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Day Trip: Art reigns supreme in Waterloo

Center in Iowa has ability to draw in visitors of all ages

Published: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Photos submitted by the Waterloo Center for Arts)
The Waterloo Center for Arts in Waterloo, Iowa, has a variety of exhibits from Midwestern to Haitian.
(Photos submitted by the Waterloo Center for Arts)
Mexican art comes to life in colorful displays at the Waterloo Center for Arts in Iowa. The center is not just for adults, kids can do some time traveling in a junior gallery.

WATERLOO, Iowa – The Waterloo Center for the Arts brings out the artistic side of visitors.

The center not only has permanent exhibits of folk, Haitian, Midwestern and American decorative art, but also 11 galleries with changing displays.

In the Midwest area, visitors will find the works of Grant Wood and Marvin Cone, both born in Iowa, and Thomas Hart Benton, born in Missouri.

Haitian and Caribbean works feature metal sculpture, paintings and banners.

American decorative art is a grouping of work in clay, wood, fiber, metal and glass, while broadening the horizon to international folk art, visitors find fetish objects, decorative cultural items, and textiles.

Among the exhibitions is a display of textile art from Guatemala at the Law-Redding Galleries and Theatre. In the West Gallery, Faces of Main Street is on display. The work is photographs by Antonio Scontrino of area business people. This Italian-born designer and photographer is teaching at the University of Northern Iowa.

In the Thomas W. and Katherine J. Langlas Loft Gallery, visitors go to the top floor of the East Wing. Items from the American Decorative Arts Collection are on exhibit here. Be sure to take a look at the balcony, which gives a view of the Watkins Grand Foyer below. The foyer itself has sculptures from various collections.

Having opened Feb. 7, The Great BiCYCLE ReCYCLE! exhibition is at the Phelps Youth Pavilion, the center's interactive children's museum. Local artists created works out of recycled bicycle parts for this display. Kids can take part in hands-on activities to help them make eco-friendly decisions.

In one of the junior galleries, the children can do a little time traveling in Professor Paintspotz's Amazing Art-o-Matic Time Traveling Mega-Machine. Their destinations are the Paleolithic era with a crawl-through cave; Ancient Egypt for making a cartouche with hieroglyphics; Ancient Cultures Archaeology, where kids become "art"aeologists and dig for and identify treasures; and The Renaissance, for learning linear perspective with a little tracing.

These exhibits and more are sure to open the door to a learning adventure in Waterloo.

If you go

What: Waterloo Center of the Arts

Where: 225 Commercial St., Waterloo, Iowa

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday

Cost: Free gallery; Phelps Youth Pavilion $5, ages 1 and older

Information: Visit www.waterloocenterforthearts.org or call 319-291-4490

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