ART IN THE AFTERNOON is a monthly artist talk / workshop usually held on the 3rd Sunday of each month. This series focuses on introducing local artists to the Iowa City community. Support these local artists by following them on their websites and social media pages.
Joe McKenna is a collage artist who has lived in Iowa City for the past 12 ½ years. Prior to that he worked as an administrative aide in Montgomery County Social Services (later reorganized as the Dept. of Health and Human Services). It was during his time there that he began doing collages with cardboard appropriated from boxes of State Government forms and magazines from client waiting rooms.
After retiring, Joe had a 9-month artist residency with the Corning Center for the Fine Arts in southwest Iowa before moving to Iowa City. About his art, Joe says, “When I began doing these collages, I was responding to whatever pulled at me visually, from magazines I purloined from client waiting rooms. I later focused on fashion magazines for my imagery but continued to focus specifically on what pulled me in visually. A more recent development has been to base my collages, however loosely, on specific images I gathered through googling. Century-old images of athletes posing for photographs pulled me in the most. These images are typically black and white, and I was forced to exercise my imagination in choosing what colors to use instead.”