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Fall Gallery Walk explores downtown art

BY SARAH LARSON | OCTOBER 01, 2009 7:20 AM

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Damp, cool air blows tiny drops of mist against the tall, dark buildings looming against the cloudy gray sky. Amid the buildings and houses is a small art gallery with warm light shining through the windows, making it seem inviting in the brisk autumn air.

The gallery is the Lasansky Gallery & Studio, 703 S. Clinton St., just one of the 19 venues in the third Gallery Walk of the year. The event will take place Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.

This is the first year that the Lasansky Gallery will participate in the walk. The work of Jon Fasanelli-Cawelti and William F. Blair will be featured.

“I’ve had an interest in art since I was a young teenager,” Blair said. “I am doing a combination of things now that include drawing. I am also moving more into printmaking and experimenting with a variety of techniques — intaglio printing, some relief printing, and combining the two.”

He has not been an artist his whole life, though. He majored in medicine and worked at the UI Hospitals and Clinics for nearly 18 years. After retiring, he began to increase his time working on art, a passion that he has always enjoyed.

Besides the Lasansky Gallery, walkers can enjoy other locales. Among this year’s participants are Bella Joli, the Iowa Artisans’ Gallery, and Chait Galleries. Since its start in the ’90s, the walk has expanded from five studios to 19.

The walk’s newest participant, Revival, 117 E. College St., is showing To The Circus, Works by Lauren Nigri, which includes original prints and paintings.

But painting is not the only medium featured. For example, Jim Butkus’ exhibit Minnesota to France: Panoramic Photographs includes photographs of various landscapes and will be on display at MODELA (part of the store Decorum), 323 E. Market St.

Something a bit more unusual is the Positive Message Project hosted by RSVP, 140 N. Linn St. The project is about including positivity as a form of public art and asks people to share a positive quotation, drawing, photo, lyric, or poem.

“Gallery Walk is always a great time for people to get out and see all of the new work that is at the galleries,” said Terri Miller Chait of the Chait Galleries. “The fall Gallery Walk is always a great one because a lot of our artists are bringing in the new work that they have worked on all summer. Our gallery is full of new work right now.”

For many of the featured artists, art has always been a passion. Whether being positive or viewing a sculpture or painting, the variety of works included in the walk is representative of the prominent art culture in Iowa City.


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