A family looks at jewelry during the Spring Art Expose in the IMU Main Lounge on Saturday Apr. 21, 2018. Put on by the UI Fine Arts Council, the Spring Art Expose celebrates local artists. (Katie Goodale/The Daily Iowan)

Artists gather for spring fair


Over the weekend, artists from around the Midwest gathered to showcase their art at the annual Spring Art Exposé held by the Fine Arts Council.

By Elly Woods


Over the weekend, dozens of artists and vendors gathered to showcase and sell their work at the Spring Art Exposé in the IMU.

Artists from around the city and state came to showcase photography, paintings, jewelry, woodwork, pottery, house plants, woodwork, and other items at the annual arts fair. Many of the artists sell their art exclusively at fairs and sometimes out of their homes. There was every kind of art imaginable, in booths under bright lights, many of which advertised student-friendly prices.

Pat Rued, an artist who came to sell her handmade clothes, said she has attended both the spring exposé and holiday market for years.

“I make all of the clothing and do all of the dying and sewing myself,” Rued said. She said she paints all of the cotton and silk fabrics using printing, stenciling, stamping, and more. Many of her pieces were painted jewel-toned hues and had floral designs.

Molly Dillon, who came to sell her photography, said she came from her home in Fort Madison to sell her prints, which came in the form of canvasses, stationary, and framed works. She said her goal was for many of her pictures to look like paintings, and she works a lot with double exposures, which creates the appearance of a layered picture. She quit her graphics job a few years ago to begin working with photography again.

“I’ve worked in graphics for 35 years,” Dillon said. “I went to UNI on an art scholarship years ago and did a lot of photography back then, and now I’m starting to get back into it.” She said throughout the editing process, she comes up with a lot of things that don’t look good, and it takes a lot of work to come up with the nice prints that she sells.

Mickey Johnson, who creates beaded fountains to decorate gardens, said she has been in business for about 10 years and frequents art shows like the UI’s.

“I love to garden, and ideally, perennials bloom every two weeks,” Johnson said. “I put these in our yard to be a bridge between colors. After I made one, I had so many comments about people who liked them, and I had to make more.”

Johnson said she thought gardening was getting more popular, and she sells the most during the warmer months. She had around 15 of them on display; it takes her two and a half days to make about five of them. The fair also contained displays from current UI art students. Student work included printed poetry, ceramics, paintings, and sketches. There were activities that guests could take advantage of as well, including a photo booth, wine and beer tasting, and a raffle to give away exposé T-shirts.

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