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Release: April 17, 2000

Three UI art students selected for national recognition

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Three students from the painting area of the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History have been selected for inclusion in the 2000 edition of "New American Paintings: The MFA Annual," published by the Open Studios Press of Wellesley, Mass.

Peter Axelsen, Jered Sprecher, and Christopher Thomas are among the group of 25 artists selected for inclusion. Each artist selected for the volume will have three works chosen for reproduction, alongside their resume and an artist's statement.

In addition to the published volume, Open Studios Press will have works by a total of 80 artists on their web site. Three additional UI graduate student painters -- Melissa Furness, Carrie Pollack and Mary Sanders -- will be included on the web page, which can be found at

The 25 artists in the printed catalog were selected from more than 600 entries by Klaus Kertess, former Curator for the Whitney Biennial, one of the country's major art exhibitions, held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

John Dilg, a professor of painting in the School of Art and Art History, commented, "A major benefit of this achievement for the students selected is that their work will have national exposure. One of the country's major curators has selected their work for inclusion in this important venue and this will be seen by both galleries and universities -- the professional world that the MFA graduate usually enters."

Since 1993 Open Studio Press has printed annual catalogs of the works of outstanding professional artists around the country. This is the first time that they have also printed a catalog of student artists in Master of Fine Arts programs.

The Master of Fine Arts -- the terminal degree for the study of studio art -- was pioneered by the UI, which gave the first advanced degrees for creative work in the arts in the 1920s.