University of Iowa News Release
April 14, 2006
Virginia Myers Chronicles 40 Years Of Intimacy With Nature In Museum Show
"The Ghost Elm and Other Views from Tenacre," an exhibition of more than 50 prints, drawings and paintings by Virginia A. Myers, a printmaking faculty member in the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, will be on display in the Carver Gallery of the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) April 22 through July 9, 2006.
Myers will give a gallery tour of the exhibition at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 28. Admission is free to the UIMA and to the gallery tour.
"Tenacre" in the title of the exhibition is Myer's home. Nestled in a forested stand north of Iowa City, Tenacre affords Myers a sweeping view of timber, open fields and prairie from the windows of her studio. The space of the land and sky at Tenacre, the ever-changing light in unending variety and intensity are the principal subjects of Myers' work.
These subjects and others are presented in "The Ghost Elm and Other Views from Tenacre," which spans 40 years of work. Myers' intimate knowledge of the life and death of "The Bur Oak" and "The Ghost Elm," for example, make her prints and drawings more than just conventional landscapes; they are moving tales of a closely observed world.
Myers' expressive work deals with uniquely Iowa weather phenomena in the country, including tornado, fog, arriving storm, frost and thaw, while the sky -- sunrise, sunset, eclipse, moonlight or dusk -- provides luminosity.
"I'm rather intimate with the weather," Myers says. "As light brightens or dims, while color changes with the approach of a storm or shimmers in a glowing sunset, the colors, textures and composition of a scene may be dramatically transformed."
A UI faculty member for more then 40 years, Myers teaches intaglio printmaking and foil stamping in the printmaking area of the School of Art and Art History. She is the inventor of the Iowa Foil Printer, which provided a new technique for printmakers.
Myers received her bachelor's degree from George Washington University and the Corcoran School of Art and a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. She came to the UI to study drawing with Mauricio Lasansky and soon moved on to printmaking, later serving for three years as Lasansky's research assistant.
After studying in Paris under a Fulbright Scholarship Myers returned to Iowa in 1962 and became a faculty member at the UI School of Art and Art History. Myers explained, "I could've lived anywhere, including Europe. I chose Iowa because basically I am a farmer and a woodsman, and I need to be close to the soil and the trees. To live here, to see the farmers coming and going, and the wildlife, of which there is aplenty. See, I like that."
Myers has had more than 118 one-person shows and participated in countless group exhibitions. Her work is in the collections of the San Francisco Art Museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, the Toledo Museum of Art and the National Collection of Women's Art. She has received grants from the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts as well as developmental leaves, two Old Gold Summer Fellowships and an Arts and Humanities Initiative Grant from the UI.
Basing her design on principals of industrial roll stampers, she developed a safe, affordable means for individual artists to explore the aesthetic possibilities of foil printing in their own studios. After the invention of the Iowa Foil Printer, she worked in conjunction with community members and students to improve and document the printmaking process of foil stamping using the printer. They collectively produced a book in 2001, "Foil Imaging: A New Art Form."
The exhibition is presented with support from the Richard V.M. Corton, M.D., and the Janet Y. Corton Exhibition Fund.
The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and noon to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north of the museum.
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