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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: Feb. 16, 2001

UI Museum of Art presents Spriestersbach lecture March 4

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Acclaimed art critic Dave Hickey will lecture on "Air Guitar and Other Western Topics" as this year's Bette Spriestersbach distinguished lecturer at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 4 in Buchanan Auditorium of the John Pappajohn Business Building.

Hickey's lecture, presented in conjunction with the UI Museum of Art's current exhibition "Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum," will be free and open to the public.

Hickey was the executive editor of Art in America and has written for many major American cultural publications, and he was also a staff songwriter for Glaser Publications in Nashville.

Hickey wrote a volume of short fiction, "Prior Convictions," in 1989. In 1997 he wrote "Air Guitar: Essays in Art and Democracy," a collection of critical essays. Hickey's latest book, "Stardumb," is a collection of stories with drawings by artist John DeFazio.

Hickey has served as owner-director of A Clean Well-Lighted Place gallery in Austin, Texas, and as director of the Reese Palley Gallery in New York City.

In 1994 Hickey received the College Art Association's Frank Jewett Mather Award.

Hickey served as a visiting professor at numerous institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin; The University of California, Santa Barbara; the Otis Parsons Institute, Los Angeles; and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

Originally from Texas, Hickey is now associate professor of art criticism and theory at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The annual Spriestersbach Lecture at the Museum of Art honors Bette R. Spriestersbach, a museum docent and a former program associate in the Child Health Specialty Clinics in the UI Hospital School. She is the wife of former UI Vice President Duane C. Spriestersbach, who endowed the lecture in 1992 through a gift to the University of Iowa Foundation.

"Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum" features 64 important paintings and sculptures from the 1820s through the 1940s by American artists fascinated with Indian and Hispanic cultures and the majestic landscapes of the western territories.

The artworks, which celebrate the landscape and pay tribute to Native Americans and their cultures, served to establish American art and its subject matter as new and exciting to audiences worldwide. They also helped establish a national mythology about the West.

"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.

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.