UI receives property for Grant Wood Art Colony

The state Board of Regents approved the University of Iowa’s acceptance of property as an addition to the Grant Wood Art Colony Program.

Maura+Pilcher%2C+Grant+Wood+Art+Colony+Director%2C+poses+for+a+portrait+in+the+Visual+Arts+Building+on+Tuesday%2C+December+11%2C+2018.+Spring+Break+of+2019+the+University+will+be+offering+a+new+art+residency+class+which+will+allow+students+to+make+murals+for+public+spaces+in+Cedar+County.+
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UI receives property for Grant Wood Art Colony

Maura Pilcher, Grant Wood Art Colony Director, poses for a portrait in the Visual Arts Building on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. Spring Break of 2019 the University will be offering a new art residency class which will allow students to make murals for public spaces in Cedar County.

Maura Pilcher, Grant Wood Art Colony Director, poses for a portrait in the Visual Arts Building on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. Spring Break of 2019 the University will be offering a new art residency class which will allow students to make murals for public spaces in Cedar County.

Katie Goodale

Maura Pilcher, Grant Wood Art Colony Director, poses for a portrait in the Visual Arts Building on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. Spring Break of 2019 the University will be offering a new art residency class which will allow students to make murals for public spaces in Cedar County.

Katie Goodale

Katie Goodale

Maura Pilcher, Grant Wood Art Colony Director, poses for a portrait in the Visual Arts Building on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. Spring Break of 2019 the University will be offering a new art residency class which will allow students to make murals for public spaces in Cedar County.

Kelsey Harrell, News Reporter

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COUNCIL BLUFFS — To continue famed painter Grant Wood’s legacy of encouraging collaboration between artists, the Grant Wood Art Colony Program will welcome the addition of a new home for artists during their visits. 

The state Board of Regents approved the University of Iowa’s acceptance of a 1,970 square-foot home and the quarter-acre lot it sits on as an addition to the program — named after the famous American Gothic painter — during its meeting Thursday. 

The home, at 1120 E. Court St., was built in 1911 and is one mile east of central campus in Iowa City’s Longfellow neighborhood.  

The property is a gift to the UI from Jim Hayes, the program’s National Advisory Board chair and the current resident of the historic Grant Wood home next door to the gifted property at 1142 E. Court St. 

Hayes purchased the property after the death of the previous owner, UI Finance and Operations Business Manager David Kieft said. 

Hayes also owns the other four properties that make up the art colony. The UI leases the properties and are used to house scholars visiting the UI School of Art, according to regents’ documents.  

RELATED: UI introduces new public art residency

“We’ve done an extensive home inspection by a company that specializes in older and historic homes,” Kieft said. “The home is in very good, sound condition and doesn’t need to be renovated from a structural standpoint.” 

After inspection, the UI determined there will be one-time and ongoing costs to maintain the property, which will be paid for through a combination of university and gift funds, the documents said. 

The remaining properties will be donated to the UI when Hayes no longer lives in the Grant Wood home, Kieft said. 

The goal of the colony is to give visiting artists time and space to create work as they spend time teaching at the UI, colony director Maura Pilcher said. 

Grant Wood was a teacher at the UI in the 1930s and made the education of young people a part of his work, she said. 

While at the UI, Wood was part of the Times Club and created the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Speakers, Pilcher said. Many guests the group hosted, such as Thomas Hart Benton, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, and Carl Sandburg, visited or stayed at Woods’ home, she said in an email to The Daily Iowan.

RELATED: Regents approve University of Iowa sale of Iowa Center for Higher Education property 

Along with housing visiting artists, the colony also puts on a biannual symposium that brings experts from all over the country to the UI and works on public outreach and engagement efforts that bring visiting art fellows to communities across the state, Pilcher said. 

The artists that come to the UI through the colony fellowship are selected because they bring different perspectives and techniques for students to learn from, she said. 

The additional of the new property will allow the colony to give all the artists an opportunity to have a collaborative environment to work in, Pilcher said. 

“The intent of the … colony is to be a creative and collaborative space,” Pilcher said. “The goal is to promote new ideas and career strengthening.” 

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