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Harriet Bart: Material Alchemy

At the Christian Petersen Art Museum, Morrill Hall
Campbell Gallery and Reiman Gallery
Wednesday, January 25 to Friday, July 21, 2023

Harriet Bart’s body of work, from early textile-based objects to the public sculpture placed at Iowa State University, often examine the act of remembering. In her art, importance is placed on the written word as well as the power objects command in remembering, protecting, and transforming oneself. Through the consolidation of object, meditation and poetry, much of Bart’s art invites the viewer to Pay Attention to What They Tell you to Forget, as quoted from Muriel Rukeyser from Double Ode, 1976. Many of the public works in the Art on Campus Collection serve as reminders to those on campus, calling attention to the collective and diverse histories of campus and beyond, and to the experiences of others we may so easily forget or even not consider. This exhibition continues the examination of how Bart’s works of art fit into that tradition of public remembrances and experiences through art.

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Visit the exhibition Pub Pub


Myth, Memory, and a little bit of Magic: Harriet Bart's Material Alchemy by Christina Schmid, University of Minnesota Department of Art

Read the Essay


Artist Interview

Exhibition Programs

Find full descriptions of programs on the University Museums Calendar. All programs are free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged but not required. Events listed below will be at the Christian Petersen Art Museum unless otherwise noted. Programs are subject to change. Check the University Museums Calendar and Facebook page for the latest events information.


Art Walk: Texts & Literacy in Art on Campus

Wednesday, Jan. 18, noon–1:00 p.m.

In connection with the Harriet Bart: Material Alchemy exhibition, join museum Docent Barbara Bruene on an art walk focusing on texts and literary themes found in the Art on Campus Collection.


Artist Talk & Opening Reception

Wednesday, Jan. 25
Artist Talk 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium, 2019 Morrill Hall
Reception 6:30–7:30 p.m. in the museum, 1017 Morrill Hall

Join Minnesota-based artist Harriet Bart for the opening of her solo exhibition Harriet Bart: Material Alchemy in the Christian Petersen Art Museum.



Curator’s Tour
with Sydney Marshall

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 4:30–5:30 p.m.

Join curator Sydney Marshall for a tour through Harriet Bart’s retrospective exhibition Harriet Bart: Material Alchemy.


Date Night at the Christian Petersen Art Museum

Friday, Feb. 10, 5:00–7:00 p.m.

Try something new for date night and visit the Christian Petersen Art Museum to make a mini zine and look at art together, with friends or a special someone.


Words Meet Art | Part 1: Guided Tour & Writing Session

Option A: Thursday, Mar. 30, 6:00–8:30 p.m.

Option B: Saturday, Apr. 1, 10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Registration required, limited spots

For Part 1 of Words Meet Art, an outreach program of the Ames Writers Collective, participants will receive a guided tour of Harriet Bart: Material Alchemy to educate and inspire creativity. An introduction to “writing to writing prompts” will follow with writing sessions to connect writers to the exhibition. Session will be led by Ana McCracken, founder of the Ames Writers Collective, Iowa State University Creative Writing and Environment Program MFA candidate.

Note: Option A and Option B are both the same program at different days and times. Only register for one. Participants will have the opportunity to sign up for the public reading during Part 1.



Words Meet Art | Part 2: Public Reading

Sunday, Apr. 2, 2:00–4:00pm

Writers who participated in Words Meet Art Part 1 will present their flash fiction, poems, creative nonfiction, a monologue, and/or perform music in response to the exhibition Harriet Bart: Material Alchemy in the Christian Petersen Art Museum. Words Meet Art is an outreach program of the Ames Writers Collective.


Open House Weekend

Saturday & Sunday, Apr. 15–16, 1:00–4:00pm

Having trouble getting to the museum during the week? Enjoy the University Museums’ central campus locations and spring exhibitions during an open house weekend, Saturday & Sunday, April 15 & 16 from 1:00-4:00pm. 

Visit the Christian Petersen Art Museum

Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed weekends and University Holidays

Closed Monday, March 13 through Friday, March 17, 2023 for Spring Break

Address: Campbell Gallery, 1017 Morrill Hall, 603 Morrill Road, Ames, Iowa
Admission: The cost is free, however there is a suggested donation of $8.

Exhibition generously supported by the J.W. Fisher Endowed Arts Outreach Fund, Dana Schumacher, Zora and Thomas Zimmerman, Marcia & Jim Borel, Phyllis & Larry Lepke, and University Museums membership. Educational support provided by the Kathy and John Howell Art Enrichment Program.

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