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.
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.