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University of Iowa News Release

March 30, 2005

Artist Gelsey Verna Will Discuss Her Work April 12

Artist Gelsey Verna will give a free public lecture on her works at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 12 in Room E109 of the University of Iowa Art Building.

Born in Haiti to a family forced into exile, Verna grew up in Montreal and came to the United States to attend college, earning a bachelor's and master's degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1990. She taught at the UI School of Art and Art History 1992-2000 and is currently on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Her work involves a mixed media collage methodology that often combines painting and drawing materials along with printed matter. She favors works on paper and consciously merges the appropriated printed symbol with direct evidence of the hand-made mark.

She says, "(M)y work continues to use the collage, found images and intuitive process in its approach. My interest in the intuitive process has led me to pay attention to the work of artists that work through intuition and use reproduction and order as well." Further, "the work of artists of the African Diaspora, the production of art from other cultures outside the Western canon... is of great interest to me."

While issues of race, gender and stereotyping are all of interest to Verna, the search for personal and collective identity is of primary importance. Her work alludes to the juxtaposition of political, geographic and other contradictions that all play their roles in shaping a sense of personal place and identity.

The School of Art and Art History is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,