MUSCATINE, Iowa-For a second year in a row, the Muscatine Area Arts Council celebrated local artists with their Art Array exhibition at the Muscatine Art Center. In honor of National Poetry Month in April, they look forward to collecting submissions for their sixth annual Wandering Words Poetry Contest.
A juried art show judged by Joshua Johnson and Vanessa Sage of the Figge Art Museum, Art Array features 35 works created by 18 local artists. Kathy Edwards Hayslett earned first place for her painting, “Elegy,” Peter Xiao took second with his painting, “Straw Hat, Man, and Globe in Reverse,” and Kent Broadbent placed third with his piece, “Imaginary Dancer.”
In it’s inaugural year, Art Array opted to host a virtual reception for artists, as the Art Center remained closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the Arts Council hosted an in person grand opening event attended by more than 75 people the evening of March 18.
Muscatine Area Arts Council member Ed Chamberlin took great pride in the number of artists and the quality of the work on display in the current exhibition. “This year’s Art Array is an incredible display of truly amazing works,” he said: “Some of the artists names you will recognize, while some may be newcomers to the area. To be able to put on a show of this magnitude in our community is a testament to the talent in our community.”
He encourages the community to come and view the works. “I personally wish everyone would take a trip to the Art Center and see this exhibition that is on display until May 30th; this is really a diverse show of amazing works,” he remarked.
To promote arts of all kinds, the Council also plans to move forward with their annual Wandering Words poetry contest. Started in 2016, this competition gives area creative writers the chance to have short poems etched into the sidewalks around Muscatine. As in years past, writers of any skill level may submit two poems of eight or fewer lines each with no more than 25 characters (including spaces and punctuation marks) on each line. Writers from throughout the county will have until April 30 to mail their poems to the Arts Council, who will then select up to five winners and announce the locations where they will etch the poems.
A one of a kind opportunity for authors to publish original works, Chamberlin encourages writers to learn more about submitting their poems to Wandering Words by visiting the Arts Council’s website.