Over Memorial Day weekend, also known as Tivoli-fest in the Iowan Danish Villages, New Century Art Guild opened its gallery doors to a very special exhibit of international artists. The exhibit will be on view for the next three months.
Tivoli-fest brought a crowd of people into the Danish Villages:
A special (and delicious!) dinner was held in the NCAG Galleries on Friday, May 17th as a thank you to major donors and art professionals. The thought provoking artwork that surrounded guests represents a joint effort between New Century Art Guild and the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, based in Minneapolis. This collection, entitled:Unforgetting Iraq: In Search of Recovery, is being shown for the first time in our Kimballton gallery. Once it leaves us in September, it will continue to tour across the US. The exhibition will open to the public Memorial Day weekend.
This exhibit aims to highlight, through art from both Iraqi and American artists, the aftermath of that war. This collection uses images to speak to our capacity as humans to recover from traumatic, devastating events and of our ability to extend compassion to cultures that are different than our own.
Our speaker for the evening was Mr. Rick Burns, an expert on the effect and aftermath of modern warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also an expert in compassion –and translating that compassion into action.
Rick worked as an Army Civil Affairs officer to better understand the needs of citizens caught up in the ravages of war. After two tours in Iraq, Rick went to Afghanistan as an Army civilian to assist military commanders to better understand the indigenous culture. Through this work of helping locals deal with endless government and infrastructure problems, Rick saw firsthand the daily issues faced by families living in an unstable society.
After he returned stateside, Rick launched the Karadah Project in 2010, which sought (and continues to seek) to help those left behind in the wake of the war.
Danish filmmaker Jakob Vølver has produced a sequel TV program about the Danish Villages of Southwest Iowa. Both the original program and its recent follow-up have been big hits in Denmark and have triggered waves of interest by Danish citizens in the small Iowa towns. Kimballton, Elk Horn’s neighboring village to the north, was not mentioned in the first documentary, but it finally got its due in the sequel. Danish-speaking Loretta Christensen of Kimballton is featured in both films. She and Annette Andersen, also of Kimballton, take viewers to the new Hans Christian Andersen Sculpture Park in Kimballton. A number of the bronze statues depicting Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, that were sculpted by NCAG Art Director Troy Muller, were seen (along with Troy) in the second film.
NCAG hosted an art exhibition of Mario Lopez’s work at a “Meet the Artist” dinner reception in their Kimballton Gallery. Mario and his lovely wife, Danielle, inspired artists and veterans alike at the event held on Saturday, March 22nd. Lopez shared his inspiration journey as a soldier, family-man, minister and artist. He said, “I am a wounded warrior but I don’t let my war injuries define me. I like that I can help people by showing them that even though life throws obstacles our way, there is no reason to give up because life is always worth living.” Mario presented a gripping slideshow and testimony that kept the audience at the edges of their seats. Mario was made a lifetime NCAG member and also sold two paintings the night of the event.
Unforgetting Iraq: In Search of Recovery will highlight, through art from both Iraqi and American artists, the aftermath of the Iraq war. This collection will use images that to speak to our capacity as humans to recover from the traumatic and devastating war in Iraq. The medium of art will be used to foster a dialogue between our two cultures in order to respectfully address sensitive but important issues. The exhibition will also serve as a touchstone to veterans and active duty servicemen and women of the US Armed Forces, including their families, by offering a chance to reflect upon the war and assist in the healing of emotional wounds.
New Century Art Guild Galleries:
Kimballton, Iowa 10 miles north of I-80 at Exit 54