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University of Iowa News Release


March 28, 2008

Bluestones' Hancher performance combines classical guitar and weaving

Robert and Rebecca Bluestone will present "Woven Harmony," a unique multimedia concert that combines his classical guitar and her weaving, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium.

The concert will conclude a weeklong UI residency by the Bluestones in the UI Hospitals and Clinics' Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, where the duo will explore the power of art to impact the lives of both the ill and their caregivers. Rebecca's experience with serious illness informs their work, providing the central thread that runs through this tapestry.

Rebecca's weavings will be installed onstage in "Woven Harmony," which also incorporates projected visual images of the Bluestones' home, studio and creative processes, as well as the landscapes and places from which they have drawn inspiration. These visual elements will be combined with Robert's musical performances and conversation between the two artists.

Through the use of what Rebecca calls "contemplative repetition" and Robert's lyrical interpretations of classical music, they attempt to create a transformative space in the performance where the music and art can speak in their own language.

Rebecca Bluestone's work is currently hanging in the Hancher lobby and will be available for viewing in conjunction with other performances and when the Hancher Showcase is open, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Her work will be transferred to the stage on Friday, April 11.

Jim O'Connell, director of the Performing Arts Foundation in Wausau, Wis., commented after seeing the Bluestones' performance: "By the time they declare a brief intermission, you find that you have been drawn gently into a web of friendship with this extraordinary couple . . . (They) have engaged your eye, your ear, your mind and spirit in a way that leaves you refreshed and renewed."

Rebecca is a contemporary abstract artist who uses traditional tapestry techniques and hand-dyed silks of varied textures and sheens, and metallic threads woven on a cotton warp as her medium. Her work has been exhibited in the Chicago Art Institute, New York's Museum of Arts & Design, the Denver Art Museum, the Albuquerque Museum, the New Mexico State Capitol and the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, and it is included in the private collection of Robert Redford.

Robert has earned an international reputation as a classical guitarist of the first rank. He was the most requested solo artist on the WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation) Performing Arts Tour Roster from 1991-96. He has received the Mayor of Santa Fe's Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award for his leading role in the cultural life of his home city and state, and in 2001 he received the Betty Connors Award for outstanding volunteer service to the Western Arts Alliance and performing arts in the West.

In "Woven Harmony" they use tightly strung handmade wooden instruments to intently draw upon the subtleties of their individual disciplines and meet in the middle with a common language. Their concert evolved out of their desire to use their artistic expression as a way to communicate about the things that they feel are truly important in life and to share how creativity and imagination can allow people access to connection, empathy and compassion.

The April 12 concert is supported by Daryl K. and Nancy J. Granner, UI Hospitals and Clinics, and Rhoda Vernon, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $32; UI student $15; senior citizen $28.80; youth $22.40.

The Hancher Auditorium business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered online at

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.


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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Robert Bluestone, 505-989-9599,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),; Tom Moore, UI Hospital and Clinics,