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(NOTE TO EDITORS: A list of graphically interesting web sites has been appended to the end of this release.)

UI artists carve out niches in cyberspace

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The world is in the midst of the internet explosion, and University of Iowa artists are making creative use of the opportunities it provides.

A December 1997 Nielsen survey estimates that there are now 58 million internet users in the United States and Canada alone, and more than a quarter of the population of the United States now uses e-mail. Forecasts for the United States and Canada project 75 million adult users, plus another 25 million children, on-line in 1998, and a total of 28 million internet-connected households. Internet spending is expected to top $200 billion by the year 2001.

Some critics have feared that the internet poses a threat to the traditional performing, visual and literary arts, but a fact of life in this technological revolution is that many artists are plugging into this unprecedented opportunity to disperse information and market their work.

Many artists connected with the University of Iowa -- as alumni, students or faculty -- are carving out their niches on the World Wide Web, where their artwork, or information about them, can be instantly accessed by computers in all part of the world.

One of the most popular activities of web users is "surfing," using a search engine to locate sites to visit. Web surfers searching for playwrights could easily end up at the site of UI theater graduate Jeff Goode (, where they would learn about his "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues," now playing in Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Boston, Kansas City, New York City, Columbus and Madison, or they could follow his links about UI No Shame Theatre.

Science fiction fans would have no trouble locating the site of Writers' Workshop graduate Joe Haldeman (, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, the two biggest literary awards in science fiction.

A search for poets or Asian-American artists might turn up Marilyn Chin (, another Writers' Workshop graduate.

Higher education is one of the most "plugged-in" segments of society, and many artists who are connected with colleges or universities have an internet presence through their institutions' home pages. Most UI arts departments devote pages to their faculty, including biographies and examples of creative work.

For example, the UI Writers' Workshop page for director Frank Conroy ( includes links to selected writings, reviews and a pioneering internet manuscript project using his famous memoir, "Stop Time."

In the School of Art and Art History, the page for the intermedia and video art area includes not only a list of area head Hans Breder's international exhibitions (, but also links to a work of intermedia on-line art and other examples of his art.

The Center for New Music ( in the UI School of Music supports a web page that includes a history of the organization, a schedule of concerts, information about director David Gompper and a variety of new-music links.

All of the UI's arts departments, events and programs, including Hancher Auditorium and the Museum of Art, are reachable through links on the web page of ArtsIowa (

Some UI faculty artists maintain their own web pages, separate from the UI site. For example, Carl Klaus, a faculty member in the literary non-fiction program in the English department has a site ( that features information about his books "Weathering Winter" and "My Vegetable Love," including reviews and ordering information.

UI alumni who are now associated with other educational institutions often are represented on the web pages of those colleges. Painter Peter Thompson is now on the faculty of Coe College, where his page ( includes full-color images of his artwork. The New York State Writers Institute at the State University of New York in Albany maintains a page for Writers' Workshop alumna

Jane Cooper (, who is currently the New York State Poet.

Other UI alumni have personal web pages, or pages for the organizations they lead or with which they are associated. Iowa Citian and theater alumnus Dan Coffey, better known as Dr. Science, does his schtick at the Ducks Breath Mystery Theatre site ( His site includes sound files, merchandise and opportunities to submit questions for the Dr. Science daily radio spots.

Another web doctor is Dr. Poetry, aka David Breeden, a graduate of the Writers Workshop. On his site ( he answers student questions about poetry.

UI American Studies graduate F. John Herbert and art alumnus Mel Andringa are the founders of the CSPS arts center in Cedar Rapids. At their Legion Arts web site ( you can learn about the organization and view its upcoming schedule of exhibitions and events.

UI alumnus Lar Lubovitch (http://WWW.Infobahn.COM/lar/) became one of America's most prominent choreographers and dance-company directors, inspired to that career by viewing a dance performance in Hancher Auditorium.

Visitors to the personal page of theater graduate novelist, screenwriter and film director Nicholas Meyer ( can learn not only about his past novels and films -- including "The Seven-Percent Solution," "Time After Time" and movies in the "Star Trek" series -- but also his new adaptation of "The Odyssey," which will be released next spring.

Many active UI-connected artists are represented on the World Wide Web by publishers, literary groups or other special-interest groups. The Electronic Poetry Review ( features profiles of Writers' Workshop faculty members Jorie Graham, James Galvin and Marvin Bell, among others.

G Shirmer, the music publisher, maintains a page about composer David Lang (, the UI School of Music graduate who was co-founder of New York's adventurous Bang on a Can Festival.

Conductor Edwin London, who studied with Philip Greeley Clapp in the UI School of Music, is the founding artistic director of the Cleveland Chamber Symphony (

The Foundation Literary Circle hosts a site about Pulitzer Prize winning author

Jane Smiley ( And through Book Stacks Poetry you can learn the latest about UI alumnus and former UI Poet Laureate Mark Strand (, and read an example of his work.

Another U.S. Poet Laureate who graduated from the Writers' Workshop, Rita Dove, is profiled by the Circle Brotherhood Association, an organization that celebrates African-American culture ( A series of "Chinese Profiles" includes a page dedicated to UI Writers' Workshop graduate Gish Jen (

UI Hancher Auditorium has commissioned and premiered several works by performance artist Rinde Eckert, an Iowa City native and a graduate of the UI School of Music. Eckert has toured several of the UI-supported and -presented works world-wide, most recently "The Idiot Variations," as promoted by a theater in the Czech Republic (

Some UI artists have become so popular that they have attracted fan pages on the World Wide Web. Saxophonist David Sanborn, who attended the UI School of Music before launching his recording and performing career, not only has a personal website (, with photos, sound files, tour schedules and booking information, but also is the subject of fan and review pages.

The author of "The World According to Garp" is celebrated in "A Very Unofficial John Irving Page" (

Wendee Pratt, who graced the stages of the UI Theatre Building as a Master of Fine Arts acting student, became a star of the soap opera "One Life to Live." You can join her on-line fan club ( or adore her at a lavish site ( that includes a compendium of fan encounters with the Wendee, photos and lots of exclamation points.

The UI has nurtured and been a home to some of the most prominent artists of the 20th century. Naturally, many of those artists have become the subjects of historical information and tributes on the World Wide Web.

Many sites at museums and educational institutions are dedicated to Grant Wood, who taught at the UI and died in Iowa City in 1942, including a page maintained by the art department of his high-school alma mater, Cedar Rapids Washington High School (

Tennessee Williams, who received his bachelor's degree in theater from the UI, is considered by many to be the most important American playwright of the 20th century (

The legacy of Pulitzer Prize winning author Wallace Stegner, an Iowa native and UI graduate, can be found in the Wallace Stegner Environmental Center, whose site is maintained by the San Francisco Library (

The death of poet William Stafford, another Pulitzer winner who attended the UI, prompted the founding of a memorial web site. The site, titled "The Sleep of Grass" (, contains tributes in poetry to Stafford, including one by UI alumnus Robert Bly.

The city of Savannah, Ga., lays claim to writer Flannery O'Connor, one of the earliest and most prominent graduates of the Writers' Workshop. A folksy Savannah website ( is one of the many web resources on the acclaimed writer.

These are just a few of the sites on the World Wide Web that contain information about UI-connected artists. The UI ArtsIowa page ( is beginning an evolving body of links to UI artist sites, including links to artistic organizations that are producing or exhibiting the work of UI artist

(NOTE TO EDITORS: For graphics to illustrate this story, we suggest these sites:

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