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Art finds temporary home on UI campus

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IOWA CITY (KWWL)-- The University of Iowa Studio Arts program has spent more than two years in its temporary off campus home after the floods of 2008 washed away its old home

Now, signs of progress were on display for a program that continues to thrive in spite of the challenges.

The publicly open third floor just off the stairwell at Calvin Hall may not serve as your typical space for the viewing of this type of artwork.

''It's a nice space. It's kind of low-key and I'm glad that people will be able to see my work,'' said UI art student Lisa Rowley.

But the space serves as a crucial part of Lisa Rowley's development as an artist. ''The reactions people get from my work is important. That's why I make it.''

Art majors like Rowley are required to exhibit their work in order to obtain their degree.

After 2008's historic flood displaced the entire program, gallery space is much more difficult to come by.

''Even the venues that we in house so to speak, aren't sufficient in terms of the diversity of locations.''

And so the provost office is doing what it can to help, Allowing particular undergraduate work to be displayed in Calvin Hall for three months at a time.

''We're going to see the people from the community, people from the faculty who might not be as familiar with the curriculum as we are, interacting with students about their work,'' said art professor Steve McGuire.

It's an example of how the program has adapted to significant changes. Two years after moving into the old Menards building on Highway 1, the department has found ways to meet its challenges, including solving the logistics of busing its 2,000 students to and from campus.

''My sense of where the program is right now has actually increased post flood and I say that because students and faculty have come together and really began to identify the core elements that are essential to the visual arts.''

For students like Rowley, an initial setback has now turned into a rare opportunity to further their growth in their field.

Online Reporter: Jason Epner

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