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Memorial Union to display Alexandra Ackermann’s “Serious Play” exhibition through September

Memorial+Union+to+display+Alexandra+Ackermann%E2%80%99s+Serious+Play+exhibition+through+September
Ben DeMarais

For her latest exhibition: “Serious Play,” artist Alexandra Ackermann has created dozens of unique artworks depicting her journey in the search for harmony and order, as stated on Iowa State’s Student Engagement website. The display aims at communicating a dialogue between color, pattern and form.

The Memorial Union will display Alexandra Ackerman’s solo exhibition: “Serious Play” throughout the month of September. The exhibition is open through Sep. 29 in the Memorial Union’s first-floor art gallery. Admission is free and is open to the public Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m. Reception for the exhibition will take place from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday.

“This exhibition is really a display of her own perception and outlook on the world,” said Colton Vance, Memorial Union receptionist and freshman in pre-integrated studio arts.

Michigan-born, Ackermann, has always possessed a deep love for art, and she first learned to paint wet-on-wet watercolor style at the Waldorf School at eight, and has continued her exploration until the present, maintaining a childlike freedom in her work, as stated on her personal website.

After receiving a degree in painting and printmaking at Massachusetts College of Art, Ackermann began exploring a wide variety of mediums and experimenting with the use of fabric in her works. After spending a decade within the Minneapolis arts community, Ackermann made the move to northern Wisconsin to pursue a family life with her partner and two children. 

Ackermann has since gone on to showcase numerous solo exhibitions across the country in addition to teaching her own watercolor workshops in Iowa City, Iowa where she currently resides with her family. 

In addition to her many showcases, Ackermann is a two-time recipient of Iowa City Public Library’s Art Purchase Prize. This competition is held annually with works from artists who live, work or exhibit in the Iowa City and Johnson County area, as stated on the Iowa City Public Library’s website.

“Serious Play” is Ackermann’s third exhibition and second solo showcase of the year. The showcases’s inspirations can be attributed to folk art, aboriginal art, patchwork quilts, midwestern landscapes and abstract expressionism as stated on the Student Engagement website.

“Her work is also heavily influenced by Central American wildlife and plants,” Vance said.

The artworks on display are full of bright pops of color and abstract shapes. Ackermann’s inspiration from abstractism and folk art helps convey her message throughout the display according to Vance.

“Her goal is to bring culture to the viewer just by looking at the artwork,” Vance said. 

Iowa State’s Memorial Union will be showcasing Ackermann’s exhibition through Sept. 29 as the first gallery showcase of the school year.

“I think the university chose to display this exhibition as a way to inform the youth about creativity and how experience with art can be applied to a career,” said Vance.

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