Former teacher discovers artist inside

img src="breithaupt-cover.jpg" alt="sketches of Jimi Hendrix and Freddie Mercury"

CEDAR FALLS — For more than 30 years, Lisa Breithaupt poured herself into teaching kids and teens about living healthy and working as a team. But when she retired from teaching physical education in nearby Dunkerton, another part of her emerged: an artist who resonated without trying. Breithaupt turned to pencil sketches as a form of “meditative therapy” and to relieve her anxiety. She also used her sketches to express fandom of some legends: Prince, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Freddie Mercury and more. Then, some friends encouraged her…

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

daryn kelly

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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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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“Kindness Queers,” “queerantine kits” brighten LGBTQIA youths’ lives during pandemic

kindness queers

CHAMPAIGN, ILL. — When Anna Peters and her business partner at the Art Coop began to think about how the pandemic might affect LGBTQIA children, they became worried. And then, inspired. Peters and co-owner Hilary Pope, along with Pope’s art teacher partner, realized they were already equipped to help with the arts resources all around them in the Coop, founded in 1971. The result, quickly, was 250 “queerantine kits” filled with art supplies out the door to “Kindness Queers,” who are LGBTQIA youngsters who may not have access to arts…

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‘Queers and Queens’ tarot deck captures LGBTQ diversity

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As a self-described “dark-haired olive-skinned, queer kid,” Aerin Black felt they stood out among friends while growing up in Washington, Iowa. As an adult, Black began to identify as nonbinary and as a witch and tarot practitioner, and stood out even more. Moving from Washington to Kalona, they still feel conspicuous, even in liberal Iowa City. Yet, they choose to stay in small-town Iowa. “I’m very much the type of person who believes that I’m where I’m supposed to be, when I’m supposed to be there,” they say. “And I’ve…

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Bayo Park Gallery introduces “Specter Scepter” tonight

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Bayo Park Galleries, a 10-acre outdoor sculpture park in Batavia, will introduce its new fall installation, titled “Specter Scepter,” during an open house 6-9 p.m. Oct. 12. Bayo Park will also host showings of its new installation on Oct. 13, 18 and 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. This year’s Bayo Park display is typically cryptic. The art gallery has introduced a fall outdoor display since at least 2016, using a combination of recycled materials, found objects, technology, lighting, natural brush and the landscape. “Part of the experience for us…

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Full Bodied Experience taps into Fairfield’s “beatnik” vibe

full bodied

You could say that Fairfield will experience a a gentle form of Vegas touch Friday evening. Through Full-Bodied Experience, a live art/networking event, two former Las Vegas residents who now call Fairfield home will join forces with local live model artist Kesryth. While Fairfield residents and business personalities network and converse, Kesryth will complete a full oil painting portrait, “alla prima.” The term means “at once” in Italian and involves an artist applying layers of paint upon other layers not yet dried. It’s a technique used by Claude Monet, Michelangelo…

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