New online registry from Iowa City public art program aims to give more visibility to local artists


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The Iowa City Public Art Program’s new online artist registry will provide new opportunities for local artists and arts organizations to promote talent in the region.

Jeff sigmund

Photographic illustration by Jeff Sigmund (Jeff Sigmund / Daily Iowan)


The Iowa City Public Art Program has opened applications for Iowa City’s first official online artist registry.

The Registry is an online database where art researchers can find and contact local arts organizations as well as various individual artists who live, perform, or exhibit their work in Iowa City. The database can be viewed on the Iowa City Public Art website. With no entry fees for artists or fees for database browsers, the resource will be invaluable to the artistic community, said Marcia Bollinger, coordinator of the public art program.

The database was initially conceptualized two years ago at a strategic planning meeting of the Public Art Advisory Committee. Bollinger explained that one of the goals set was to work closely with local artists regarding artistic opportunities, as well as to provide a way for the public to have easy access to local talent, including painters, artists and artists. graphic designers, writers, actors, musicians and Suite.

The registry will be used to contact artists about public art opportunities funded under the Iowa City Public Art Program, Bollinger said, adding that she hopes this will increase the visibility of local artists. The database launched in early February, so it’s still a relatively new business, she said.

“The registry just started accepting submissions about a month ago, so it’s hard to say at this point how effective it will be in connecting audiences with local artists or even local arts organizations with local artists. “said Bollinger.

Due to the large influx of applications, the public art program is still working to put all newly accepted artists on the website at this time, Bollinger said. A search bar will allow users to find who has been registered, along with their contact details, website and examples of their work.

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For some, it will provide a unique and valuable resource for artists who have lost business during the COVID-19 pandemic, although the registry is still new and few have received any connections, the local painter said. Jeanne Moy.

The artist said she came across the registry through a local neighborhood forum. Moy typically sells her work in person and has been affected by the lack of customer traffic during the pandemic. She said she believed the registry would help increase the visibility of local artists online.

“Showing your work locally can be very helpful,” Moy said. “I am encouraged to see a free source for artists to present their work to the public. “

To be part of the registry, artists must submit a simple request indicating their medium and showing an example of their work. For businesses and arts organizations, the process is similar.

Katie Roche, Director of Development at Englert Theater, also noted the ease of the submission process. She said the register will be particularly useful in increasing visibility.

“This registry will definitely help artists make connections, especially during a time when we are not networked at shows,” Roche said. “I think artists and audiences will emerge hungry from this period of isolation. Hope this list helps explode the scene and connect people with art. “

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Kayleen C. Rice