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CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: Sept. 24, 1999

UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

BORICH READS OCT. 4 -- Barrie Borich, author of "Restoring the Color of Roses," will read from her memoir, "My Lesbian Husband," at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4 at the Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series originating live on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

Commenting on the book, Bernard Cooper writes: "Here is an author who takes neither love nor the power of language for granted, and her book is as provocative and lively as the love it evokes. An extraordinary performance by a writer who renews our wonder at the complexity of human connection."

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at http://www.prairielights.com/livefromplights.htm.

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LECTURE ON CHINESE POTTERY OCT. 5 -- Renowned potter Xu Chen Quan from the People's Republic of China will give a slide presentation of her Yixing teapots at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5 in Room E109 of the University of Iowa Art Building. Her husband Chun Fang Pan, a professor and scholar of fine arts at Nanjing Art College, will assist her in presenting her work.

The slide lecture will complement demonstrations on the making of Yixing teapots being given from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Oct. 4-7, in the Ceramics Studio (Room S168) in the UI Art Building. Quan and Pan are appearing courtesy of the Visiting Artists in Ceramics program sponsored by the UI School of Art and Art History. All the events are free and open to the public.

Yixing teapots are globally sought collectors' items and have been in circulation in the United States since the 1920s. They are named for Yixing or Ishing, an artisan's village outside Shanghai, and for the surrounding region's rich red clay -- a prized export. Though the teapots are highly admired art objects they are designed for use, and as a people's craft without dynastic attachments have managed to survive the various purges of modern China.

Quan is known worldwide for her expertise in fashioning the thin-walled, unglazed Yixing teapots. Her teapots often mimic organic shapes such as fruits, vegetables, and sections of a tree or bamboo shoot. The irregularity of such natural forms requires that the teapots be hand-built: a slow process of pinching or coiling small units of clay at a time.

Pan has published five books and several award-winning papers on Yixing teapots, including notes for exhibitions of his wife's work. Together, they have been invited by many colleges abroad and in the U.S. to lecture on ceramics and pottery. Pan will also participate in the Different Stokes International Woodfire Ceramics Conference, which will take place on the UI campus.

The UI Art Building is located on North Riverside Drive, just south of the Museum of Art. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive and just north of the museum.

NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Xu Chen Quan is pronounced shu chen kwan; Chun Fang Pan is pronounced tsun fong pan; Yixing is pronounced ee-SHING

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PERSPECTIVES PROGRAM OCT. 6 -- Victoria Rovine, curator of the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the University of Iowa Museum of Art, will give a slide lecture on her recent trip to Morocco at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6 in the museum. This presentation is part of the museum's weekly Perspectives series and is open to the public free of charge.

The slides will include images of dealers, rug markets, garments and carpets from Moroccan cities including Fez, Rabat and Ouarzazat. Rovine will also present a sampling of works she purchased there for the museum's growing textile collection, for which she has collected objects ranging from a heavy woolen Berber shepherd's coat to knitted rugs to an intricately worked silk wedding belt.

The Moroccan travels gave Rovine, who in the past has specialized in the art of sub-Saharan Africa, a chance to see a new part of the continent. Rovine reports that the lecture will be "a chance for people to see some of the fascinating places and people of Morocco, with an emphasis on interesting textiles." She also said she looks forward to continuing her work in Morocco, and to learning more from weavers and merchants.

Rovine recently presented a paper on the international market in African textiles and fashion at a symposium held by the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. She is also the recipient of the 1999 Esther L. Kinsley Dissertation Award at Indiana University, the school's highest award for graduate studies achievement, for her dissertation "Reviving a Traditional Textile: Bogolan in Bamako (Mali)," selected from among 250 dissertations.

Her three-week trip to Morocco last spring was sponsored by the museum and by the Mary Jo Small Fellowship Committee.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in the UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive and just north of the museum.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for the 1999-2000 Perspectives series at the UI Museum of Art, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Rovine is pronounced ROE-vine (rhymes with wine). Ouarzazat is pronounced war-zah-zaht.

HOUSTON READS OCT. 6 -- Pam Houston, author of "Cowboys Are My Weakness" and "Waltzing The Cat," will read from her new book, "A Little More About Me," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6 at the Prairie Lights bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series originating live on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

"A Little More About Me" is a collection of autobiographical essays. Commenting on "A Little More About Me," Melissa Bank, author of "The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing," concludes, "This is the book you've been looking for if you want writing so clean and vivid you'll feel like you're living another life -- and understanding it this time. With all the drama and irony and the intimacy and truth of a story told to a friend, this book will break your heart and then make it stronger. Pam Houston inspires love."

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at http://www.prairielights.com/livefromplights.htm.

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VERGHESE READS OCT. 7 -- University of Iowa Writers' Workshop alumnus Abraham Verghese, fiction writer, essayist, physician, and author of "My Own Country," will read from his second book of non-fiction, "The Tennis Partner," at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 at the Buchanan Auditorium of the UI Pappajohn Business Administration Building.

The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series originating live on the University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

Commenting on "The Tennis Partner," New York Times Book Review concludes that "Verghese's style is admirably free of psychobabble, and the narrative is as laudable for what it leaves out as for what it covers."

A review from the Boston Globe calls Verghese's new book "Heartbreaking . . . indelible and haunting, an elegy to friendship found, and an ode to a good friendship lost."

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at http://www.prairielights.com/livefromplights.htm.

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CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OCT. 10 -- William LaRue Jones will conduct the music of Mozart and Ravel in a free concert by the University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Works on the program will be the Overture to Mozart's opera "Cosi fan tutte," Mozart's Symphony No. 35 in D major ("Haffner"), and Ravel's "Ma Mere l'Oye" (Mother Goose).

A brilliant and appealing work, the "Haffner" Symphony was composed in 1782 while Mozart was living in Vienna. The music was written for the wealthy Haffner family of Salzburg, who requested an orchestral serenade for an outdoor celebration during the summer. Mozart quickly turned out a work in five movements, including two minuets, plus a march to precede and follow the other movements, and immediately sent the score to Salzburg.

The following spring he needed a symphony for a concert in Vienna and asked his father to send him a copy of the serenade. Mozart dropped the march and one of the minuets, leaving a standard symphony of four movements, which is how the work is performed today.

But apparently he had forgotten what he had written the year before. When he got the score back from Salzburg and looked at it, Mozart wrote his father a note that has since become famous: "My new Haffner Symphony has positively amazed me, for I had forgotten every single note of it. It must surely produce a good effect."

Ravel originally wrote "Ma mere l'Oye" as a children's piece for piano, four-hands. It was composed for two young friends of the composer, Christine Verger, age 6, and Germaine Durant, age 10, and was first performed by them in Paris, April 20, 1910. Later Ravel turned "Ma mere l'Oye" into a ballet by scoring the music for orchestra and adding additional material; this work had its premiere in Paris in 1912. The most familiar version of the music is the orchestral suite, taken from the ballet.

A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997 as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies. He replaced James Dixon, the director of the orchestra for more than 40 years, who retired at the end of the 1996-97 academic year. Prior to joining the UI faculty, Jones was the founding music director/administrator of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

Jones is a highly honored musician, having received the Twin Cities Mayors' Public Art Award, the American String Teachers Association Exceptional Leadership and Merit Award and the David W. Preuss Leadership Award. He has also been selected Musician of the Year by Sigma Alpha Iota, a music honorary society.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.