Cafe at Prairie Lights

  • Friends Under Pressure

    An exhibition sharing the University of Iowa Printmaking exchange

    On view June 1 - June 28, 2015

    A diverse collection of work can been seen in this exchange.  The artists here have used traditional printmaking processes, such as relief and etching, and contemporary approaches, including the hot-stamped foil process developed at the University of Iowa by Professor Emeritus Virginia Myers, to explore a variety of subject matters and ideas.

    From sewing on prints to the use of both traditional and digital printmaking techniques, this exchange highlights some of the unique work being made at the University of Iowa in 2015.

    Artists participating in this exhibition include: Patrick Casey, Thomas Deaton, Robert Glasgow, Anna Haglin, Jenny Harp, Allison Heady, Charles Henry, Amanda Johnson, Anita Jung, Rachel Kauff, Terri Krallitsch, Amanda Maciuba, Ross Mazzupappa, Gonzalo Pinilla, Katherine Posten, Allison Rosh, Jim Snitzer, Corinne Teed, Breanne Trammell, Richard Wenrich, Deanne W. Wortman, Sarita Zaleha.

    For inquiries, please contact contact Sarika Sugla, Gallery Curator, via email at Please note that work in this exhibition is not for sale. Copyright is reserved by the artist.


    An exhibition by Josh Doster
    On view April 27 - May, 31st 2015

    Please join us for a reception on Friday, May 15th
    from 5:00-7:00 PM at the Prairie Lights Cafe!

    Artist’s Statement

    (Be sure to look at where the finger points and not the finger itself.)

    It is only possible to express in words what words are capable of expressing. In my visual work, I pay attention to the visual language of my materials. I am a form maker. Forms take shape, and these forms embody my thoughts, ideas and emotions. It is through these forms that I facilitate an intimate and meaningful connection to my environment. This is how I come to know the world.

    Through an emphasis on the physical language of the materials I use, I employ subtle visual interactions that allow viewers to immerse themselves. I allow paint to behave like paint and wood to be celebrated as wood. Ideas of balance, boundaries, and impermanence are some examples of reoccurring ideas that have become anchored or embedded within the play and interaction of materials.

    I have a tendency of avoiding overly rationalized approaches. Instead, I move intuitively and open myself to discovery, ill-conceived combinations, incertitude, unintentional marks, unconventionality, and flux. While working, I choose to avoid thoughts that prohibit or hinder forward movement. The space of forming and the harmony between thought and action are given ultimate priority. All that does not reinforce this fluency is seen as suspect.

    My forms are not puzzles to be solved. There is no specific, clear message that I am trying to communicate to the viewer. This is not to say my work is devoid of substance or content, as I feel my forms to be full and close as possible to a representation of everything I know. Rather, I am attempting to create meaning collectively with my audience. I seek a type of collaboration with the viewer, and aim to obscure the boundaries between form, environment, and viewer. I often do this by employing humor to cut through the heaviness of one’s thoughts, and by facilitating systems of randomness or ordering principles closely connected to the natural world. 

    The process of creation is a gamble, and I am interested in the notion that we just don’t know how things will turn out.

    About the Artist:

    Josh Doster is a visual artist that has been living and working in the Iowa City area for the last decade. He received his MFA in painting from the University of Iowa in 2014.  By day, he works as a self sustaining farmer at the Donkey Barn and by night, bartends at the Foxhead Tavern.

    To see more of the artist’s work, please visit

    For gallery or sale inquiries, please contact Sarika Sugla, Gallery Curator, via email at


    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:

    For more information about The Times Club gallery or to purchase work, please contact curator Sarika Sugla at