Creating Unity: A Centennial Celebration

Works by Women Artists from 1890-Present from the Blanden Permanent Collection

West Gallery

January - December 30, 2021

About the Exhibit

Art inspires us to visit the concept of “Unity” and see ourselves as part of a bigger Universe.

- Leni Kae   

Significant strength centers on unity. The universe is a perfect example of this strength. As we look out into the cosmos, everything seems to be in its place, doing what everything should be doing, harmony in the sky. As humans, there has always been a fascination with the stars and their steadfast qualities. On earth, we try to find and establish unity and order inspired by the universe. As human culture developed the concept of order/unity, this focus has changed history, art, and much more.


In this exhibit, the Blanden invites visitors to explore the concept of unity in multiple ways: Unity as a principle of art and design, Unity in the context of honoring the combined effort by American women that fought for a voice in Democracy, and unity as the collective creative vision of women artists.


Unity, as a principle of art, refers to how parts of artwork work together, the "Gestalt" – or the whole. Artists accomplish this whole through working and understanding the mechanisms of art. These mechanisms are the elements and principles, how they interact with each other, and the viewer's perception of the interaction. Unity, as it relates to history and creative output, has its roots in this basic understanding of the whole working together for a creative outcome.


This year America unites with celebrating American women that fought for a change and struggled to have a voice and input on US governance. Starting with the Progressive movement in 1890, American women rallied together to reform society and politics. The main objectives of this group were to eliminate problems caused by industry, urban living, immigration, and political corruption. The group's triumph came on August 18, 1920, with the signing of the 19th Constitutional Amendment. Unifying under a single voice is a powerful device used to accomplish great things and provides clear perceptions.


This exhibit showcases women artists whose works have been collected over the years and preserved in the Blanden Permanent Collection. By exclusively featuring women artists spanning centuries, subjects, and mediums, their works display a unified change in perceptions of an art world dominated by male artists. Museums all over the world are focusing on highlighting great women artists to rewrite the narrative, pulling back the years of darkness, and submitting to the world stage great artists.

Unity is accomplished in many ways. Within the setting of history and visual art, The Blanden's presentation offers engaging narratives and discourse which frame an environment of learning and understanding. At the heart of this simple understanding and perception is a connection to a powerful universe and one another. 

Past and Present

Fort Dodge Camera Club 

Second Floor Gallery

October 17, 2020 - December 19,2020

The Power of the Image—life captured by lens and shutter

By Eric Anderson


“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” - Ansel Adams


Photography is a complex dialog with the artist, the subject, and the viewer. As Ansel Adams stated in his quote, the art of photography is much more than just pushing a button. This creative communication process drives the Fort Dodge Area Camera Club to gather and share a passion for making images with others. The Club has been meeting together for years to talk about equipment, the composition of images, light, and prints.


The images presented in this exhibit, Past and Present, are much more than family snapshots. There are purpose and consideration for each image made. Club members understand the powerful and transformative nature of photography.


The art of photography has greatly influenced the world. It has transformed the world of art by providing a stage for modern, abstraction, and contemporary art to be developed. It has opened new communication areas and transformed the way people receive news and information. Also, Photography continues to provide an avenue for the development of film, animation and video.


Photography is unique in terms of artistic media. It captures a moment in time, a physical recording of time, a thing, and a place. That image never changes; it has been captured forever, even when its subject has faded. Something magical and powerful takes place with the process of making photographic images. The right image can profoundly affect a person and a culture. T


his exhibit is a sampling of the talent present in the Fort Dodge area. Club members have used their skills and talents to document the world and preserve the past through photography.

Iowa Land and Sky 

Kirk Hovenga 

East Gallery

October 10 - December 26, 2020


Artist Statement:

My career has spanned over 40 years. I have worked in a variety of styles, mediums and genres. As an artist, this makes me diverse and hard to define. My eclectic taste in art, music and books    affected my approach to my own personal art.


Often working in several approaches  towards a  subject matter, different methods are used to execute my paintings. Preparatory drawings, projections, transfer paper, found images, photographs and computer have all been used throughout my career.


I explore all genres have been handled with realistic, deconstructive, combined Images and traditional styles.

Art Talks - Interview with the Artist




Additional information forthcoming for the following:


  • Personal Connections: Roger Nass - East Gallery, Jan 16 - March 13, 2021

  • Ukiyo-e Japanese Woodblock Prints - Selections from the Permanent Collection - Second Floor Gallery January 9 - February 1, 2021 


920 3rd Avenue South

Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501


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(515) 573-2316

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