WRITER: NATALIE ALLEN
CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 9, 2001
UI Museum of Art events Feb. 22, 23 in conjunction with 'Lure of West'
IOWA CITY, Iowa The University of Iowa Museum of Art will present
events Feb. 22 and 23 in conjunction with its current exhibition, "Lure of
the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum," on view at
the museum through March 18.
UI doctoral candidate Jennifer Vigil will present a lecture on "Refocusing
the Gaze: An Examination of Contemporary Native American Photographers" at
3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22.
Two events will be held at the museum on Friday, Feb. 23: At 3:30 p.m. there
will be a panel discussion on "Western American and Native American Literature:
19th Century to the Present"; and at 7:30 p.m. Iowa Writers' Workshop faculty
member James Galvin, who has a home in the mountains near the Colorado-Wyoming
border, will read "Western Poetry and Prose."
All events will be free and open to the public.
In her lecture Thursday Vigil will speak about the paintings and photographs
of Native Americans and their response to the visual history of the West,
including the works of contemporary Native American artists Victor Masayvesa,
Shelley Niro, Richard Ray Whitman and Zig Jackson. These are artists that
deal with the issues of their people, Vigil said.
"Native American people are still struggling for sovereignty," she said.
"They are still struggling with rights and issues. They address the myths
and legends of the West and present the counterpoint. They show what happened
to the people who were living at that time in the West."
Friday's panel discussion will concentrate on the educational aspect of "Lure
of the West" and how the exhibition can incorporate literature. The panel
will be lead by UI doctoral candidates Lori Muntz and Jane Simonsen. Other
panel members will be UI graduate students Bill Ness and Martin Buinicki.
The panelists hope that educators will attend, as they will discuss the ways
"Lure of the West" is used in classrooms.
Ness and Buinicki, have already incorporated the exhibition in their classroom
activities. Ness teaches interpretation of literature and planned a trip to
the UI Museum of Art where his students will view the exhibition. The class
is reading "Little Big Man," and will discuss "the definition of the frontier
and how it appears in literature to the present time," Ness said.
Simonsen plans to talk about the short stories and paintings of Angel DeCora,
a Winnebago Native American who worked at Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania,
an institution designed to assimilate Indians to the culture of European Americans.
Muntz will speak about Simon Ortez's book "From Sand Creek," which creates
a parallel between the Vietnam War and an 1864 massacre of Indians. She will
also talk about the idea of witnessing, which she describes as the act of
James Galvin will read from his books "Resurrection Update," "The Meadow"
and "Fencing the Sky."
Each of these books makes use of Western settings that Galvin knows well.
"They make remarks about what places mean in the American imagination," he
said. "To look at, it's just a landscape, but for us it's more. There's meaning
Galvin finds a parallel between Western writers and many of the artists in
"Lure of the West." "There are some really good painters who don't get their
share of respect, much like some writers," he said "They're short-changed
when they are categorized as Western painters."
"Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum" is
one of eight exhibitions in "Treasures to Go," touring the nation through
2002. The Principal Financial Group is a proud partner in presenting these
treasures to the American people.
Programs and exhibitions at the Museum of Art are supported in part by a
grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Local sponsors of
"Lure of the West" include Meskwaki Bingo/Casino/Hotel, the Gazette family
of companies, Humanities Iowa, Tru Art Color Graphics, the Iowa Arts
Council, and the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor
for events at the UI Museum of Art during the 2000-2001 season, through the
University of Iowa Foundation.
For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/uima
on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at
The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City,
is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday; 10 a.m.
to 9 p.m. Friday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered
parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside
Drive and just north of the museum.