Cafe at Prairie Lights

  • P O S T - S P A C E : T R A N I T O F M E M O R Y

    Works by Elizabeth Munger
    On view from March 6 - April 2, 2017

    Please join us for a closing reception on
    Saturday April 1st from 5-7 PM at the cafe!

    Exhibition Statement

    A curated collection of memories from an illusory journey. Using found paper in conjunction with mixed media including prints, photos and a recovered artifact the artist has attempted to record a fleeting transmigration.


    About the Artist

    Elizabeth Munger is a maker of artist books, and print and paper works, including installations and collage. She is an Iowa native residing in Iowa City where she has her print studio, as well as runs & operates a print shop (the Paper Nest).  She received her M.F.A. in 2014 from the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

    To see more of her work, visit:

    For sale inquries or to make purchases, please contact:
    Lauren Frances Evans, Gallery Curator, at

  • F I R S T T E N P A I N T I N G S

    Works by Matthew Foster
    On view from February 13 - March 5, 2017

    Please join us for a closing reception on
    Saturday February 25th from 5 -7 PM at the cafe!

    For sale inquries or to make purchases, please contact:
    Lauren Frances Evans, Gallery Curator, at

  • S Y N C H R O N I C I T Y

    Works by Kenneth Hall
    On view from Janurary 9 - February 12, 2017

    Please join us for a closing reception on
    Sunday February 12th from 4:00 - 5:30 PM at the cafe!

    Exhibition Statement:

    Tiepolo, Rembrandt, and Correggio have offered up elegant bodies, caught up either literally “into the sky” or figuratively “into rapture” as they swoon under passionate forces. Kenneth Hall uses these figures as surrogate forms – remnants of passion – in fractured spaces. Subsumed by atmospheric gradations of paint and pierced by gestural marks that move through the imagery like waves of radiation, his paintings reveal recognizable forms and figures from the Old Masters, woven into tumultuous abstract environments, suggesting both sensuality and tragedy. 

    Hall’s recent work is inspired by the raw forms and intense color fields of Abstract Expressionism, but also has roots in the earthy palette and brooding tenebrism of the Baroque period. This juxtaposition of art historical figuration and aggressive abstraction results in a pulsating energy. The swirling of paint, smeared and pixilated, becomes a metaphor for relational struggles, misunderstandings, and unfulfilled desire. The figures bring their own legacy of meaning, including human virtues or the struggle to find spiritual significance. The combination of old and new creates tension; it is a sort of displacement where the figures become ruins, weighted with nostalgia but still seductively beautiful in our contemporary age. 

    About the Artist:

    Kenneth Hall was born and raised on the East Coast, a “Navy brat” who made an early-30’s transition from a career as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard into a more creative career in the arts. Ken’s first “legitimate” art experience was at the University of Illinois, Champaign, where he enrolled in a Drawing I course while working toward a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering. After ten years in the Coast Guard (and with his wife’s full support), Hall decided to take a leap of faith and go back to school full-time for art. Columbus College of Art (BFA) and Miami University (MFA) were the seven years of training and immersion in art that helped to form his aesthetic and vision as an artist. 

    Kenneth Hall is an Associate Professor at the University of Northern Iowa now, where he teaches Painting and Drawing. He has shown his work nationally and internationally, from an art fair in New York City, to a group exhibition in Hamburg, Germany, to an international arts conference in Athens, Greece and a recent month long residency in Berlin, Germany. 

    To see more of his work, visit:

    For sale inquries or to make purchases, please contact:
    Lauren Frances Evans, Gallery Curator, at

    * * * exhibition catalogues are available for purchase in the Prairie Lights Cafe * * *

  • P O S T - P L E N T Y

    Works by Thomas Agran, Sarah Bozaan, and Heidi Zenisek
    On view from December 5, 2016 - January 8, 2017

    Please join us for an exhibition reception on
    Saturday, December 10th from 5 - 7 PM at the cafe!

    Exhibition Statement:

    For ages, humans have worked the land, tilling its surface, sowing its seeds, and bringing about the bounty of its sustenance. With technological and industrial advances of the modern era, agricultural practices have undergone major shifts, many of which have had undesirable outcomes, despite their vast efficiencies. The works in this exhibition point to various aspects of this consequence.

    Thomas Agran’s landscape paintings depict the darkness and erosion of the Midwestern landscape, its total transformation through agriculture, and the political, social, and environmental consequences of that change.

    Sarah Bozaan’s embroidered landscapes, in making and manner, refer to the digitalization and fragmentation of the same landscape. Stitching up and down the rows of corn, she replicates the order, beauty, and quiet menace of mechanized agriculture. The gentle slopes hold a natural and humble beauty, yet in effect are byproducts of this mechanization.

    On the farm, the exaggeration of time and rapid cycles of life and death are witnessed firsthand. Vast expanses of crop are raised and harvested, and hundreds of calves are born each spring, only to be sold shortly thereafter for slaughter. Large quantities of material are vigorously used for months, then discarded or replaced. Denying its impotence, Heidi Zenisek’s work examines the afterlife and potential of this residual material. Through play with the material’s physical qualities, it’s aesthetic and conceptual value begins to be redefined.

    All working in the shadow of the industrial farm, Agran, Bozaan, and Zenisek each examine the after-effects of its plentitude.


    About the Artists:

    Thomas Agran’s work examines industrialized agriculture’s impact on the Midwestern landscape, as well as both absurdities and eccentricities of its practice. Born in Stanford, Kentucky, in 1986, and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, he went on to study Fine Art at Grinnell College and completed his MFA in Painting at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. His work can be found in private, corporate, and institutional collections, as well as the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. He currently lives, works, and gardens in Iowa City, Iowa. To see more of his work, visit

    Sarah Bozaan was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1986. Her process-based work employs photography, printmaking and textile/fiber art. Thread has become an important media in her process-based work as her great-grandparents were weavers in Hafar, Syria. Her parents are both children of immigrants and her multicultural heritage both aesthetically and conceptually influences her work. She holds a B.A. in Studio Arts from the University of Iowa and her work has been featured in local and national juried exhibitions. Bozaan is currently residing and working in North Liberty, IA.

    Heidi Zenisek uses sculptural assemblages and installation as a platform to abstract outmoded farming equipment from their former industrial utility and find a rediscovered relevance within the refuse. Growing up, her playground was six hundred fifty acres of dirt, cows, corn, and rust in Solon, Iowa. Since receiving her BFA from the University of Iowa in 2015, she has spent most of her time working and exhibiting throughout Iceland and Scandinavia. She recently moved back to Iowa to continue her art practice where it began. To see more of her work, visit


    For sale inquries or to make purchases, please contact:
    Lauren Frances Evans, Gallery Curator, at