Muscatine Art Center presents pair of prestigious exhibits

MUSCATINE, Iowa–Open and ready to welcome the public to enjoy art in person, the Muscatine Art Center will host a pair of prestigious exhibits this summer, each focused on distinctly different themes. “Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray” and “Alterations: Tailored solutions to climate change,” both opened May 29 and will allow area residents to experience the works of renowned artists without leaving Muscatine County.

Because Frida Kahlo ranks as one of the most famous Mexican painters of all time, Muscatine Art Center Director Melanie Alexander shared that museums and collectors value her work highly, making it more difficult for smaller museums to exhibit it. However, the traveling collection of Muray’s photography, both of Kahlo and her works, makes it much more accessible to museums of all sizes. “Her paintings are very valuable,” she remarked. “To have this photography of Frida is just incredible.”

Along with allowing Muscatine residents to see reproductions of Kahlo’s work, the exhibit also provides a peek into her personal life from the perspective of someone who knew her for much of her life. “It’s a little bit more of an intimate look at her,” observed Alexander.

“Alterations: Tailored solutions to climate change,” brings artist and recycling expert and activist Nancy Judd’s latest creations to a gallery setting for the first time. Previously displayed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the exhibition features clothing created from trash, recycled items, and natural materials, each of which draws attention to a different environmental issue. To help viewers engage with different issues on a personal level, each art piece also comes with suggestions for how guests can make environmentally friendly changes to their lifestyles. “I think the Nancy Judd exhibit does a good job folding in messages we all need to hear and for us to do more about climate change,” remarked Alexander.

Along with giving people a reason to visit the gallery, both of these new exhibits have ties to other events going on at the Muscatine Art Center. Booked on Art book club participants will discuss “Frida in America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist” by Celia Stahr at their June 3 meeting to better understand what they will see in the Muray exhibit. The Art Center hopes to add in additional programming tied to “Alterations,” as well.

“Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray” will remain on display through August 22, and “Alterations: Tailored solutions to climate change,” will stay in Muscatine through October 31.