This Tuesday the Curators Association held an open to the public reception in celebration of a new art acquisition called “Nocturne 5” by Karen LaMonte. The sculpture was selected by Iowa State’s Director and Chief Curator as well as the Assistant Curator of Collections and Education, and it went in Iowa State’s permanent art collection.
This event was different than the typical twice a year meeting of the Curators Association, according to Rachael Karriker, a developer for the Iowa State University Foundation. The Curators Association is a group in individuals that are the highest donors of the Iowa State Museums. They must donate an undisclosed among before they become a member of this group. According to Rachael Karriker, they the most loyal friends of the university museums.
“This [event], because is because the acquisition is so stunning we really wanted to highlight and invite everyone to come and so we changed the format this year from a meeting to a reception so that we could invite the public to be a part of it,” said Karriker.
“Nocturne 5” by artist Karen LaMonte is a glass sculpture of a woman’s figure impressed within a textile. LaMonte, who moved to the Czech Republic, focuses on forming her sculptures out of glass through an intense process. Prior to 5-7 years ago she primarily worked with clear glass, but when she began exploring ideas such as the night sky, she began to make darker piece.
“She wants to talk about how culture perceives us through clothing and how people can see themselves in what they have on or don’t have on and how our body kind of changes within these different kind of shrouds or garments that we put on ourselves,” said Adrienne Gennett, assistant curator of collections and education here at Iowa State, in her speech to those gathered.
Gennett had been wanting a LaMonte piece since before she came to Iowa State. According to her, she and the Director and Chief Curator Lynette Pohlman chose this piece. They contacted LaMonte’s gallerist in order to acquire this piece. This piece was to continue Iowa State’s tradition of art with the human figure, an example of which would be Christian Petersen’s “Reclining Nudes,” but it also contributes to the vast encyclopedic glass collection here at Iowa State.
Gennett was the second to speak at the reception, following Carol Grant, chair of University Museums Curators Association, and preceding Rachael Karriker. Grant welcomed the curators to the event as well as announced the new donors within the group. Karriker recognized the specific donors who contributed to the acquisition, mentioned the new renovations in the Burnnier and closed the speaking portion of the night.
“The success is definitely shared and the years of dedicated work by our volunteers, members, the university museum staff and all the others who truly value the arts and support it so admirably. Please know that every gift is impactful to us and supports the people, facilities and many wonderful programs her at Iowa State.” said Karriker. This sculpture will remain in Iowa State collection of art permanently in Morrill Hall.