Cafe at Prairie Lights

  • NOT REAL FOOD

    An exhibition by Jonathan Sims

    On view March 30 - April 26, 2015

    Please join us for a reception of Friday, April 3rd
    from 6-8 PM at the Prairie Lights Cafe!

    Exhibition Statement:

    Food looks so good. It appeals to all of our senses. This appeal is something that advertisers have capitalized on for decades.

    I find it shocking and gross how aggressively food is marketed to us. We need food to live. It nourishes our bodies. And yet, corporations relentlessly work to convince us to purchase more, consume more, and spend more. Creativity has been harvested on a massive scale by advertising agencies to produce tempting food ads. These images, slogans, and art are put to work by corporations hungry to earn billions of dollars. These attacks on our mind are made worse by the fact that the foods which are most inexpensive are the worst for our bodies.

    It wasn’t until adulthood that I realized how ubiquitous food marketing is in our lives, and how easily drawn in we are by its efforts. Ronald McDonald, the Quik Bunny, and the Dunkin’ Donuts Guy brainwashed me by the time I was four years old. I grew up in the 80s and 90s, completely immersed in the world of bright colored, cartoony, cacophonous marketing. Even now, I can’t escape this part of our society, and part of me enjoys it. It’s twisted and weird and it makes me uncomfortable.

    My work explores this line between my repulsion at the corporate recklessness of food advertising and my strange fondness for the imagery of cartoon food and the marketing of something we require to live.

    About the artist:

    Jonathan Sims is an artist and illustrator living in Iowa City. He graduated from Coe College with a BA in Art, emphasizing in digital art and painting, in 2005. Jonathan worked as a digital artist at a portrait photography studio from 2005 to 2014, making art and comic books in his spare time. Currently, he spends most of his time illustrating and designing T-shirts at Jonnie 5 Apparel, drawing comic books, and making digital art.

    To see more of the artist’s work, please visit WWW.FLOATINGBUNNYHEAD.COM.

    For gallery or sale inquiries, please contact Sarika Sugla, Gallery Curator, via email at TIMESCLUBGALLERY@PRAIRIELIGHTS.COM.

     

  • Flitting with this Nature

    An exhibition by Jan Duschen

    On view March 2 - March 27, 2015

    Please join us for a closing reception on Friday, March 27th
    from 5:00-6:30 PM at the Prairie Lights Cafe!

    Artist's Statement:

    People often ask “Why do you choose to draw birds, Jan?”

    One could say I am attempting to form a meaningful connection with nature. I spend a lot of time observing birds, whether in the activity surrounding backyard feeders, looking into gardens, or raising my head up to the trees on a walk. As reference for my work, I often choose my images from a growing collection of photographs taken by fellow bird watcher Ben Horstmann, who is himself on a constant mission to document the many varied species of our feathered friends.

    Birds are fascinating little gems, offering a limitless range of color and intricate markings to examine. To me they present an irresistible opportunity to translate a seemingly infinite amount of detail into my art. The use of bold flat color in the space surrounding the high- gloss layered fine-work further shapes the characteristics of each individual bird. I aim to visually represent these creatures so they may be seen as beings of striking beauty, rather than merely objects of nature. It is my intent to reveal and enhance the personality of each bird, hopefully demonstrating why I think they are worthy of our study and love.

    About the artist:

    Jan Duschen is an artist based out of Iowa City. She received her BFA in both Drawing and Ceramics from Clarke University in 1999. Jan exhibits her artwork regionally, and her work is included in private collections throughout the United States.

    Currently, Jan balances her time between drawing and painting in her home studio and being the assistant manager at Blick Art Materials in Iowa City. Her work is inspired by her immediate surroundings of her daily life, with a growing focus on native birds.

    For more information, please visit the artist’s website here: http://www.facebook.com/pjannymarie

    For more information about The Times Club gallery or to purchase work, please contact curator Sarika Sugla at timesclubgallery@prairielights.com

  • Bad As I Wanna Be

    An exhibition by Breanne Trammell

    On view February 2 - March 1, 2015

    Please join us for a reception on Saturday, February 28, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Prairie Lights Cafe! 

    Artist’s Statement

    My art is about stupid things that I genuinely care about. It explores objects and icons from popular culture, the confluence of high and low brow, and mines from my personal history. It presents common experiences and awkward memories that we come to terms with. My art commemorates these experiences through humor and playful formalism. Like a gigantic crocheted cheeto or letterpressed twitter posts. Objects, observations, and inescapable memories that may seem unimportant but are significant and make us who we are.

    About the Artist

    Breanne Trammell is a multi-disciplinary artist and Friday Night Lights enthusiast. Her work has been exhibited at The Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY; Mixed Greens, New York, NY; New Museum of Contemporary Art Store, NewYork, NY; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA; and others. She is currently the Virginia Myers Visiting Artist in Printmaking at the University of Iowa.

    To view more of the artist’s work, please visit: www.breannetrammell.com. 

    For more information about The Times Club gallery or to purchase work, please contact curator Surika Sugla at TIMESCLUBGALLERY@PRAIRIELIGHTS.COM.

  • 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.