--Dan Cummins (Board President)
“As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas, and colors enough to paint the beautiful things I see.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Fall offers an abundance of opportunities to explore Johnson County's art offerings. Whether it be experiencing the new Stanley Art Museum, participating in a plein air painting event or exploring a local art exhibit, the choices are many.    

The ArtiFactory has a full fall calendar featuring Life Drawing, our Foiling Studio Group, and Art in the Afternoon. Our Gallery at 120 N. Dubuque St. is open Wednesdays from 3-5:30 pm and Saturdays 1-3 pm so stop by and visit.    And one of our favorite fall events, Gallery Walk, is back on October 7 from 5-8 pm.   We are featuring Kimberlee Rocca who has a fascinating and engaging exhibit called "Pivot".  

Finally, we have a private art studio available in the lower level of the 120 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City. It has a window and also a sink. Rent is $125.month. Please contact us if you would like more information.
September 18 | 1 pm in the gallery
Art in the Afternoon | Kimberlee Rocca
“Every time I see works of art I am intrigued by the process and want to do the forbidden, touch the work. I am energized by interactions with the materials and processes, which fuels my creative expression. I want people of all ages to experience that energy, even if it’s in a small way, by touching, arranging and exploring my work with their hands.” . . . more

Also, on the Downtown Gallery Walk
October 7 | 5-8 pm
Kimberlee Rocca Exhibit is OPEN
Saturdays | 1-3 pm       Wednesdays | 3- 5:30 pm
lower level  120 N. Dubuque St.
Greetings all of you plein air painters and plein air painter wannabes. ArtiFactory members, Beppie and Bob, had such a good time in the Amanas over Labor Day weekend at the annual  “Fresh Paint” event that they would like to keep on doing it while the lovely fall weather holds.

Let’s meet at Upper City Park in Iowa City near the log cabins on Saturday the 17th at 10 am, if it’s not raining, paint until noon then have a sack lunch together. . . more
Life Drawing at the ArtiFactory
Body Parts
October 1 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
October 15 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
October 29 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Your leader in this effort is Beppie Weiss. She has drawn and painted hundreds, maybe thousands, of portraits and people drawings, and will help you improve your own drawing skills. Our class will work on drawing all the body parts from different positions. Our goal will be to understand how it all comes together, and be able to draw it with more accuracy. ...more
Join us for life drawing in the lower level of 120 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City, IA. Please register for each session. Sessions may be canceled if the minimum enrollments have not been received by 24 hours in advance. We will be drawing from nude, scantily clothed or dressed models. Must be over 18 to attend.

Attention: Regular oils using odorless terpenoid will now be permitted.
Long Pose Studio Group
September 25 - 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
October 2 - 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
October 23 - 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Phil Dorothy Drawing Studio
September 29 - 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
October 20 - 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
November 3 - 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
The Foiling Studio Group
September 17 - 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
September 24 - 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
October 8 - 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Foiling Studio Group is an ongoing studio group open to both new foilers and those with past experience. Plan on taking multiple sessions to take your foiled prints from start to finish. Sessions do not need to be consecutive.   ,,,more
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--Beppie Weiss | beppie.net
Dear Art Friends,
It looks like the summer of 2022 is over, but it was a good one! We now have the University of Iowa’s Stanley Museum of Art back. PS1 is hosting many activities in its new location, the Close House, aka the Mansion. And, a new Indigenous Peoples Art Gallery and Café is opening in what was for a century the Unitarian Universalists church on Gilbert St. We at the ArtiFactory have been expanding our programing and currently are showing an exciting exhibit of work by Kimberlee Rocca. Her show, “Pivot”, is a display of colorful modular art forms, free standing and wall art, all made from scrap materials and transformed by paint and shiny materials. Check our gallery hours (Wednesdays 3-5:30 pm & Saturdays 1-3 pm), Kimberlee’s Art in the Afternoon presentation and we will be open for Gallery Walk.

The Amana plein air event over Labor Day weekend officially put an end to summer. (It’s all about canning tomatoes from here on out.) This year the Amana Art Guild took over its direction and did a fine job. The weather was good and the artists had a grand time.

It was so much fun that the ArtiFactory is planning to hold some paint outs as long as the nice fall weather lasts. The first one is next Saturday at Upper City Park. Come at 10am and plan to draw or paint.  Bring a drink and sack lunch and plan to have a good time.

One other last thing. Art Domestique is having its sixth “Small Works” show. Entry deadline is October 15. The show runs from November 1 to December 30. There is still time to get your little pieces finished.

That’s all from me this month. Send us your news and volunteer!  Beppie
--Phil Beck
You might never have heard Margaret Keane’s name, but if you’re of a certain age, you’ve seen her art. It was all the rage in the 1950s and ‘60s. Remember those doleful pictures of the children with the huge, limpid eyes staring at you from the canvas? Margaret Keane (born Peggy Doris Hawkins on Sept.15, 1927) painted them, though at the time you wouldn’t have known it. Because while she did the painting, her husband Walter took the credit.

Keane began drawing and painting as a child and from the beginning was interested in sentimental portraits of women, children, and animals. Her second husband, Walter, was a real estate salesman and amateur artist himself. He thought he saw a good opportunity to cash in on Margaret’s unusual paintings and in San Francisco in the late 1950s began displaying them under his own name. They caught on with the public and soon Walter was being congratulated, if not actually celebrated, for his trending art. Critics generally were derisive, but at the height of his popularity no less a figure than Andy Warhol, the grandmaster of Kitsch as High Art himself, defended his accomplishments.

Once she learned of her husband’s deception, Keane objected but was threatened into silence. She went along with the ruse, rationalizing that at least the paintings were being seen and people were buying them. After their tumultuous marriage ended, she found the courage to speak out and sued for recognition as the real artist. In 1986 she won her case when the judge arranged for a “paint off” between her and Walter, who refused to participate, claiming he had a sore shoulder. Keane finished her painting in 53 minutes and got the vindication she’d long been seeking. She spent the rest of her life painting and running a gallery devoted to her art. She passed away recently, on June 26 of this year, at 84.

There’s little question that Keane’s formulaic renderings of doe-eyed children are not the stuff of great art. But there’s also no denying that her work is unique, heartfelt, and skilled in execution. She insisted that her trademark oversized eyes were both a means of capturing the inner person of her subjects and of self-expression. “The eyes I draw on my children are an expression of my own deepest feelings,” she’s been quoted as saying. “Eyes are windows of the soul.” Among her influences, she cited Amedeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso.

In bringing her story to the screen, Tim Burton’s 2014 biopic, Big Eyes, walks a fine line between irony and compassion. The creator of many visually opulent, kitsch-savvy entertainments (Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Burton here chooses realism and restraint, focusing on the psychological drama of Keane’s fraught relationship with her manipulative husband. Crucially, the film treats the naïve but big-hearted Keane with respect, honoring her belief that she’s creating something of value, even as it satirizes the pop culture world that’s all too eager to have cynical fun with it. As Keane, Amy Adams turns in a gem of a performance, especially in the film’s second half when the once-submissive woman stands up to her abuser and fights for her identity as an artist and a person. As Walter, Christoph Waltz provides a deftly shaded study of a schemer and con man who is somehow as blind to his own humanity as he is to his wife’s. Their later scenes together crackle with eye-popping tension.

No matter what you think of Keane’s artwork, her story of self-becoming and triumph is one that’s worth telling, and Big Eyes tells it artfully. If it’s not quite a masterpiece, it mixes together many elements of one: insightful character study, scathing critique of American celebrity culture, and a sly meditation on the age-old question, What is Art?

Margaret Keane on Film:
Seen any of these films?  Tell us what you think of them, or suggest others not covered in the newsletter. Email us at “Artists in the Movies.”

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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Graphic design by: Robert Richardson