Eastside art

Artist Jo Myers-Walker with shower curtain digitally printed with her watercolor art

Demonstrating the shower
curtain in action

Artist Jo Myers-Walker with slumped-acrylic sculpture of a shoe

With a shoe sculpture
   

I continue to meet more of the arts community in Iowa City as it is thriving here. In December I was pleased with the turnout at the Eastside Artists Annual Show and Sale (shown above). Besides my shower curtains and pillows, I had some slumped-acrylic sculptures and wrapped horses — I wanted to use up my supplies and had been meaning to do these little projects for the show. Would you believe I have saved these small plastic horses for 25 years, only to still be inspired to cover them with bright fabric and fine wire and wear them on my coat.

Slumped-acrylic sculpture of chicken and fabric-wrapped horse figure by Jo Myers-Walker

Colorful chicken and fancy wrapped horse

Plastic toy horses with one fabric-wrapped horse figure by Jo Myers-Walker

The rest of the horses are raring to go

Posted in Studio Snapshots

My debut on the big screen

Jo Myers-Walker and class members at the last watercolor workshop of the season

Last class lunch and paint

I have wanted to replace the overhead demonstration mirror I was using for class members to watch me paint. The class had helped me move it back and forth from my apartment to the Senior Center, and we were quite a parade getting 8′ long two-by-fours on the elevators and a 4′ by 5′ mirror. Plus, it was limited in the number of people who could get a good angle to see the demonstrations.

Not wanting to purchase fancy equipment. I did what I always do — improvise using what I have on hand! I bungee corded my laptop to a chair and used the camera to show my watercolor demonstrations on the big screen. It is sorta fun with me the computer wiz, getting control of that thing for a bit. The class loved it and are signing up for next session. They learn more by watching me and repeating the technique shortly after.

My new series of Monday Watercolor Workshops starts January 9th at The Center, and runs twice a month through April. You can register online or see The Center’s Spring 2017 Program Guide (PDF) for more information.

Jo Myers-Walker demonstrates watercolor techniques using an improvised video setup

My demonstration on the big screen

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Liturgical dance

Liturgical dancers at a service during the 2016 Call to Action Conference

Photo courtesy of Joanne Shaffer

I participated in liturgical dance as part of this year’s Call to Action Conference, fun stuff. Albuquerque was amazing, it was a great time to be there.

St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church has some videos of the dancing posted on their website. I am usually in the back row — it was really fun and moving, but I was the only one with no experience! I could still dance at an elevation over 5000 feet, even after my surgery 10 months ago for a tumor on my IT band. It was a dance celebration of my health.

Posted in Uncategorized

Completed quilts of encouragement

Three colorful small quilts made from quilt squares painted with empowering phrases and designs

   
These are quilt squares painted with empowering messages by workshop participants
in Dubuque, sewn into completed lap quilts for young people in crisis centers.
(See previously:  Quilt squares with a message)

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Quilt squares with a message

Quilt square with empowering message, and a sample square showing different painting techniques

Painted quilt square, and a sample cloth showing different techniques

Groups like Achieving Maximum Potential (AMP) and the Franciscans have been working to spread awareness of the problem of human trafficking. Starting with a retreat in Dubuque, I’ve been helping others paint quilt squares with empowering phrases to be sewn into lap quilts for young people in crisis centers. The painters take the techniques back to their areas and make more quilt squares for their towns.

This seems to be really going over well — I think there are a lot of quilters out there and they just want to be part of it, showing support for victims of trafficking or domestic violence. I have been painting on fabric for years and bring all the supplies and techniques to the group. I think the energy is in the hands-on, not-machine-perfect designs and heartfelt messages on the squares. These are made with love.

(See previously:  Working together against trafficking)

Quilt squares painted with empowering messages by workshop participants

From a workshop in Ames — each person paints quilt squares with empowering phrases.
I’m willing to come and show techniques to a group and just charge for the
supplies and mileage. It is my service project to bring awareness to trafficking.

Posted in Uncategorized

September 2016 Newsletter

Detail of Cedar Rapids skywalk sculpture, small girl with teddy bear

(click image to download PDF)

Click the link below to view or download:
In this edition:
  • Crossroads (making the Cedar Rapids skywalk sculpture)
  • Cast of characters
  • Iowa City scenes
  • If this house could talk…

Revised to add:  The company that cut the Lexan™ to shape for the sculpture is PlexiCraft in Iowa City.

Posted in Newsletters

The view from inside

Detail of figures from sculpture by Jo Myers-Walker viewed from inside Cedar Rapids skywalk

Part of my sculpture seen from inside the Cedar Rapids skywalk, showing translucency of the paint and a view of the street below. The bars are holding up the sculpture and securing it from wind. The figures are installed on both sides of a section of skywalk across 3rd Street SE in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

More views of the skywalk

Panels from sculpture by Jo Myers-Walker on Cedar Rapids skywalk

   

View of one side of Cedar Rapids skywalk with sculpture by Jo Myers-Walker

   

Many thanks to Lois for the photos!

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Skywalk sculpture

Workers use a lift to install artwork outside the Cedar Rapids skywalk

Bolting the bars on skywalk with Riley and William installing; I unwrapped panels in the background

Jo Myers-Walker speaking at the reveal of artwork installed on Cedar Rapids skywalk

Speaking at the “grand reveal”
(photo courtesy of
Lois Albrecht)

Jo Myers-Walker with family members at reveal of artwork installed on Cedar Rapids skywalk

Daughter Adele, granddaughter Olivia, me, and son Devin (photo courtesy of Lois Albrecht).
Devin did the computer work so PlexiCraft could cut the sections out of the Lexan™.

These photos are from the reveal ceremony for my sculpture (full name: “Diversity in Motion at a Downtown Cedar Rapids Crossroads”) created for Murals & More: the Cedar Rapids Mural Trail and installed on a section of the skywalk across 3rd Street SE. Murals & More is creating an art trail through the downtown area to make the arts central to the daily lives of Iowans. The design was to reflect the people, culture, and spirit of Cedar Rapids.

In preparing my design I walked through the skywalks and down some of the streets and saw a diverse population of all ages. The sculpture consists of eight shaped Lexan™ panels (half on each side of the skywalk), with a total of 40 painted figures representing the diversity of the city — neighbors greeting neighbors, tending to their daily lives and having fun downtown. The figures are walking along with the people in the skywalk and can also be viewed from the street. I used transparent plastic paint to give a stained glass effect when light shines through.

I’ll show and tell more about the process of creating them in an upcoming newsletter!

One of the eight sculpture panels by Jo Myers-Walker seen from outside the Cedar Rapids skywalk

One of the panels seen from the street
(photo courtesy of Lois Albrecht)

One of the eight sculpture panels by Jo Myers-Walker seen from inside the Cedar Rapids skywalk

From the inside of the skywalk,
transparent jewel-like colors

Posted in Studio Snapshots

After the storm

Jo Myers-Walker with daughter Shelby at the 2016 Iowa Arts Festival

Shelby and me, with rainbow

When a storm came through on Saturday of the Iowa Arts Festival and blew over my tent, breaking the frame, many wonderful people helped me move the artwork from my booth to safety and take down the sides and top of the broken tent. After the rain stopped I felt the rainbow telling me to put my work in galleries, out of the weather!

On Sunday after the calamity, where my booth had been, I chalked a thank-you to the Iowa City folks who rescued my art and kept the tent from going completely over.

Jo chalks a thank-you to Iowa City residents during 2016 Iowa Arts Festival

Leaving a thank-you note to Iowa City:
“My tent blew over – I am not here – Thank you IC for saving my artwork”

Jo selling from art cart at 2016 Iowa Arts Festival

Selling from my cart with no tent — I am a diehard!
(Many thanks to festival volunteer
Yejun for this photo)

Posted in Uncategorized