Art walks in Curtiss Hall focus on the four seasons

Bailey Freestone

On Dec. 3, interpretation specialist David Faux led an art walk in Curtiss Hall, which focused on Ellen Wagener’s drawings of the four seasons of Iowa.

This month’s art walk was held in the Dean’s Gallery in Curtiss Hall. The art walk focused on four pastel drawings by Ellen Wagener.

“Wagener is a landscape artist who was born in Iowa and has mostly lived in the Midwest,” Faux said. “She says her creative process starts in the spring, when the earth starts to renew.”

The four drawings were a sequence of the seasons in Iowa. The series began with an Iowa spring. Wagener depicted the spring season with a powerful tornado. She went on to show summer with a thunderstorm, fall with cumulus clouds in the sky and an Iowa winter with a blizzard.

“Each drawing is a dramatic representation of Iowa’s seasons,” Faux said.

Faux compared each of Wagener’s drawings with Christian Peterson’s full-size maquettes of the statues around the “Fountain of the Four Seasons” in front of the Memorial Union.

“We have the epic scale force of nature and then we have the nurturing side of spring,” Faux said.

Each side of the gallery shows what each season represented to the artists. For Wagener, her artwork depicted the powerful and possibly destructive side of the Iowa seasons. However, Peterson’s statues display the calm, constant and nurturing side of each season.

Faux said that Wagener’s goal was to get the viewer to feel and connect with her artwork. She also hopes that by creating the landscapes, people will take a few extra minutes to enjoy the natural landscape in nature.

Each piece displayed in the gallery allows the viewer to relate to the art by giving them the chance to relive experiences they have had in each season.