Posted: Mon, February 11, 2013
Martin Jones of Charles City is one of those people who make you proud of your northeast Iowa roots. Solid and self-effacing with a quick wit, one immediately feels at ease in his presence. That's a good thing because under that comfortable demeanor is a skilled artist of no small measure. The results of his artistic impulse are being featured in the current Temporary Exhibit at the Carnegie Cultural Center in New Hampton entitled "WoodSong- carvings by Martin Jones". On display through mid-April, the exhibit includes naturalistic as well as decorative carvings executed mostly in basswood and butternut. Largely self-taught, Jones took advantage of Iowa Arts Council grants to hone his skills under woodcarver Ivan Whillock in Faribault, MN. He also took advantage of chip carving workshops offered by the Vesterheim in Decorah. In the end, detailed sculptures in the round and deeply carved reliefs have become hallmarks of Martin's distinctive carving style.
Posted: Tue, September 18, 2012
Martin's contribution to the Carnegie is like a double dip ice cream cone, however. The occasion of his temporary exhibit coincides with the opening of a new Permanent Exhibit, "Paths and Power" that traces the development of farm to market roads and highways in the Chickasaw County area. An impressive display of models of road building equipment masterfully crafted in wood by Jones highlights the new exhibit. Carnegie Cultural Center Volunteer Administrator, Juanita Andersen, comments, "Martin is a 'hidden treasure.' His carvings are beautiful and fluid and his woodworking pieces are stunning examples of skill perfected. We are excited to tribute his creativity in "WoodSong" and are very appreciative of the contribution his wood models are making to "Paths and Power."
An artist reception is slated for Sunday, March 3 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at the Cultural Center. Woodcarvers, woodworkers, lovers of nature, heavy equipment aficionados and the general public are all invited to attend, take in the exhibits, meet the artist and enjoy refreshments.
The Carnegie Cultural Center is located at 7 N. Water Ave. in New Hampton. It is open Thursdays noon to 6; Saturdays 10 am - 4 pm; Sundays 1 - 4 pm; or any time by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, or to schedule a tour, call the Center at (641) 394-2354, email email@example.com or visit the websitehttp://www.carengieculturalcenter.org/
PHOTO: Master carver and woodworker, Martin Jones holds his wooden model of a road grader while posing in front of some of his woodcarvings currently on display at the Carnegie Cultural Center.
Some things don't seem all that remarkable until you look a little closer. A snowflake is just a little dot of white falling from the sky that, in combination with millions of others, piles up in the driveway. On closer examination of just one snowflake, its beauty, symmetry and uniqueness becomes apparent. On the surface, the family of Doug and Marian Sowers of Fredericksburg, Iowa, seems much like many others...a hard working patriarch, a nurturing matriarch, and a flock of eight children who have found their place in society. Further examination reveals that, over and above this archetypal household, is a brood of varied, accomplished, noteworthy artists... not your typical Northeast Iowa farm family.
Posted: Sat, August 18, 2012
The story of this unique group and an array of their artistic accomplishments is the basis for the current exhibit, "All in the Family", on display at the Carnegie Cultural Center in New Hampton through mid-November.
The heart of the story is that of Marian Jeffries, a Waterloo native, and Doug Sowers of Sumner who fell in love and married at the ages of 16 and 18 respectively and, as Marian always said, two children began their lives together. The rest of the story is filled with raising children, making a living...and discovering and developing their own artists within. The exhibit of artwork is both a tribute to Marian who passed away last year and a celebration of the Sowers' artistic legacy. Included in the display are paintings, wood carvings, bronze sculpture, decoys, quilts, pen and ink, collage, photography and custom clothing and costuming...to name a few...created by Marian and Doug, their children and extended family. The Sowers siblings still living in Iowa are: Sue (Plainfield), Jeff (Milo), Ric (Fredericksburg), Melinda (Conrad), Marijo (Farley), Ken (Readlyn), and Kris (Riceville). The sixth child, Kelly, now resides in Austin, MN.
An artist reception is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 23 from 1:30 to 3:30 at the Cultural Center. Refreshments will be served and the public is invited to attend.
The Carnegie Cultural Center is located at 7 N. Water Ave. in New Hampton Iowa. Its hours are: Thurs. 12- 6; Sat. 10-4; Sun. 1-4; or any time by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Carnegie at (641) 394-2354.
The summer of 2012 was indeed a long, hot one, so it may be with a sigh of relief that we bid it goodbye. The Carnegie Cultural Center invites everyone to collectively enjoy a sigh of relief at their "Farewell to Summer" concert scheduled for Sunday, August 26, 6:30 p.m. at the Mikkelson Park bandshell. Relief will come in the form of the cool, relaxing and fun sound of Fusion. Well-known throughout the area for their retro look and repertoire, Fusion promises to be the perfect way to look back and enjoy while looking forward to the changing of the seasons. Don't miss it!
Posted: Mon, July 16, 2012
There's a bit of surprise in looking down at the ground and spying something out of the ordinary. There is more than a bit of wonder when one picks that something up and finds evidence of a life that came before. In the case of Indian artifacts, that life could have been there...on the very spot where one is standing...hundreds, and even thousands, of years before. That sense of wonder is at the heart of "Traces in Time", the current exhibit at the Carnegie Cultural Center in New Hampton. On display through the end of August, the exhibit showcases found and accumulated artifacts primarily from the collections of two men: Jack Ruzicka of Marble Rock and Frank Peters of New Hampton.
By opening a window to the past and defining the life of our ancestors, the exhibit reveals that, while the methods and tools of the ancients are very different from those of the 21st century, the motivations are much the same. Arrowheads, bows, arrows and fishing utensils speak about an existence maintained by hunting. Axes, scrapers, grinding stones and celts provide insight into the labors of everyday living. Beaded articles and game pieces express the appreciation of beauty and playfulness of the native culture while ceremonial pipes and effigy figures exemplify the human yearning to find meaning in life and explanation in a complex world.
The accumulation of these traces in time indicates yet another theme...our impulse to preserve the story of our past and delight in the beauty of that which is man-made...a compulsion that is at the heart of collecting.
An open house reception for Ruzicka and Peters, as well as all collectors, is slated for Sunday, July 29, from 1:30 - 3:30 pm at the Cultural Center. Everyone is invited to attend, take in the exhibit and share their stories of collecting.
The Carnegie Cultural Center is located at 7 N. Water Avenue, New Hampton. Its hours are noon to 6 pm on Wed., Thurs, and Fri.; 10 am to 4 pm Sat.; 1 to 4 pm Sun.; or anytime by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Center at 641-394-2354.
PHOTO: artifacts from the collections of Jack Ruzicka (L) and Frank Peters are on display at the Carnegie Cultural Center