Cafe at Prairie Lights

  • 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 www.thomasagran.com

    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 www.heidizenisek.com

     

    For sale inquries or to make purchases, please contact:
    Lauren Frances Evans, Gallery Curator, at timesclubgallery@prairielights.com.

  • HAUT AN HAUT

    An Exhibition by S. Nicole Lane
    On view from November 7 - December 3, 2016

    Please join us for an exhibition reception on
    Saturday, December 3rd from 5 - 7 PM at the cafe!

    Exhibition Statement:

    As someone whose personal health is quite obsessively linked to the skin — the flesh, the layers, the cells, and the mingling in between — Nicole's artistic practice is deeply rooted and dedicated to exploring her personal narrative, and where her body belongs in a space that continuously brawls with her. Through physical and emotional obstacles, her work is centered around the process of finding the answers, not really considering the question, and laughing at the root of it all. 

    Nicole’s professional work as a writer relies heavily on women's health, specifically, sexual health, and her late diagnosis of vaginismus and the discovery of pre-cancerous cells in 2015 forced her to reevaluate her space as a young, breathing, sexual human being. As her work corresponds to her personal pleasure with flesh and skin, it traverses beyond aesthetics and into her necessary recovery, both psychological and physical. 

    Many of Nicole’s artistic materials stem from the bedroom and the doctor’s office — both sterile and delicate, they conflate to create a cohesive and introspective body of work that addresses and alleviates trepidations. Tools used for dilation, protection, and resilience are all necessary to Nicole’s practice.

    Utilizing assemblage and sculpture, Nicole’s work draws attention to the fragile and the grotesque. Her work aims to reduce the body to a lump, a knot, a never-ending coil which eradicates our past knowledge of the human form and introduces the stupid, silly, parcel that is holding it all in and letting it all drain out. 

    About the Artist:

    S. Nicole Lane resides in the Southside of Chicago where she is the Managing Editor for VAM, an arts based platform, and is a contributor to several platforms where she writes about women’s health and wellness. Her creative practice consists of assemblage, found objects, and small sculptural works. 

    Her work has been exhibited at Guilford College, Roman Susan, Woman Made Gallery, Mist Gallery, and Heaven Gallery, as well as various online publications. In 2014, she participated in the Starry Night Residencies in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Nicole received a BA in Photography and English with two minors in Dance and Art History from Guilford College in 2013.

    To see more of her work, visit: www.snicolelane.com

     

    For sale inquries or to make purchases, please contact:
    Lauren Frances Evans, Gallery Curator, at timesclubgallery@prairielights.com.

  • THE ALREADY / NOT YET

    An Exhibition by Emily Jalinsky
    On view from October 10 - November 6 2016

    Please join us for an exhibition reception on
    Saturday, October 15th from 5 - 7 PM at the cafe!

    Exhibition Statement:

    ​​Emily’s recent work seeks to reveal the meditative act of mindfulness. Repetitive patterns and ceaseless arranging serve as a way to alleviate states of hopelessness and anxiety. Emily uses methods of centering and repetitive action to further the idea of finding stillness in any moment. The borders between inner and outer landscape, material and immaterial become intertwined. Lichen, a symbiotic and slow growing organism, is used as a symbol of resilience and continual growth, while patterns of gold and pools of water suggest an elusive and yet present spiritual expanse. 

    In her practice, Emily works with relief, silkscreen, and intaglio printing processes. Pieces may be stained with tea leaves, painted with watercolor, drawn on, embroidered, bound together; but always with a delicate, controlled sensibility. Her work moves between the worlds of print and mixed media, emphasizing the use of the multiple. Working on many pieces at a time, Emily continually combines smaller pieces together to create larger compositions including prints, assemblages, and installations.  

    About the Artist:

    Born and raised in the Midwest, Emily Jalinsky received her BFA in printmaking from the University of Kansas. Her print and mixed media work seeks to reveal the meditative act of mindfulness. Curiosities both natural and spiritual are captured, while pathways to peace are explored. Emily lives and works in Iowa City, IA where she resides on the board for Public Space One and helps facilitate and teach at the Iowa City Press Co-op.

    To see more of her work, visit: www.emilyjalinsky.com

     

    For sale inquries or to make purchases, please contact:
    Lauren Frances Evans, Gallery Curator, at timesclubgallery@prairielights.com.

  • Thursday's Child

    An Exhibition by Stephanie Brunia
    On view from August 29 - October 9, 2016

    Please join us for an exhibition reception on
    Saturday, September 17th from 5 - 7 PM at the cafe!

    Exhibition Statement:

    My father and I were both born on Thursdays.  He finds particular significance in these sorts of details.  I view them as indistinct legacies—far less significant than the genetic one we share, but a subtly parallel path nonetheless.  Perhaps the only significance of this trivia is that we both have tried to imbue it with meaning—to make it somehow consequential—this arbitrary fact that came at the beginning of both our stories.  Conceivably this is how love works.  We place enough mutual faith in our desire for connection that we elevate these circumstantial strands in an effort to cinch the knots that bind us.  Our stories become so intertwined that at times it is hard to distinguish the self and the other.

    My story has only ever included my father.  He has been an undeniable fact from the start—his existence seemingly as concrete and fundamental to my world as the laws of physics.  I was fortunate that in my youth my father willingly took on the role of providing for my care, firmly cementing his position within the bedrock of my understanding of self.  However, the undeniable nature of time means that the accumulation of years has begun to show.  Small changes creep in—their presence a reminder that our beginnings and endings will, in all likelihood, mirror one another: his life beginning without me; my life ending without him.

    My father’s end is by no means imminent, however, our relationship is clearly facing transition.  In an attempt to see (and ultimately to understand) these weighty and largely indiscernible moments, I have turned to photography.  At the core of these portraits is my desire to stave off his inevitable decline.  Yet this desire, in itself, is incorporeal.  In order to visualize these intangibles through photography—a medium that can only deal with physical bodies in concrete spaces—I find myself performing futile gestures for the camera.  The futility of these attempts means I often repeat the same gestures—ones of shrouding, erasing, gazing and tracing—as if hoping for a different outcome.   In this work, his flesh is my flesh; and in his aging, I face my own.

    About the Artist:

    Originally from Ames Iowa, Brunia currently lives in Oxford, Iowa. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Mexico in 2012 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa in 2007.  Brunia has exhibited at various venues throughout the U.S. including the Griffin Museum of Photography, Rosalux Gallery, the Center for Fine Art Photography, and Rayko Photo Center and Musee d’Elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland.  In 2011, Brunia was selected as one of three artists to be featured in the Des Moines Art Center’s annual Iowa Artists exhibition.  She has been chosen as one of eight artists to be included in the Sioux City Art Center’s inaugural Sioux City Art Center Selects exhibition.  Most recently, Brunia has been selected as a 2017 Iowa Arts Council Fellow.

    To see more of her work, visit: www.stephaniebrunia.com

    For sale inquries or to make purchases, please contact:
    Lauren Frances Evans, Gallery Curator, at timesclubgallery@prairielights.com.