Art on the River 2019 – Dubuque, Iowa

[ Music ]>>It’s time for a
CityChannel Dubuque Featurette. [ Music ]>>Hi there. My name is Skip Willits, and
I created RIVER PALIMPSEST, this sculpture right here
for the Dubuque Riverwalk. This is a reconstituted
river buoy. Where I live, right on the
river down in Camanche, Iowa, they wash up from the floods
and get banged around along on the shores and
many times get stuck in the islands of the river. That’s where I found this one,
drug it home to the studio, cut it up, and reconstituted it. There’s some writing
on the inside of it. I’ve been working on
text work on my sculptors for quite some time now. And it has a lot of
river tales on it. It’s got some simple quotes
on it, that type of thing. It might be interesting to see
if you can read what I’ve said. [ Music ] Part of the title of
this work, palimpsest, is something I’ve always
been fascinated with ever since I started reading I think
it is the Iowa Palimpsest. It was an old — I don’t even
know if it’s still going, but it was a magazine
that always had a lot of different writings
in it and poetry and things having
to do with Iowa. What RIVER PALIMPSEST
has to do with the river, but palimpsest is being just
any type of parchment paper or any material that’s
used for writing. And then oftentimes
they would cover it up and write over it again. And that’s exactly where my
work is going is text work on sculpture, sculpture
as palimpsest and many times rewriting
it after the fact or writing it again
as the writing fades. [ Music ] My name’s Matt Kargol. I’m from Oskaloosa, and
I created CLOUD HARNESS. This sculpture is about ten
feet tall and was inspired by those visions in that lazy
summer day of being able to lay on your back and watch
the clouds fly over. And you see them come
from one direction and go to another direction. Just wanting to be able to kind
of harness myself to that cloud and go for a little ride. And so this piece came out of
that kind of poetic vision. And you know, then
I fabricated it. And obviously there’s
always fabrication concerns with how thick is the metal,
what scale, what material, all that stuff that goes
into making a sculpture. And so this piece had to have,
you know, this sheet metal in order to kind of create
sails because I wanted to give this impression of wind. And so the sails kind of come
up and capture the cloud. And then the cables wrap around
it because you need to be able to harness that cloud
and grab onto it. And so hopefully as you walk
by and visit this piece, you’ll kind of reminisce
and maybe look up at the clouds floating
over your head and kind of take a little trip with it. [ Music ]>>My name is Andrew Arvanetes. I’m from DeKalb, Illinois. My piece this year
is called ARK. And there was a theme
to the show this year. It was it had to do with
the Mississippi River. And I had this piece that
was very much like a boat, even though it looks like
it has a landing gear also and the sails all
point to the top, making it more like a rocket. But I felt the oxidized steel
finish really had a lot to do with the bridges over the
water and the barges that go down the river and I just
thought the piece really fit the theme very well and
was happy to enter it and happy that it was accepted. I’ve been in the show here a
number of times over the years and it’s always a great show. And just thank you all and I appreciate being
able to exhibit again. [ Music ]>>My name is David Zahn and
I’m from Moline, Illinois. And we’ve just installed my
sculpture titled CONFLUENCE here at Port of Dubuque. The theme for the show here was
supposed to be about the river. And I do works that
are central on people. But a confluence is where
two rivers come together. And in my sculptures that are
about people and, I don’t know, the human condition, our lives
are kind of like a confluence. Things are always coming
in and out of our lives. Our lives are fluid. Our lives are changing. We learn. We grow over time. And nothing’s really
fixed in one way. In the sculpture, the base
— which some people ask me, oh the base looks
a little crooked. Well, it’s crooked on purpose. It leans to one side and actually leans forward
a little bit to kind of represent the changing and
constantly shifting sands, kind of, that are
under our feet. And the sculpture, he leans
back and he leans to the side, kind of compensating for
that base being on an angle. The forms that make up the
body, they’re kind of like wind, they’re kind of like
water, probably mostly like water in this case. And if you look at the stomach,
on the center of the piece, there’s like a swirl,
kind of like a — oh, you see them in
the river, you know, as the water swirls down. And so — and then if you
look at the piece, it flows up and back to the side and
has that swirl in it. And that’s kind of the piece. [ Music ]>>My name’s Paul Russell. The piece is called ANCIENT
PROTOCOL and I made it in my family’s blacksmith shop in Chicago called
Longdale Forge. See, that shop was started by
my great-grandfather in 1927. Before that he was
making horseshoes for the Fire Department
of Chicago. So ANCIENT PROTOCOL is
this basically tall grass with dragonflies mating and
one lone dragonfly perched. And dragonflies have lots of
symbolisms in cultures all over the world for perseverance,
kind of just, you know, facing forward but
moving side-to-side. So the name ANCIENT
PROTOCOL came from a sonnet that my grandfather wrote,
referencing procreation, sex. So ANCIENT PROTOCOL is
referencing procreation as we know it. [ Music ]>>My name is Jeremy Colbert. I’m from Lexington, Kentucky,
originally from Oklahoma. I’m a Native American
from the Chickasaw tribe, and for 15-20 years of doing
this art and sculpture, I avoided doing anything with Native American
content in my work. And this piece, TA’LOWA, is
sort of a vision that I had about an outdoor sculpture that directly was
related to that heritage. And TA’LOWA means
rebirth or renewal. And so throughout the piece
there are some different images of basically my journey
from Oklahoma to Florida where I did my masters
at Florida State, and then from there to out south
Alabama, and then now I’ve been in Lexington, Kentucky
for 12 years. But the piece is a totem about
that journey and that vision that I had which
allowed me to finally tap into that Native American
culture that I avoided due to fear of being
cliche and understanding where my legacy was
in that culture. [ Music ]>>My name’s Tim Jorgensen. I’m from Madison, Wisconsin. I’m currently an MFA
student at the UW-Madison. My piece here, it’s
titled, POINT OF REFERENCE. It’s actually part of a
three-piece series where I want to install one in each location. Basically what I want
people to kind of gain from seeing it is knowing
that this one is installed in this location — there’s
actually two other ones installed in different
locations. One is currently installed
in Madison, Wisconsin. The other one is either going
to be installed in Champaign, Illinois, or Webster City, Iowa. So the idea is when they look
at these, they see these kind of broken cartography and
topographical maps kind of etched into the copper. You kind of think about
the space in between all of these kind of
triangulating location. So kind of has this
weird togetherness but still a separation. So as somebody is
looking at one, there might be other
people looking at another. But it’s suppose to kind of
bring some type of awareness to where, like, these spaces
in between, like you know, you hear a lot of terms
like flyover states, flyover areas, drive-thru
locations. Like, those all have people that actually reside
in those locations. So just an idea to
bring, like, awareness and maybe interpretations
of where other people live. [ Music ]>>My name is Ben Pierce. I’m from Cape Girardeau,
Missouri. The piece that I’m
exhibiting here in Dubuque is called, MERAKI. The title, the name,
comes from a Greek term. During a creative expression,
an artist is so in love with what they’re
doing and passionate about what they’re doing that
they leave a piece of themselves in their creation,
in their artwork. So that’s kind of where
the title comes from. For many reasons, the way
I sign my sculptures is like with this little
heart shape. It’s the way I used
to sign letters to my parents and
cards to friends. So there’s kind of this,
like, affectionate way that I even sign my sculptures. And the design of the
sculpture is inspired by nature. I’ve been heavily influenced
by nature and architecture. So this kind of curvy
shape, it’s representative of maybe a young plant growing
or there’s definite influence from a river or a waterway,
that kind of like following or organic, the way a
body of water curves. [ Music ]>>Hello! I’m Jenni
Petersen-Brant. I’m the Arts and Cultural
Affairs Coordinator for the City of Dubuque. One of the special
aspects and unique aspects of this year’s exhibition, that
we have our first virtual piece which is a piece by an
artist from Chicago, Illinois, Jenny Kendler. Her piece is, like I said,
it’s very special, very unique. This piece can be viewed
using the 4th Wall app. As you stand at this sign, you
can hold up your phone or iPad, look out over the river,
and you will see floating in the river a piece that
actually exists in Cairo, Illinois, a piece that is made
from life preservers, rope, and a floating lawnchair. So her piece is very
interesting. Again, you can only view
it with the 4th Wall app, right off the back of
the Grand River Center. [ Music ]>>Hello, Dubuque. My name is Donald Noon. I’m from Streator, Illinois. I’ve been in the show
a couple other times. This sculpture is on the
same lines of a composition. It’s an abstract composition. And one thing I want
to emphasize — there is a theme
to this sculpture. It’s called ACHILLES HEEL. And but the main thing about
my abstractions or compositions and like music, and it
deals with the space and the structure
through the parts. And but there are some
representable things in here that might evoke some
image in your mind. And it has to do with the
theme of the sculpture. [ Music ]>>Featurettes are short
films set in and about Dubuque that air at various
times throughout the day on your local government
channel, CityChannel Dubuque.

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