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University of Iowa News Release

April 18, 2006

John D. Freyer Will Discuss 'Big Boy' Sculpture In May 7 Gallery Talk

John D. Freyer, a visiting faculty member at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, will present a gallery talk on "Big Boy," currently on display in the Sculpture Court of the UI Museum of Art (UIMA) at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7, in the museum.

Freyer's gallery talk will be free and open to the public.

"Big Boy" is a fiberglass sculpture that originally stood on the roof of a Big Boy restaurant in Ann Arbor, Mich. It was purchased by Freyer on eBay and was installed in the UIMA Sculpture Court in January. On the occasion of its installation, the UIMA published "Learning from Big Boy," a small book on the significance of the sculpture by Martha Buskirk of Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Mass.

The "Big Boy" sculpture has been sold several times, passing from the market for working signs to the market for collectible objects, through eBay to Freyer and hence to the UIMA. As "Big Boy" traveled from one market to another, it took on new meanings, as defined by the marketplace, and by the buyers and the sellers it attracted.

Freyer is an interdisciplinary artist whose works spans photography, video, audio, the Internet, design and installation. His "" -- which can still be seen at -- was created as a master's thesis at the UI and published as a book in 2002. Objects from that project belong to a variety of collections, including the UIMA and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as numerous private owners.

Recently the subject of a one-person show at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, N.Y., Freyer has appeared on the "Today Show" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," as well as numerous radio programs.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Dr. in Iowa City, is open noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north of the museum.

For more information on the UI Museum of Art visit on the World Wide Web. Information on other UI arts events is available at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact

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,

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