Cafe at Prairie Lights

  • The Colby Collection

    works by Anthony O. Colby and Cheryl Jacobsen

    On view December 9 - January 19

    The photographs on display are of past and present instructors at the “relatively famous Iowa Writer's Workshop. I am a graduate of the fiction workshop, circa 1969, a brief epoch in the history of the writing program when the urgency of world conflict and social change invested writers with a sense of mission which stretched far beyond the challenge of writing. It wasn't good enough simply to honor the great body of extant literature with new and charming works. One had to invest oneself with the mantle of moral courage to fend off the forces of abuse and intolerance; it was a time when self-willed saintliness was as imperative as the act of writing itself. I am proud to say a goodly number of our writers approached this wickedly impossible goal. Some of them are represented on this wall. Each of the photographs is accompanied by a sample of the writer's work rendered into calligraphy by Cheryl Jacobsen. The gift of her art is immediately obvious. Several of the calligraphy pieces have been shown in international exhibitions. 

    The photographs and bits of writing obviously have great personal meaning for me. It is an honor, magnificent in scope, to call these people my friends. 

    -Tony Colby 

    Early photographic portraits of Writer’s Workshop writers taken by WW alum Anthony O. Colby paired with calligraphic excerpts of the writers’ work by WW and PL poster artist Cheryl Jacobsen.

    Please join us for a reception on Thursday, December 12 from 6-8pm in the cafe. 

    For inquiries and sales, please contact

    Hilary Nelson, Gallery Curator at TIMESCLUBGALLERY@PRAIRIELIGHTS.COM


  • Soft Weirdo

    works by Melissa Dadourian

    On view November 11 - December 8

    I make wall pieces, sculptures, uniforms and installations. The fiber and material structures I create are knit and dyed fabric abstractions. These wall collages maintain a passive-aggressive quality, where they dominate a space while equally revealing inconspicuous moments. Intrigued, at an early age, by the obsessive aspect of craft and "handiwork" I began by weaving potholders, making dollhouse furniture out of discarded household objects, and beds for tiny porcelain animals. Growing up in the 70's during the craft movement I was completely charmed by the act of crafting and I created a plethora of self-defined functional items. This skill and fascination lead me to study the history of women's work and domesticity.

    Reinterpreting abstract painting and countering a once male-dominated art form is this work’s intrinsic relevance. Studying the history of, and personally living within, the female condition is what empowers this work. The ephemeral quality of thread and fiber, the balance of form to color, the strength to expose or disappear, heightens the tension of these relationships.

    Melissa Dadourian is a Brooklyn based artist working in textile media, painting and sculpture. She received a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA in Combined Media and Painting from Hunter College. Dadourian has exhibited internationally and in New York. Recently Dadourian presented work at the University of Buffalo as well as Transmitter Gallery, the Textile Arts Center and Chashama in Brooklyn. Residencies include Vermont Studio Center, MASS MoCA, The Textile Arts Center, the American Academy in Rome and the Citè Internationale des Artes in Paris.

    For inquiries and sales, please contact

    Hilary Nelson, Gallery Curator at TIMESCLUBGALLERY@PRAIRIELIGHTS.COM


  • Strange Power

    work by Nicole McIntyre

    On view October 17- November 10

    Nicole McIntyre lives and works in Michigan. She received her MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2017, and her BFA in Painting and Drawing from Maharishi University in 2014. McIntyre is Gallery Director and curator at NX. IX Gallery in Hamtramck, Michigan.

    For inquiries and sales, please contact

    Hilary Nelson, Gallery Curator at TIMESCLUBGALLERY@PRAIRIELIGHTS.COM

    Please join us for a closing reception with the artist on Saturday, October 19 in the cafe from 4pm - 6pm.


  • Stone Boat - Word and Image

    Works by Phillip Chen

    On view September 9 - October 13 

    Each print in the Stone Boat II lithographic series originated from a single word, a generative working title chosen to forward visual inquiry through a succession of varied image making processes: experimental drawing, model making, photography, predictive drawing, and printmaking. 

    Pavilion architecture activates the dialectics of inside/outside, embodying the bounded sentience of our half open, half closed state. From word to image and from origin to destination, the transitions of Stone Boat II propose that place is not a static concept. 

    As originally conceived, this lithographic series remains open and ongoing.  The inception of Stone Boat I occurred decades ago in Chicago, IL and led to the beginning of a subsequent series in Des Moines, IA.  

    This exhibition is the first public showing of Stone Boat II.

    Phillip Chen received his B.F.A. degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His prints have been exhibited in numerous locations nationally and internationally and are held in public collections that include Brooklyn Museum, New York Public Library, Carnegie Institute Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts. He has traveled extensively as a visiting artist and served as an evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts, College Art Association, and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. His image making has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, Iowa Arts Council, Louis B. Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the John Solomon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

    For inquiries and sales, please contact

    Hilary Nelson, Gallery Curator at TIMESCLUBGALLERY@PRAIRIELIGHTS.COM

    Please join us for a closing reception with the artist on Sunday, October 13 in the cafe from 4pm - 6pm.