--Dan Cummins (Board President)

A few years ago, I traveled to northern New Mexico and visited the stunning canyons at Ghost Ranch. Ghost Ranch was Georgia O’Keefe’s home and where she painted many of the stark landscapes for which she is famous. I later learned that some of her first works were of New York cityscapes, when skyscrapers changed both the skyline and the way people lived in the 1920s. Later in life, her paintings depicting aerial views of clouds and sky were inspired by her airplane travels. O’Keefe was also known for her iconic impressions of flowers.

Learning about Georgia O’Keefe makes me think about how place influences an artist’s work. How has a sense of place affected your life and work?

Read more about Georgia O’Keefe in our “Artists in the Movies” column.
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--Beppie Weiss

Dear Artists, Art Lovers and Art Supporters,

It’s time for the November ArtiFactory e-newsletter. This is a special time. I want my evening cocktail an hour earlier and am still getting up in daylight savings time. There’s plenty of  yard work to do and some lovely 70 degree days in which to do it. Another good thing.....all this wind has my yard almost leafless, but the neighbors, well enough said.

We will have more indoor time now and I have been looking for things that you might enjoy watching. The Museum of Fine Art in Boston has two shows you don’t want to miss. One is “Monet and Boston: Lasting Impression”. This show features work from the museum’s extensive collection. There is a preview, show description, and curator talk available now. The second show is “Writing the Future - Basquait and the Hip- Hop Generation”. This is about the post-graffiti movement in NYC that marked the transition of street art from city walls and subways to canvases hung indoors. Jean-Michael Basquait was the revolutionary icon of this movement. There is an introduction to this show, a preview of the exhibition, and a movie clip from “Style Wars”. All good Stuff!

Artemisia VideoAcross the Atlantic at the National Gallery, London is the show “Artemisia”. It is an exhibit of the work and life of Artemisia Gentileschi 1593-1652? Her work is often of violent stories from antiquity and the Bible. They feature powerful women getting retribution from abusive men, often using herself as model. Two versions of “Judith Beheading Holofernese” are on display. This is not surprising as a young woman she was raped by an older artist and family acquaintance. There was a trial. A quaint Italian law at the time required torture of the victim to assure that they were telling the truth. Fortunately the thumb screws didn’t destroy her ability to paint. All this, court documents and recently discovered letters are part of this exhibit. This show is so HOT that it has spawned a TV series to be filmed next year. Check out the trailer and exhibition highlights at The National Gallery.

So now a little help with your Christmas shopping chores.

A short trip south will take you to “Art Domestique” on the square in Washington. There you will find a “Small Works” show. Everything is 12x12 or smaller. There will be wall art, fiber art and 3 D work as well as other paintings and arts and crafts for sale. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Friday, 10-4.

Another little trip to “Catiris’s Art Oasis” in Amana would be a good place to do a little shopping. They have wall art, glass art, pottery and a lot of great jewelry. Check for business hours at 319-622-3969.

Iowa City’s “East Side Artists” will be holding their annual sale. On November 21 from 10-6 there will be artists in various businesses downtown. “Beadology” will host 5. This is another great place to do some shopping. From December 3-8 there will be a virtual show and sale. All artists will have an on line “booth” where you can shop all you like. Look for details on their Facebook page or EastsideArtists.com.
Marcia Wegman is showing her new abstracts “Playing with Paint” at Iowa Artisans Gallery. These acrylic paintings are from the other side of Marcia who is well known for her lovely rural Iowa pastel landscapes. This show will run until 12/4. There are loads of other things to look at in the ”Iowa Artisans Gallery”. You should have everyone on your list checked off by now and be feeling great about supporting local artists (who are starving).

John McGlinn at UI HealthcareOngoing events are a show at the UIHC by our board member, John McGlinn. It is in the main hospital building, elevator F, 8th floor patient lounge area by the patient library. These paintings are on paper or Masonite and combine imagery and abstraction in a  multitude of media. If you have to go to the hospital, make your visit more enjoyable and go take a look.

Ongoing are John Preston's art demos on Wednesdays at 1:00. Go to his Facebook page and watch or paint along. All his previous demos are available to watch on line.

Well that’s all from me for this month. Stay well and enjoy your turkey leftovers.

Note to Artists:
PLEASE send me any news you would like to share about your art or work you are doing. Otherwise, I won't have a single thing to write about next month! Click here to contact Beppie Weiss with your event suggestions.
--Phil Beck

One of the most recognizable figures in the history of Western art was born in November 1864—Post-Impressionist painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.  Son of French aristocrats, Henri broke both legs as a teenager, and when they failed to heal properly, they stopped growing.  As a result, he stood only 5 feet high as an adult. He hung out in the Moulin Rouge, the famous “Belle epoque” Paris cabaret, drinking heavily to dull the pain in his legs and recording the bohemian lifestyle around him in sketches of entertainers and colorful patrons.  Some of these he turned into posters for the club, among his most famous works.  He died at 36 of acute alcoholism and syphilis.

In 1952, Jose Ferrer starred as Lautrec in Moulin Rouge (not to be confused with the 2001 Nicole Kidman musical). Director John Huston’s biographical portrait focuses on the artist’s tortured love life, particularly his volatile affair with a prostitute (largely fictional, though Lautrec did frequent prostitutes). Fresh from his Oscar-winning role as another physically challenged and unhappy lover, Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), Ferrer spent much of the filming on his knees, his legs strapped behind him.  His physical discomfort mimicked Lautrec’s own, which might have contributed to the sensitivity of his acclaimed performance.  Up to that time Huston was known mainly for hyper-masculine crime and adventure films (The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Asphalt Jungle), so Moulin Rouge is a departure for him, but he brings his vigorous, atmosphere-drenched style to this intimate character study, making it one of the most genuinely affecting of Hollywood’s artist biopics.  Choreographer Bob Fosse credited the rough-and-tumble can-can sequence that opens the film as an influence on his work.

More recently, Lautrec’s life was the subject of a French biopic entitled simply Lautrec (1998).  I haven’t seen it but what I’ve read suggests it is technically impressive in recreating turn-of-the-century Paris but dramatically lacking.  Still, as the only other dramatic film about this fascinating and important artist, it’s worth checking out.

November is also the birth month (1887) of one of the most important American painters of the 20th century, Georgia O’Keefe.  The “Mother of American modernism,” as she’s been called, grew up in Wisconsin and spent time in New York among other places before finding her inspirational home in New Mexico where her signature style emerged in increasingly abstract renderings of flowers, bleached animal skulls, and the sun-baked landscapes of the Southwest.  A feminist icon, she is admired equally for her independence and her unique, powerful art.  In 2014 her Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1 (1932) sold for $44.4 million, the highest price yet paid for a painting by a woman.

Georgia O’Keefe, an hour-long documentary, was produced in 1977 to celebrate her 90th birthday. The only film portrait she allowed during her lifetime, it shows her working in her studio as well as being interviewed. She died nine years later at the age of 98.

In 2009 Lifetime Television premiered a dramatic film, also called Georgia O’Keefe, co-produced by its star, Joan Allen.  The film traces the ups and downs of her marriage to photographer Alfred Stieglitz (Jeremy Irons) as her prominence as an artist grows.  It received widespread critical praise and was nominated for more awards than any other movie in Lifetime’s history.

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.

Toulouse-Lautrec on Film:
Moulin Rouge (1952)
Lautrec (1998)

Georgia O’Keefe on Film:
Georgia O’Keefe (1977)
Georgia O’Keefe (2009)
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Cheryl Jacobsen is a calligrapher and assemblage artist interested in collaborations, materiality, expressive marks, the work of past scribes, teaching, and especially living in Iowa City where she can pursue all these things on a regular basis.

She is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book, where she teaches classes on the history of western letterforms and modern calligraphic hands. In 2015 she was a visiting faculty member for the 2015 NEH Summer Seminar The Materiality of Medieval Manuscripts: Interpretation Through Production. Cheryl is the author of “A Modern Scribe Views Scribes of the Past” in Scraped, Stroked, and Bound: Materially Engaged Readings of Medieval Manuscripts (Brepols, 2013).
She also runs a freelance studio creating commercial lettering, documents, calligraphic art, and manuscript books. The latest is a facsimile of the Beowulf manuscript on goatskin.

Over the past twenty years, assemblage has grown into an obsessive occupation: “I have collected a crowded basement full of rusty/odd/cool/discarded things that need to be combined with other rusty/odd/cool/discarded things. I think of myself as a matchmaker for these objects and find immense pleasure when I can put them together in the ways they need to be despite what they were originally made for.” A show of her most recent assemblages, “Strong,” opens on Friday, November 20, at Hudson River Gallery in Coralville. Find out more at cheryljacobsen.com.

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.

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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