Warhol numbs, Dylan Kelly makes us care: two Scholastic Art Award winners then, now

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This is a case of a lesson learned, and then unlearned. Some years ago, as a high school art teacher, I learned to withhold praise for personal styles in student work. Teens, not fully formed in mind or body, will stay with the praised style, hesitant to explore other ways of working. Andy Warhol embodied this behavior. TEEN WARHOL Hyperallergic Magazine reported on teen art at NY’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, a display of students who had won this year’s 90-year-old Scholastic Art Awards. The magazine mentioned that Warhol won the same award…

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Jay Wallerich: “I’m Empty Reality”

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“I’m Empty Reality” by Jay Wallerich My mind leaks empty reality; Onto these pages it spills Freely, Chaotically, Endlessly. Something profound festers inside but I have no words to work off of. The madness stays within. I feel need to explain the process in which my thoughts are growing from But my tongue is tangled in the weeds My teeth chipped from rocks, My lips dry from the dirt. Words become utterly useless. What is it called when one’s self is overfilling? Being held above oxygen level, looking down upon…

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Aidan Spurgetis: “Out of Sight”

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“Out of Sight” by Aidan Spurgetis He lost the staring contest because the stucco ceiling had too many eyes. He sat up stretched and yawned. It had been two days since his apocalypse and he brushed his teeth. The arm moved in the old pattern like an explosive jackhammer stinging the edge of his gums. It wasn’t self-punishment only habit. He didn’t know how long he brushed but he stopped when it felt right. He lost the staring contest with the mirror because he had water in his eye. and…

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Nancy Nahra: “The Roar of the Highway”

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The Roar of the Highway by Nancy Nahra The roar of the highway is the song I fight with every night. A hollow sound for the hollow road, Friendless rubber tires and fatigued metal boxes and Chills in fortissimo Amplify The beautiful sound haunting me from my balcony. Low, hazy bellows and hunger- ridden notes cushion and sing the suburbs to sleep. The roar of the highway Cools down the stars. Can you teach me how to have that power in my voice? How to make the desperation sweet when…

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High school writers connect across chasms with Page Poetry Contest

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IOWA CITY — With the 2020 murder of George Floyd, and the trial of the officer who killed him, a program I started as a high school writing program has become an escape, an outlet, and a way to deal for the young writers who are participating. Page Poetry Contest Winners from IC Speaks Over the past year, IC Speaks and our members have dealt with a pandemic, and an explosion of political conversation happening worldwide. In some cases, I had BIPOC students writing pieces about the anger and pain…

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A future to avoid on display with Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest

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NEW YORK CITY — How do you persuade naysayers that climate change is real, that the earth is fragile and needs protection? How do you call people to action to forestall environmental collapse and the natural world’s death? American architect and sculptor Maya Lin‘s latest effort is “Ghost Forest,” an installation of 50 Atlantic white cedar trees, each some 40 feet tall, and each defoliated and dead. Looming over Madison Square Park like a warning, the trees look cadaverous. “I wanted to create something that would be intimately related to…

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Coralville artist returns to Eldon hometown for massive “American Gothic” mural

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ELDON, IA — It doesn’t get much better than this for a budding artist — or for a humble small town with a renowned American feature. Katlynne Hummell Underhill is painting the largest outdoor mural of her career (20 feet tall by 30 feet wide), featuring an iconic art image (the farmhouse from Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting), with the support of a revered arts organization (The Grant Wood Art Colony), in her hometown (Eldon, Ia.). And, her resourceful technique will likely help preserve her work longer and better. “I…

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Top 3 themes through March: intersectional women’s history, spoken word, and support

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Three timely themes define the newly-updated TRM Events Calendar: Women’s History with an intersectional eye, spoken word, and events focused on providing support — which are fast becoming more relevant as we gradually emerge from the COVID pandemic’s extreme isolation. WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH • Short films by four young female playwrights are the treat tonight at “Urban Exposure: Young Women in Film, courtesy of Figge Museum’s Urban Exposure Independent Film Project and Azubuike Arts. You can see “Coming Out Straight,” a short film by Paris Davis that depicts a world…

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Key City Pride in Dubuque moves forward with diverse tone starting Feb. 6

Black History Month Key City Pride

DUBUQUE — Key City Pride is moving forth with at least five months of events through June, starting with a Black History Month drag showcase Feb. 6. Featuring drag performers from Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois, the Feb. 6 showcase will be offered both in-person, and through Facebook. For those partaking of limited capacity tickets, temperatures will be checked at the door and masks are required, says event organizer Río S. Suãvé. “COVID will tell us,” Suãvé said, emphasizing that all planned Key City Pride events are held contingent on what…

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From Willis & Rainey to MLK Youth Summits: A week filled with timely events

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Sandwiched between the historic attempted insurrection two weeks ago and the coming Presidential Inauguration, today may be one of the most significant Martin Luther King Jr. Days in decades. So it’s only fitting that events honoring the day extend all week and into next week, in many online forms, and also throughout Iowa and Illinois. On the new TRM Calendar (updated today), our top pick for the week is a free viewing of “I Am Not Your Negro.” Showing at anytime through Thursday, this film is a documentary on author…

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