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 It's not easy, becoming an artist.

Consider what you'd need to get started: a tent, walls, shelves. A year's worth of application and booth fees. A deep inventory of salable work. The supplies and time to create that work. Health insurance, weather insurance. Food and rent. All this, in addition to talent. We're fortunate anyone makes art. New artists need a break, which is why we've introduced the Emerging Artists program.

Through the Emerging Artists program, college artists sell their work alongside the festival's slate of professional exhibitors. For 2016, nine students from five Iowa colleges and programs – all recommended by art faculty – applied to take part in the experience. Five were selected:

Allison Fretheim
Ceramics
The Ceramics Center

Artist statement:

Since childhood I have dealt with an obsession over the supernatural and sublime, and as I’ve gotten older, the ability for those experiences to inject themselves into the human experience and be accepted. I’m fascinated by the way many people accept, for instance, the existence of a God, of ghosts, or life on other planets. I’m interested in the process of these mysteries fitting into what is considered truthful, real, and normal. With these thoughts in mind, my ceramic work becomes a sort of journal for me to express the curiosities I feel toward the process of forming a perceived reality. I strive for the surface design on each of my pieces to become a tiny life and for that life to find a place among the normal and mundane, a pot. In the same way I am intrigued to see people process supernatural oddities and tuck them away in their thoughts, I am delighted to see a design element on my work questioned, processed, and placed away in a cupboard alongside fellow cups and bowls.


Sarah Long
Photography
Marion High School

Artist statement:

My main focus in my artwork is drawing, designing, and photography. Throughout my four years of high school - I will graduate May 2016, I have grown and developed my style of art to reflect different ways to see the world. I love to focus in black and white and experiment with the addition of gradients of color. The mediums in which I spend most of my time are photography and Photoshop.

I am inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, Salvador Dali, Lewis Carroll, Claude Monet, and Edgar Degas. To quote Henry David Thoreau - “This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” This means to me that I take inspiration from everything and I use what I see to create my artwork. I will continue in my study of art at the University of Northern Iowa this fall 2016, focusing on graphic design and photography.


Tabatha Jones
Ceramics
The Ceramics Center

Artist statement:

The objects that we surround ourselves with dictate the atmosphere and experiences that we have. I am fascinated by the subtleties that are intended to enhance everyday life. The word collage comes to mind, both in pattern and form. This thereby creates objects that require particular care and attention for their use. If one has to handle an object in a particular way for it to function properly or to explore its intricacies, then they are more likely to interact with it and take a closer look than they might have otherwise.

This ritualistic interaction also echoes the relationships that exist amongst people. We will lovingly hold a favorite cup with a handle very differently than one without. Likewise, the way we interact with one individual is very different than how we interact with another, and a collection of pieces is viewed differently than a single piece by itself. I am interested in the relationships and interactions that are occurring within these little environments which are comprised of a combination of people and objects.


Brittany Winch
Drawing
University of Iowa

Artist statement:

My portfolio of work is comprised of semi-surreal narratives mixed with a realistic style, as well as various abstract pieces. I most commonly create work that is widely open to interpretation, however the pieces also tend to have an underlying serious tone. As a beginning artist, I am at a point where I am still in the process of largely exploring new material and subject matter. Yet, thus far portraits seem to be a consistent go-to. My portraits tend to be displaced, dreamlike, and have compositions composed of both a human and some other natural aspect. When in need of inspiration, I often enjoy taking photographs of both my peers and myself, as well as looking into the details of the everyday life around us.

I am currently a first-year student at the University of Iowa, double majoring in Psychology and Sociology. Art, nonetheless, is current and growing passion of mine that I plan to continue making time to improve upon.


Jacob Putnam
Painting, Drawing
Luther College

Artist statement:

By exploring the found images posted on social media this series reveals how indefinite ones perception of a photograph can be. Play is a serious matter, but a matter often not taken seriously. We soon discover how often contemporary American society scoffs at those who have the ability to live in the moment and lose themselves in uninhibited elation. I do not find myself relating to the characters within each work's narrative. I have never been able to just truly live in the moment and have self-permissive fun. Reaction to this inability to be carefree can manifest in two different ways: either through judgmental contempt, or through envy.

These works are based off of photographs found on Facebook in order to reflect this kind of outside viewership; the viewers are either given the role of one looking at Facebook pictures from a night they missed out on, a night they avoided, or a night they themselves remember fondly. Candid photography used in my work also demonstrates the incidental attitude by means of being impromptu and impulsive. But when one takes the photo, and transforms it into a high detailed drawing, one loses the understanding that the creation of the image did not interfere with the scene. This process of creation as an imitation of another processes directly reflects the inability to live in the moment. It shows the tendency to over think things and focus on minute details for hours on end, further appreciating those who do have the ability to just let loose.






 


  2016 Emerging Artists Gallery

   
Allison Fretheim
Ceramics
The Ceramics Center


   
Sarah Long
Photography
Marion High School


   
Tabatha Jones
Ceramics
The Ceramics Center


   
Brittany Winch
Drawing
University of Iowa


   
Jacob Putnam
Drawing
Luther College


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