Delineations of Structure: The Grid, Architecture and Perspective 

Selections from the Permanent Collection 

West Gallery

January - December 30, 2023

About the Exhibit

"We shape our buildings - thereafter, they shape us."

                                                                              - Winston Churchill. 


The need to build is a paramount requirement, a fundamental need to survive; it is also about the drive to leave a legacy of beauty and order. Structures of all shapes and sizes are signatures of culture and society. Like frozen music in space, they play for the viewer a song of age, the hopes of a people, and a    record of dreams. They are an art and a requirement. It is through the lens of a culture's buildings and dwellings that helps form historical understanding. Architecture is one way that a society can express itself, presenting a likeness to the world. The foundation of order and beauty that stand the test of time      structures define a longing for understanding.     


This exhibit brings together objects and works of art from the collection that     directly reflect these delineations in conjunction with more abstract and   conceptual depictions of structures and the grid. The artwork on display covers multiple periods, cultures, and styles. It is a testament to the excellent and rich assortment contained in the collection. Architectural history is an evolving account of human energy that spans centuries reaching back to ancient times, providing a global perspective. The construction of buildings, structures, and grids is more than the carving of stone or the placement of glass. It is about    understanding something bigger than ourselves, our place in the universe. Expressions of this understanding are witnessed through drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photographs of structures. Artists can reflect the spirit of time locked forever through the talent of the hand and the eye.    


Through the interaction of realistic depictions, abstractions, and conceptual forms, viewers can survey how the grid, architecture, and perspective have shaped our understanding of history, culture, and society. Structures are physical evidence of human change. The art inspired by this evidence reflects a          perspective boundary and is a witness to history.   



Steven Maeck

Second Floor Gallery

October 1 - December 17, 2022


Director’s Statement:

“Sculpture is as free as the mind; as complex as life.”  -  David Smith


Salvaged industrial refuse finds new life as objects of beauty and imagination through the sculptor Steven Maeck. In the small town of Burr Oak, Iowa, the sounds of welding, assembling, and fabricating steel, iron, and wood echo through the streets. At the source is an artist constructing contemporary monoliths.


Maeck working intuitively, lets the material dictate the direction of the art  object. In his studio, remnants of industry are drawn together, becoming modern-day totems and monuments that are raw and inspiring objects. 


Like Michelangelo, Maeck allows the material to speak to him, and scrap becomes living objects of beauty, imagination, and strength in his hands.  Masterfully, what was once old and rejected material become transformed and inspiring through Steven Maeck’s sculptural process. 



Steven Maeck was born in 1949 in Burlington Vermont. He has worked for 25 years as a specialist dealer in antique oriental rugs and modern art before   making his first original sculpture. After operating galleries in Vermont, New York City and Key West, Steven  has exhibited with other artists at shows throughout the Eastern U.S.  He then left the entrepreneurial life for life in the studio.


Steven works largely in welded and assembled steel. Occasionally he works in wood in a modernist, primarily non-representational style. His sculptural work has been exhibited at the Hearst Museum in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, Vermont and the JDK Gallery in Burlington, Vermont. Steven is also a painter and assemblage artist. His work can be found in numerous private collections. Steven and his wife live and work in Burr Oak,  Iowa. 


Artist Statement:

The aesthetic intent of my current work is not to create “junkyard art," but to take industrial artifacts and alter or recombine them in such a manner as to create forms that not only are modernist, resonant and original but also manifest the aura of having been created from base raw material such as cast bronze.

- Steven Maeck


Garden Walk 

Mary Muller

East Gallery

September 10 - January 21, 2023



Mary Muller was born in Illinois, the 2nd of 4 children. She graduated from       Bloomfield Hills High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in a class of 24. Majoring in Studio Art, Muller graduated from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois.

After her marriage to Bill Muller of Des Moines, she began to pursue her art when their youngest of 5 children entered school. While studying with Dimitar Krustev in Des Moines, she began teaching art to help augment the family income. This        opportunity became a career coupled with her painting. Drawing about 1000 portraits in art festivals and fairs, studying with Robert Brackman in Connecticut, teaching  watercolor at the Des Moines Art Center, represented by several art galleries, and traveling in Mexico and Europe on painting trips has given her an entire life and beautiful experiences. Portrait commissions have become a significant painting     activity, while she struggles to work in as much landscape as possible. Teaching workshops in Iowa and other states and entering local and national art competitions have allowed her to earn some awards and success in and beyond Iowa. Her       volunteer efforts have centered around teaching inmates at the Mitchellville prison.


Artist Statement:

The application of lighted abstract forms to nature and arranging them in balanced design has been the base from which I work - in any medium. The power of color  becomes increasingly apparent to me because it is so influenced by the changes  occurring in the atmosphere around it. I love the form and am especially drawn to pastel and oil because their opacity is perfect for establishing a form. (I have found watercolor more of a medium of suggestion and have not used it for some time,    although the challenge of its transparency is inspiring.) Portraits are a perfect vehicle for form, and I especially enjoy drawing out the inner sensitivity of the subject.

Because teaching takes up a lot of my time, I have not yet tired of exploring the     effect of painting on a red background, a chief interest of mine since 2000. I have a series in mind of some large florals, in some of which I will be studying this effect. Who knows? I rarely plan the future. It has a way of opening up for me and            unfolding. - Mary Muller

Face of a Stranger.jpg


Additional information forthcoming for the following:


  • Even Price - Iowa Eyes: A New Perspective - Second Floor Gallery  

    •  January 7 - February 18, 2023​

  • Deborah Zisko - Land Changes - East Gallery 

    • February 10 - April 22, 2023

  • Fiber: Selections from the Blanden Collection - Second Floor Gallery 

    • March 4 - June 17, 2023​

  • Mitchell Squire - Spectacular Saint - East Gallery 

    • May 6 - July 22, 2023

  • Carmon Slater - Selected Works - East Gallery                             

    • Aug 5 - October 21, 2023