Prairie Lights

Cafe at Prairie Lights

  • Contrapuntal Hitch

    An Exhibition by Jen P. Harris

    January 5 - February 1, 2015

    Please join us for an Artist's Reception on Friday, January 23, 2015 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. in the Prairie Lights Cafe!

    “Presented with the mortality puzzles in Contrapuntal Hitch, we come up against our desire for a definitive answer to the most elusive of questions.We expect information to lead to understanding. But in the current technological age the proliferation of information, and the way it rapidly mixes with opinions, half-truths, and lies, also breeds confusion and fear. I am most drawn to Jen Harris’s work because I understand it to be elucidating this modern-day conundrum. It reminds me of what Chekov said to be the task of the artist, not to solve anything, but to offer “a correct presentation of the problem.” It is only through the most honest articulation of existence that the greater mystery has its own chance of being revealed.” - Jessica Lott

    An exhibition catalogue with an essay by Jessica Lott is available.

    About the Artist

    Jen P. Harris is an American artist who investigates information, networks and cycles in works that present mythic tableaux of the present age. Her intricately layered ink paintings transform ancient motifs, contemporary symbols and geometric forms into vivid scenes of complexity and profusion.

    Harris was born in Blacksburg,Virginia in 1977. She received a BA (1999) in Studio Art fromYale University and an MFA (2008) from Queens College of the City University of New York. Her work has been exhibited nationally at venues including Daniel Cooney Fine Art (NYC); John Davis Gallery (Hudson, NY); Rockland Center for the Ar ts (Nyack, NY), Ar tplace (Los Angeles); Baltimore Museum of Ar t; and Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (Wilmington). She is the recipient of a NewYork Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellowship (2012), Ora Schneider Residency Grant (2012), Puffin Foundation Grant (2011), and AstraeaVisual Arts Fund Grant (2011). Her work was selected to be included in the Pierogi Flat Files (Brooklyn, NY),The Drawing Center Viewing Program (NYC), and The Boston Drawing Project. She currently lives in Iowa City, IA.

    For learn more about the artist's work, please visit www.jenpharris.com.

    For more information about The Times Club gallery, please contact curator Surika Sugla at timesclubgallery@prairielights.com.

  • Bearing Witness

    An Exhibition by Patricia León Q

    December 1, 2014 - January 4, 2015

    Please join us for an artist's reception on Friday, December 12, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. in the Prairie Lights Cafe!

    Using the camera to document a variety of familial and cultural environments, Patricia freezes and hones in on particular fractions of images that explore her relationship with people and the places from her life. Through the documentation and abstraction of personal photographs, this exhibition invites viewers to question how one remembers their own personal encounters over time.

    About the Artist

    Patricia León Q is a Columbian-born artist currently living in Iowa City. She received her MA in Photography from the Taller Cinco Centro de Diseño in Colombia and her MFA at the EFTI School of Photography in Spain. She has also studied at the Rozas Cultural Center and at the International Congress of Photography in Spain and received a postgraduate degree in Cultural Policy & Cultural Management at the UAM-I Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico.

    Patricia has exhibited extensively in group and solo exhibitions, most notably in Columbia and internationally in France, Japan, Spain, Mexico, and Italy. Solo exhibitions include “Illusion Fishers” at the Centro Colombo Americano and “Visions” at the Chía Cultural Center in Columbia. In addition, she has received numerous photography awards and grants such as the NFA Artist/Ensemble Project Grant in 2014 for the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture from the Ford and Surdna Foundations.

    To see more of the artist’s work, please visit www.patricialeonquecan.com.

    For more information about The Times Club gallery, please contact curator Sarika Sugla at timesclub@prairielights.com.

  • Those I Live With: Making & Collecting

    A selection from the personal collection of Times Club curator Sarika Sugla.

    Sunday, November 9 - Sunday, November 30

    I have always identified as a dedicated maker and art lover, but recently curating has become the center of my artistic practice. This change stemmed from an appreciation for not only the art works themselves, but of the artists behind them. Art has a way of starting conversations, offering new perspectives, and changing emotions, and curating facilitates new insights by placing the work in varied dialogues.

    My beginning into curating came with the making of things. As makers, we are constantly asked to curate our own ideas, work, and exhibitions, and I believe this process requires constant and consistent openness to conversation and action. Most creative people tend to need an equally engaging community, as they are both actively seeking inspiration and creating discourse with their environment and surroundings. As a University town, the vibrant energy of Iowa City draws an incredible number of creatives in, and they usually don’t leave without leaving their ideas, vision, and presence behind. 

    When I was given the wonderful opportunity to curate The Times Club, I was immediately drawn to the chance to share the work of others, especially those I have met while in Iowa. Through artist trades, print exchanges, gifts and purchases, this exhibitions shows a selection of works on paper and photographs from my growing collection.

    In honor of the many talented people I have met, this exhibition hopes to share just a few works of my peers, mentors, and fellow makers that keep me company every day in my home, and that encourage me to keep seeing and making.  These artists have helped me realize that at the root, my own personal desire in making, collecting, and curating is to simply create, discover, and share relationships.

    I look forward to sharing the art of many others while I am here, and hope you will join in and support their work, conversations, and celebrations!

    Included Artists

    Margaret Braun // www.margaretnicolebraun.com

    Joshua Dailey // http://joshuadailey.com

    Damla Erten // http://damlaerten.carbonmade.com

    Jenny Harp // jennyharp.com/home.html

    Anita Jung // www.art.uiowa.edu/people/anita-jung

    Jaime C. Knight // www.jaimecknight.com

    Rachel Livedalen // rachellivedalen.com/home.html

    Amanda Maciuba // www.amandamaciuba.com

    Kim Michalak // kimmichalak.com

    Zora J. Murff // www.zora-murff.com

    Amber O’Harrow // www.daisyspider.net

    Perla Raga // 500px.com/photo/80570713

    Sarah Phyllis Smith // www.sarahpsmith.com

    James Snitzer // www.art.uiowa.edu/people/james-snitzer

    For more information, please contact curator Sarika Sugla at timesclub@prairielights.com.

  • Hartmut Austen, 'Figur'

    Hartmut Austen was born in Lüdenscheid, Germany, and received his Meisterschüler-degree from Hochschule der Künste (University of the Arts) Berlin. He also studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Austen has been a fellow of the Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellowship program and the Grant Wood Fellow for Painting and Drawing at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History in 2012/13.  

    Austen’s work has been included in group shows, most recently “Lost and Found: Belief and Doubt in Contemporary Pictures” at Passenger Project Space in Detroit and “Opening Lines: Telegraph in Berlin” at Milchhof Pavilion in Berlin. He has had one-person exhibitions at The Butchers Daughter Gallery in Detroit earlier this year; Paul Kotula Projects in Ferndale, Michigan, in 2009; and at Sasaki Associates in Watertown, Massachusetts, in 2011. Austen is an Assistant Professor for Painting and Drawing at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

    More information about Austen's work is available at www.hartmutausten.com.