--Dan Cummins (Board President)
“Is This Really Art?”  
Have you ever asked that question when presented with a piece that seems out there on the fringe? There will probably always be debate about what constitutes art and, as it turns out, it’s a somewhat complicated subject. This month's newsletter may have some of you asking, “is this art?” We highlight the work of underground comics artist Robert Crumb, the Open Doors! garden installation, and the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art exhibit, "Seriously Funny: American Gothic Parodies." But, as American artist Keith Haring put it, "Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.” Hopefully something in this issue of The ArtiFactory Newsletter helps you feel free and stretched.
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Phil Dorothy Drawing Studio
Now that many of us are vaccinated, the ArtiFactory will offer a Thursday night life drawing group in memory of Phil Dorothy. The next one is on August 19, 2021 at 6:30-8:30 pm. in the lower level of Wesley House at 120 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City, IA. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Those interested in attending need to register so the ArtiFactory can gauge interest in this event. We will be drawing from nude, scantily clothed or dressed models. Must be over 18 to attend.
Register for August 19
Studio Rentals

Leases for ArtiFactory studios on the lower level of the Wesley House (120 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City, IA) are $125/month. This covers all utilities except Wi-Fi. Access 24/7 via a key fob. The studio has a small sink. Contact us to find out more.
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--Beppie Weiss | beppie.net

Dear Art Friends,

Summer is going by much too quickly. The garden and fruit trees are keeping me more than busy. A warm juicy peach right off a tree is an indescribable treat which here in Iowa doesn’t happen every year. But all work and no art makes us dull it’s claimed, and this month has a lot yet to offer.
The first event you need to know about is only on for THREE hours! “The Door Story” is an exhibit of 18 old doors donated by Restore and painted by local artists. They will be on display in a garden behind a white house on the corner of Scott Blvd. and Rochester Ave. (across from a bank). Put Friday August 20, 5:30-8:30 on your calendar. The rain date is for the 27th.
There is free admission at Cedar Rapids Museum of Art now until September 5th. That alone is worthy of a visit, but now until the 22nd is a hilarious exhibit, “Seriously Funny American Gothic Parodies”. Of the iconic works in the world, America’s contribution is undoubtedly “American Gothic” painted by our very own Grant Wood. This painting has been the subject of innumerable redos over the years, and this show has some doozies in the real,  and many more in a video presentation.
Beginning now and running until mid October our board member, Deanne Wortman will be displaying her collection of collages, “Tiny Town” at the North Liberty Public Library. These fanciful pieces are constructed of hand dyed paper and embellished with inks, pens, pencils and brushes to create magical little houses and characters of her tiny town. Bring a child along to see this, then walk into the children’s section for lots more.
Catiri’s Art Oasis is hosting its 13th Plein Air event on Labor day weekend, September 3-5. There will be painters scattered throughout the area and you are welcome to find and watch them paint the town and countryside. The weekend ends with an exhibit and dinner and unsold pieces are hung and displayed at the gallery for later viewing. Artists can still register to participate at freshpaintiowa.com, or call 319-622-3969 for information on tickets for the exhibit and dinner.
The last item in my note to you is coming from the Shelter House here in Iowa City. They are holding a 5 day art auction, on line, November 22-26. “Artists Ending Homelessness” will showcase artwork donated by area artists for sale to the highest bidder. If you are an artist and would like to donate a piece of your work to this cause, please contact: tshailyn.harrington@shelterhouse.org. For you non artists, this is a good opportunity to pick up a nice piece of art and support this important organization’s efforts in our community.

Ceramics by Tonya Kehoe
That’s all from me for now.
Enjoy what’s left of the summer, and let me know of any art type events that we can share or help promote in our community by clicking here.

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--John McGlinn | artshowjourney.com
Picasso and Paper: virtual exhibition tour Royal Academy of Arts in London
Experience the Royal Academy “Picasso and Paper” exhibition from home in this video tour of the galleries. Great for the many folks for whom intimate size is important in art.
39.5 minutes long.

Shanghai Astronomy Museum
This is amazing, not just for its looks but its functional robustness. Also, while the link shows a video clip initially, the presentation is a slide show to be scrolled down, not a video. Reminds me of how robust of a design the Hancher is. Lucky us.
Shanghai Astronomy Museum

Mary Cassatt: The Life of an Artist by Art History School
Wonderful and thorough biography with many images, all very nice. Warm and engaging but not sentimental in my mind until her very last phase, which we can all forgive! And then there are her prints, wow!
The image shown has been one of my favorites since I first saw it in my 1968 “Art in America” magazine with an article focusing on prints. Mauricio Lasansky was featured as well. Yay!
16 minutes

Mary Cassatt
Guggenheim Museum Exhibition
Summer exhibition at The Guggenheim Museum in New York including images and music. Not a video link, but here just an image that is too "wow" to not share. Given the spiral floors of the Guggenheim evident in the photo, how tall you ask? 84ft image. And how done? Don't know yet.

On View July 23–September 6, 2021...what the artist calls a “sonic sculptural space.”

Also on the exhibition page is the University of Iowa Stanley Museum’s “Pollock’s Mural” on display there this fall!

Guggenheim Exhibitions
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--Phil Beck
R Crumb Trailer
R Crumb Trailer
Among the more unusual figures in the art world is cartoonist Robert Crumb (or R. Crumb, as he signs his work), whose upcoming August 30 birthday will be his 77th. “I was born weird,” he’s said, and anyone familiar with his contributions to the underground comix movement of the 1960s and 70s has no doubt of that statement’s truth. A seminal figure in counterculture cartooning, Crumb is most famous for creating the characters Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural, and the iconic “Keep on Truckin’” guy with the slouching walk and huge shoes seen in posters hanging on countless college dorm room walls.

Crumb’s art has been both praised and condemned for its singular blend of satire, eccentric drawing style, and touchy subject matter that includes violence and grotesque sexuality. He’s been attacked by feminists for his depictions of women and by other critics, including cartoonists, for his inclusion of racial stereotypes, though he defends their use as holding up a mirror to society’s bigotry. But he’s been celebrated by nearly everyone for his imaginative imagery, bizarre humor, and unflinching willingness to expose both his own and America’s hang-ups.

In 1972, Ralph Bakshi’s Fritz the Cat became the first X-rated animated film ever made. Though it was based on Crumb’s own cartoons and turned out to be a huge hit, Crumb disliked it and fell out with Bakshi afterwards. So distasteful was the experience for him, he actually killed off Fritz in a later comic so he would never have to draw the character again. Crumb was also unhappy with the portrayal of himself (by actor James Urbaniak) in American Splendor (2003), an innovative mix of autobiography, documentary, and animation about the life of friend and fellow underground cartoonist Harvey Pekar (2003).

He fares much better, however, in the major cinematic work devoted to him, Crumb, a 1995 documentary that provides a rich and revealing introduction to his life and strange family background, innovative work, and dyspeptic outlook on the world. It won raves from critics and several major awards, including the Documentary Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. (It was snubbed by the Academy Awards, however, causing a scandal.) Directed by Terry Zwigoff (Ghost World), it took nine years to complete and is on a few lists of the best documentaries ever made. Reportedly, Crumb wasn’t much impressed with it, but he hasn’t spent his life bashing it either, so presumably he’s less dissatisfied with this film than with the others.

August must be the month for oddball artists. We’ve come around again to the first one I wrote about for this newsletter, Andy Warhol. Here’s a brief blast from the past: “Love him or hate him, it’s impossible to ignore the impact he had on modern art and American popular culture.  With his distinct look and outsize celebrity status, it’s no surprise he showed up as a character in movies recounting the feverish New York City art scene of the 1960s and 1970s.  He’s been portrayed by Jared Harris in I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) and Guy Pearce in Factory Girl (2006), films centered on women who were part of Warhol’s circle.  But most memorable is musician David Bowie’s otherworldly turn as the older Warhol in Basquiat, a 1996 biographical film about Jean-Michel Basquiat, the New York graffiti artist turned 1980s Pop Art sensation with Warhol’s help.”

A year later, it’s all still true!
Seen any of these films?  Tell us what you think of them, or suggest others not covered in the newsletter. Click here to contact Phil Beck with your movie comments or suggestions.

R. Crumb on Film:

Andy Warhol on film:
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Art in the Afternoon on YouTube

Recordings of the the recent Art in the Afternoon programs on Zoom are now available on the ArtiFactory YouTube channel.

Watch on YouTube

We have several needs for volunteers.

If you are interested in helping keep the arts alive in Johnson County. Please click here for more details.
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Past Newsletters:
07/20/2021 - Slow down enough to take it in
06/22/2021 - Nature is in full bloom
Graphic design by: Robert Richardson