Jan 11, 2020 - Mar 8, 2020
Muscatine Art Center
A Visual Arts Retrospective by Dan Rohde
January 11th – March 8th, 2020 at the Musser Museum Second Floor Galleries
Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday: 10 am – 5 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 7 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 1 – 5 pm
Closed Mondays & Holidays
Admission is FREE. Donations are appreciated.
Phone Number: 563-263-8282
As the pieces in this exhibit show, I like to use many kinds of visual media. Most of the pieces are two dimensional, but there are a few three dimensional items, too. Each one presents different problems that require different solutions.
My subjects often have a special personal connection to me; in a way they form a visual autobiography. A few began as doodles and evolved. Many sat on shelves for years, but eventually were resurrected to be improved, finished, or framed. Some are serious, some whimsical. More than a few were dead ends and abandoned. Trying to create interesting images and forms with different media is a continuing, challenging learning process.
Though it’s impossible for me to see my art projects through others’ eyes, I hope these images and forms can be appreciated as original creative efforts.
Most of my training in the fine arts has been in literature, writing, and music, not the visual arts, but I’ve always enjoyed expressing myself by making images. My earliest memories of art include painting by number sets, collaborating with my mom on embroidery and cross stitch projects, and building model cars and airplanes with my dad. Though art classes weren’t offered in West Burlington High School in the 1960s, I did try my hand at some pen and ink drawings and collages.
I also didn’t take any art classes in college, but I did learn to use a borrowed camera and to develop film and prints in a darkroom. During my University of Iowa college years, I visited a few art museums in different cities. Seeing works of the masters, the older and newer forms of visual art, the textures and vivid colors on the paintings and sculptures, made me curious how they’d been created.
I graduated from the University of Iowa in 1972 with a BA in Secondary English Teaching. After a stint as a commercial-industrial house painter for a couple years, I went back to school and finished an MA in Secondary School Counseling in 1976. I taught English literature and writing classes and counseled students on their class and career choices for 32 years.
My first actual art class was in Chinese brush and ink painting offered through Kirkwood’s adult education program in the early 1970s. I sold paintings of bamboo, orchids, plum blossoms, and pine at a couple art fairs. In the 1980s I taught a photography class and a design class at Muscatine’s College for Kids. It was about this time I took a basic drawing class offered on Saturdays at the University of Iowa.
Since then I’ve explored various media mostly on my own: acrylics, watercolors, oils, linocuts, woodcuts, intaglio, plaster, Sculpey, and others. Computers have obviously changed many things in the world of art. I’ve gotten rid of my old dark room with its enlargers and trays of chemicals and gone digital in photography, but I still generally prefer the techniques, colors, and textures of non-digital art. Each different medium has its own unique properties that may or may not contribute to an image.
A big motivator in my creating art has been working with different art-related groups that also value creativity. I’ve had the good fortune to be taught and inspired by a number of excellent artists who had strong talents and work disciplines. I consider myself now to be a full-fledged student of art, though more an art hobbyist than a professional artist.