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Release: March 31, 2000


LECTURE ON RENAISSANCE URBANISM APRIL 10 -- Marvin Trachtenberg, a professor at the New York University Institute of Fine Arts, will present a lecture on "Perspectivism and Other Planning Strategies in Renaissance Urbanism" at 8 p.m. Monday, April 10 in Room E-109 of the Art Building at the University of Iowa.

Trachtenberg will speak at the UI as the first annual Stanley Distinguished Lecturer in Art History. His lecture is sponsored by the UI School of Art and Art History with support from the Project for the Advanced Study of Art and Life in Africa.

Trachtenberg will discuss the intersections between art, architecture, optical theory, social control and urban planning in Florence during the 14th century, a period marked by the careers of major artists including Giotto and Brunelleschi.

Trachtenberg's recent book on this subject, "Dominion of the Eye: Urbanism, Art, and Power in Early Modern Florence," won the College Art Association's Charles Rufus Morey Prize for the outstanding art history book published in 1997, and the Society of Architectural Historians' Alice David Hitchcock Prize for the outstanding book on an architectural subject by a North American scholar published in the years 1997 and 1998.

Trachtenberg received his bachelor's degree from Yale University and both his master's and doctorate from the New York University Institute of Fine Arts. He has received fellowships from the Kress and Guggenheim Foundations, the National Endowment for the Humanities and New York University. He also won the Alice Davis Hitchcock Prize for his 1972 book "The Campanile of Florence Cathedral: Giotto's Tower."

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WILLIS READS APRIL 10 -- Pushcard Prize nominee Sarah Willis will read from her first novel, "Some Things That Stay," at 8 p.m. Monday, April 10 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series originating live on the University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

A review in Publishers Weekly calls "Some Things That Stay" "a luminous, impressive debut." The Boston Sunday Globe critic wrote, "What makes Sarah Willis's first novel, 'Some Things That Stay,' such a prize is precisely the endearing form of dysfunction the family practices, and the voice that reports it . . . Willis's writing is understated; it does its job economically, wittily, and poignantly."

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at

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BARNES READS APRIL 11 -- Nonfiction writer Kim Barnes will read from the second volume of her memoir, "Hungry For The World," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 11 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series originating live on the University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

Booklist's review states, "Barnes' second memoir circles back to her first, 'In the Wilderness,' and reveals a chasm in her personal landscape that she previously left unexplored . . . Candid but dignified, this is a profoundly disturbing story of what can happen to women who are taught to loathe and fear their sexuality, and Barnes tells it with consummate skill, courage, and generosity, transforming her pain into an antidote for others."

The Chicago Tribune's critic calls "Hungry For The World" "engrossing . . . revealing, spiritual, cleansing, transcendent, and awash in the elements that make life's flow so unpredictable."

And the critique in Kirkus Reviews says the book is "Sad and beautiful . . . a book about humility, and how one is of one's origins, no matter how far a person has traveled in imagination, artistry, and insight."

"In the Wilderness" was awarded the PEN/ Jerard Fund Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1997 and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award. Her stories and poems have appeared in numerous journals, including the Georgia Review and Shenandoah.

For more information on the "Live From Prairie Lights" readings, visit the series' web page at

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BOGOLAN DEMONSTRATION APRIL 12 -- Baba Wague Diakite, a Malian-born artist, story teller and author, will present a talk and demonstration of bogolan fabric techniques at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12 in the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

Wague's demonstration is part of the weekly Perspectives series held Wednesdays at the museum and is presented in conjunction with the museum's current exhibition "Renewing Tradition: The Revitalization of Bogolan in Mali and Abroad." Admission is free to both the museum and the Perspectives program.

The exhibition, focusing on bogolan, or African mudcloth, and its American adaptations, provides visitors with an opportunity to enhance their understanding of contemporary African art, its growth and its international influence. "Renewing Tradition" features bogolan paintings, garments and cloth adapted to the tourist art market along with photographs and labels explaining the cloth's production.

"Mudcloth is an ancient art form with many secrets," says Wague. "It's important to know that the patterns are not just design but a language. Mudcloth can tell the history of a country, its people and its kings. In my lecture I'll look at three types of mudcloth -- for the soldier, the king and the young bride -- as well as present a slide show of my mother teaching my friends and myself how to make mudcloth.

"Since there is no adequate mud in America," Wague, adds, "my demonstration will consist of a stencil. That way I'll expose the audience to both ancient and new techniques."

Wague is from a part of Mali well known for bogolan production. Although men traditionally were not involved with the art form, today Wague and many other men make bogolan in new styles. He has worked with his mother and other family members to learn about the leaves and minerals used to create a variety of colors. He has also experimented with techniques of his own invention.

Wague now lives in Portland, Ore. He travels around the United States, telling stories, working on commissions for public art, and teaching people about bogolan and its importance in Malian culture.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to
5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive and just north of the museum.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for the 1999-2000 Perspectives series at the UI Museum of Art, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at

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LECTURE ON OPERA APRIL 14 -- Phillip Gossett, the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor of Music and the Humanities at the University of Chicago, will present a lecture on Gaetano Donizetti's opera "Don Pasquale" at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 14, in Room 1027 of the Voxman Music Building on the UI campus.

Gossett's lecture, "The Cabalettas and a Finale: The Composition of Donizetti's 'Don Pasquale,'" will be free and open to the public. It is part of the Musicology and Music Theory Colloquium series at the School of Music.

Gossett is general editor of the "The Works of Giuseppe Verdi" and the critical edition of "The Works of Gioacchino Rossini." He has written extensively on 19th-century Italian opera and is currently completing a book on "Performing Italian Opera." He has worked on recording projects and opera performances with internationally renowned singers including Rene Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli and Samuel Ramey. For his work on Italian opera, President Scalfaro of Italy named him a Cavaliere del Gran Croce (Gentleman of the grand cross) in 1998.

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HILLMAN READS APRIL 14 -- Poet Brenda Hillman will read from her work at 8 p.m. Friday, April 14 in the Becker Communication Studies Building on the University of Iowa campus. The reading, sponsored by the UI Iowa Writers' Workshop, is free and open to the public.

Hillman is the author of six books of poetry. Her most recent is "Loose Sugar," published in 1997. Barbara Guest wrote, "Time in Brenda Hillman's poetry resembles loose sugar ground from the cane of Brazil, a vivid detail of her Brazilian childhood. It sifts through the 'deep noticing' of the poet as she matures in California. Memories (real or imagined) are gathered into highly 'scenic' poetics."

Hillman's previous book was "Bright Existence," published in 1993. A reviewer in Choice wrote, "The range of images in Hillman's work is astounding . . . . Hillman's ability to perceive the universal in the minute, the strange in the familiar, transforms everyday activities . . . into moments of spiritually charged healing . . . . A fine collection of poems."

In response to Hillman's "Death Tractates," a critic in Poetry Flash wrote, "Hillman takes poetry quite seriously both because she's a brilliant young mainline poet and because here, trying to cope with the death of a key friend, poetry is all she has."

Hillman began writing poetry when she was a child in Tucson. Her other books include "Fortress," "White Dress," and "Coffee 3 A.M." Her work has also appeared in numerous anthologies, including The Wesleyan Tradition and Best American Poetry, 1990. She has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Her other honors include the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award for Poetry and the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Prize. She teaches at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California.

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DANCE THESIS CONCERT APRIL 14-15 -- University of Iowa dance department graduate students Michele Kriner and Simone Ferro will present a joint MFA Thesis Concert at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 14 and 15, in the Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

For her performance thesis, Kriner will perform three works choreographed by UI faculty members:

-- the solo "Where have I been, where they are. A journey" by Armando Duarte, featuring a live performance of Schubert's "Shepherd on the Rock" by musicians from the UI School of Music and the Dance Department's accompaniment staff;

-- the trio "Subtle Bodies" by Alan Sener, set to music by Fila Brazillia, Laurie Anderson and Uriel; and

-- "February Fall" by department chair David Berkey, an abstract trio inspired by the forces of nature and set to music of Michael Nyman.

Ferro, a Master of Fine Arts candidate in choreography from Sao Paulo, Brazil, has collaborated with the UI Jazz Lab Band, under the direction of School of Music faculty member John Rapson. Her creation for an ensemble of 14 dancers and an actress is entitled "Club Prive
au-dessus de tout soupcons" (Private club above all suspicions).

Using music by a variety of jazz composers -- including Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Bob Mintzer -- Ferro imagines a nightclub where everyday people realize their fantasies of fame and romance, if only for a night.

Admission will be $5 ($4 for UI students) at the door.

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'THE HUMAN TRILOGY' APRIL 14-16 -- The University Theatres will present a workshop production of "The Human Trilogy," a trio of plays by Anton Chekhov, Samuel Beckett and Gertrude Stein, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 14 and 15; and at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 16 in the David Thayer Theatre of the University of Iowa Theatre Building.

The production, directed by UI Department of Theatre Arts student Ho Byong Chai, features "The Proposal" by Chekhov, "Rough for Theatre I" by Beckett and the radio play "Every Afternoon" by Stein.

Each play deals in a different way with the difficulties and barriers that plague human relationships -- our ineptness when unanticipated problems intrude, paralyzing limitations that are beyond individual's control and the dysfunction of communication.

Admission will be $1 at the door.