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Iowa Arts Council Seeks to Unite State's Art Community

Karla Conrad
The 2018 class of Iowa Art Fellowship fellows. Mary Jones, Molly Wood, Lauren Haldeman, Noah Doely, Julia Franklin.

With 99 counties and some serious driving time between major metropolitan centers, it’s easy for Iowa’s artists community to feel decentralized and sprawing. The Iowa Arts Council wants that to change.

2014 marked the first class of fellows under the Iowa Artist Fellowship, and five years later, the program continues, with five Iowa artists receiving $10,000 each to support their artistic endeavors and professional development.

On this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe explores the work of three fellows to learn more about the breadth of artistic work happening here in Iowa.


Noah Doely is a cross-discipline artist, working in photography, sculpture, and video. Most recently, Doely has focused his energy on a series of constructed, tableau-based cyanotypes -- a 19th century iron-based photography process that creates monochromatic images in a striking shade of blue. Doely is an assistant professor of photography at the University of Northern Iowa and has exhibited his work nationally and internationally in venues including the San Diego Museum of Art, Des Moines Art Center, and Viafarini in Milan, Italy.



Credit Courtesy of Noah Doely
Slides, cyanotype on Arches watercolor paper, 20 x 28 inches, 2017

Mary Jones applied to the Iowa Artist Fellowship at a self-proclaimed “turning point” in her career. Jones worked as a professor of Art and Design at Grand View University in Des Moines for more than 16 years before leaving teaching to focus fully on her own artistic endeavours in 2017.


Her most recent work explores the experience of urban walking through multimedia, collage-style pieces that create an experiential map of metropolitan neighborhoods in central Iowa. Jones’ mapping project, “I Remember Everything” is currently on display at Moberg Gallery in Des Moines.


Credit Mary Jones
Footfalls, mixed media on panel, 36" w x 18" h, 2018


Julia Franklin came to fellowship with not just a work to complete, but a story to tell. Franklin’s four room art installation, completed as part of her fellowship, invites visitors into her childhood home, set in 1970s and 80s Texas. Franklin’s father took his own life when she was 16, and her installation explores his life and death as a multi-sensory experience. Visitors to the instillation can open drawers, drink coffee, play movies, and records, and pick up objects to explore the complex realities that surrounded her father’s suicide. Franklin is a professor of art at Graceland University in Lemoni, where her installation will be on display through March 1st.



Credit Courtesy of Julia Franklin
Entrance to Julia Franklin's four room instillation,

Grant Services and Artist Programs Manager at the Iowa Arts Council Veronica O’Hern also joins the show to discuss the history and future of the Iowa Artists Fellowship. O’Hern, an artist herself, founded the fellowship in 2014 and joins Nebbe to discuss the two other 2018 Iowa Artists Fellowship recipients, photographer Molly Wood and visual artist and poet Lauren Haldeman.


The Iowa Artists Fellowship runs for a year starting in July, and applications for the 2019 fellowship are due March 15.


Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa