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PERSPECTIVES APRIL 23 -- Heidi Lasher-Oakes, visiting associate professor of sculpture at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, will present a slide lecture about her work at 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 23, in the UI Museum of Art, as part of the weekly Perspectives series.

The presentation is offered in conjunction with "Faculty Exhibition 1997," a collection of more than 70 works of art created by studio faculty at the School of Art and Art History. The exhibition is on view in the museum through May 25.

Lasher-Oakes' lecture is one of four in the Perspectives series "Faculty Focus." These lectures provide the public with an opportunity to hear faculty members speak in detail about their work.

Lasher-Oakes will focus on the "Biological Abstraction Series," a project that she has been working on for the last four years. Using found objects, industrial material and traditional art media, Lasher-Oakes creates models of biological forms, such as human organs, animal and plant life, and cell and tissue structures as seen through an electron microscope. The sculptures incorporate not only Lasher-Oakes' knowledge of the natural sciences, but also her interest in mythology, anthropology and semiotics.

After receiving her Master of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University in 1995, Lasher-Oakes taught for a year at the Northwest School in Seattle. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Snug Harbor Gallery in New York and the Corcoran Hemicycle Gallery in Washington, D.C.

M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for the 1996-97 Perspectives series at the UI Museum of Art, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day of the Perspectives program. Admission to the museum is free.

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UI BLACK ACTION THEATRE PRESENTS 'YOUNG BLACK MALE' APRIL 24-27 -- The University Theatres Gallery Series will present the Black Action Theatre production of "Young Black Male," by recent department of theatre arts graduate Nicole J. Butler, at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 24 and 25; at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 26; and at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 27, in Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.

Butler's script, which began as a one-act play for a UI class project, won the award for best new play at the Prairie Playwrights Festival in Des Moines. Director Harriette M. Pierce, director of UI Black Action Theatre, helped Butler develop the script into a full-length play.

Butler says her intention was to emphasize the humanity of young black men. "No group in our society is more feared than young black males," she explains. "I wanted to give a voice to young black males, to show that inside they are no different than you or me, so that the next time you pass a young black man on the street, you might feel something other than menace."

Butler has performed in several Black Action Theatre productions, including the lead role in last season's production of "Funny House of a Negro," and she intends to move to Los Angeles soon to pursue an acting career, but "Young Black Male" is her first work as a playwright.

Admission to "Young Black Male" will be $4 ($2 for UI students, senior citizens and youth) at the door.

For additional information, contact the UI department of theatre arts at (319) 335-2700.