Faces of Iowa State: A Portrait Series by Rose Frantzen
Grace Obata Omemiya, 2016 by Rose Frantzen (Inuit, 1927 - 2013). Commissioned by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and University Museums. In the permanent collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University.
Beginning in the 1930s, at the height of the Great Depression, Iowa State University (ISU) made it a priority to commission and paint portraits. The commemoration of presidents, deans, accomplished faculty and heralded alumni strove to honor the college’s heritage and legacies. This tradition continues today with the active commissioning of portraits by departments and colleges all across ISU and was furthered at the 2016 Iowa State Fair.
Painted on site Faces of Iowa State features the 39 portraits painted by Maquoketa artist Rose Frantzen. Frantzen's art has been featured nationally, including an exhibit of her Portrait of Maquoketa project at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition subjects were chosen by Iowa State University's colleges and select units. Portrait sitters included students, faculty, staff, alumni and individuals with close ties to the university.
Due to the overwhelmingly positive response the ISU portraits received during the State Fair Faces of Iowa State is a touring exhibition that seeks to share these magnificent paintings to sites across the state. The focus of Faces of Iowa State is to celebrate not only the tradition and the impact of portraiture at ISU, but also show the development of ISU as a story of democracy where the vision, dreams, and actions of individual people play a vital role in how our collective identity is shaped.
Maquoketa Art Experience, December 9, 2017-February 12, 2018
Muscatine Art Center, February 15-April 15, 2018
Pearson Lakes Art Center, Okoboji, April 26-June 23, 2018
Blanden Art Museum, Fort Dodge, August 4-October 14, 2018
Harvester Artspace Lofts Exhibit Gallery, Council Bluffs, November 4-December 31, 2018
Faces of Iowa State is organized by University Museums with major support from: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Human Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, ISU Extension and Outreach, University Library, Office of the Vice President for Research, and University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.