Cafe at Prairie Lights

  • Celestial Bodies

    works by Laura Bigger

    On view February 25 - March 21

    Celestial Bodies is a series of prints that uses symbolism to articulate the concept of a tipping point. Some works portray the point at which light approaching a black hole changes direction, having been drawn toward the black hole’s mass. Others portray light emerging carelessly from a prism with no obstacles. Components such as slices of water are either upright, indicating an expected stasis, or upside-down, hinting at an eerie world with laws of nature unfathomable to us. While this series is more abstracted than much of my recent work, it manifests an environmental concern and a visual experimentation with balance, optimism, pessimism, and escapism. These attitudes mirror our various relationships with climate change and metaphorically play out potential outcomes.

    Laura Bigger is an Assistant Professor of Art at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. She has previously taught at the University of Nevada, Reno and Augsburg College, in Minneapolis, MN. Originally from Boulder, CO, Bigger received a BA in Studio Art and Hispanic Studies from Colorado College in 2008 and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2013. She has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions nationally.

    For inquiries and sales, please contact

    Hilary Nelson, Gallery Curator at TIMESCLUBGALLERY@PRAIRIELIGHTS.COM

    Please join us for a reception with the artist on Saturday, March 21st in the cafe from 6-8pm.

  • Chimney & other fragments

    works by Bailey Romaine

    On view January 20 - February 23

    Grounded in an understanding of making as searching, Bailey Romaine's works are poetic explorations of the margins of space, language, and longing. By closely reading the grammar of the built environment, she seeks out moments of rupture: the way layers of paint on a wall overlap and bleed onto the hinges of a door, the pattern freshly tuck-pointed bricks make against their weathered counterparts, precarious supports at a construction site, ad hoc home repairs and quick fixes, props, supports, patches. These moments serve as jumping off points for her material improvisations, which unfold, expand, and unravel, until finally crystalizing. The resulting sculptures, drawings, and texts exist in a generative liminal state, caught between the longing for a nameable identity and the desire to continue moving towards new, as yet unthought forms.

    Bailey Romaine is a Maine based artist, writer, reader, and rambler. She holds an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her works negotiate between the haptic, material world in which we live and the liminal spaces of what is expressible. Her sculptures, drawings, and poetry emerge out of notational investigations of places and texts. She has shown her work throughout Chicago and beyond, including at the Chicago Artists Coalition, the Hyde Park Art Center, and Gallery 400. She recently completed a residency at the Institut für alles Mögliche in Berlin, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Growlery in San Francisco. 

    For inquiries and sales, please contact

    Hilary Nelson, Gallery Curator at TIMESCLUBGALLERY@PRAIRIELIGHTS.COM

    Please join us for a reception with the artist on Sunday, February 23 in the cafe from 4pm - 6pm.


  • 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