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Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014

One-person play to honor Iowa sculptor

Monday, January 21, 2002

Arts on Grand gallery in collaboration with Spencer Community Theater, is pleased to present "The Life of Christian Petersen," a one-person play written by Iowa artist Cynthia Mercati.

It will be performed by Tom Milligan at SCT on Sunday, January 20, at 1:30 p.m. This 45-minute performance promises to lend insight into the life and times of Christian Petersen. Tickets are $5 and are on sale now at Arts on Grand and at the SCT box office. They will also be available at SCT on the day of the performance. This will be Milligan's second visit to Spencer, having portrayed Grant Wood in his first performance a few years ago.

Christian Petersen's work is currently on exhibit at Arts on Grand, on loan as a traveling exhibition organized by the Brunnier Art Museum of Iowa State University (ISU). The exhibit features a collection of artworks created by Christian Petersen, now recognized as being the first resident artist on any university campus. The collection will be on display through February 9.

An emigrant from Denmark whose family settled in New Jersey, Petersen came to Iowa in 1934 responding to an invitation by Grant Wood to participate in Iowa's Public Works of Art Project (PWAP).

The PWAP was a federally funded program that was part of the New Deal Program implemented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide work for unemployed Americans during the Great Depression.

Two major PWAP projects in Iowa were completed for Iowa State College in Ames. While all the other artists worked on a mural for the library building, Petersen completed the fountain for the Dairy Industry building independently. Petersen turned this assignment into a permanent, full-time residency for the next twenty one years, thus becoming the first resident artist on a university campus. The body of work produced during this timeframe constitutes his best known sculptures. Petersen's works of art are considered among the best of the Regionalist art produced in the 30's and 40's, and portray both the history and culture of the Midwest.

Locally, this project is sponsored by Spencer Municipal Hospital in Spencer, and by a grant from the Iowa Arts Council.

For more information please call Art on Grand at 712-262-4307 or the Spencer Community Theater Box office at 712-262-7336.