed to the health of our state and demonstrated a commitment to elevating their careers and positively impacting their communities,” she said.
Fellowship support includes a $10,000 grant for each fellow to facilitate new work, plus a year’s worth of professional development opportunities with local, state and national experts, including staffers from the New York-based Creative Capital team who led a weekend retreat earlier this fall in Des Moines. This year’s fellows were chosen from a pool of 68 applicants, an increase from the 40 artists who applied in 2015.
The Iowa Arts Council is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. More information is available online or at 515-281-5111.
Established in 2008, ArtHaus is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in downtown Decorah, Iowa that provides high-quality, hands-on experiences and year-round, accessible public arts events in the visual, performing, and literary arts. For more information on including classes, workshops, public arts events, and giving opportunities, visit arthausdecorah.org, call (563) 382-5440, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. ArtHaus is located at 508 W. Water St. with studio space at 516 W. Water St.