The building of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames also serves as a community art gallery, open to visitors during regular office hours or at other times by appointment. To make an appointment, call the Fellowship office at 515-292-5960.
9/2/23-10/28/23: Mike Hassig
Hassig employs a collage technique that uses pieces of paper to develop a flat 2- dimensional surface. In this process he uses pictures from discarded color plate books. These are cut or torn into various shapes deconstructing the original image. These pieces function as the pictorial elements of shape, color, texture and patterns of light and dark. Hassig’s collages are created using good quality paper, scissors, an X-acto knife, and glue sticks. All collages are original, no copies or reproductions.
Printmaking (Hassig’s area of study) is a very detailed, process-oriented discipline. This discipline has been carried into his collages. His work is abstract in imagery. The design itself is the subject, and he does not start with a preconceived image in mind but lets the random pieces by chance begin the construction. The places he has traveled to, books he reads, music he listens to, and the teachings he has absorbed over the years all accompany Hassig on his adventures with paper.
10/28/23-12/23/23: Sara Spohnheimer
Sara Spohnheimer began drawing as soon as she could pick up a pencil. Art was central for her and so she attended Iowa State University to earn her Bachelor of Fine Art with a specialization in drawing, painting, and printmaking. Art, reading, culinary activities, history and language study became her favored pursuits in adulthood, and the synergy of these came into play when traveling to Europe in 1997. There she found not only a culturally-integrated application for all her areas of interest, but also a sense of belonging and rootedness she had not realized was missing from her life in the U.S.
Upon visiting Venice, Sara was struck by the sheer number of tourists and began to wander the city at night so she could escape the jostling hordes and be alone with the locals. At the time there were over 12 million visitors to the city per year, while locals numbered only around 50,000. The population of Venice was three time that in 1945, and the trend of ever more tourists and ever fewer locals is continuing. Great challenges and losses of many kinds result, and a correspondingly great amount of perseverance is demanded of the city’s residents to stay despite them. It is far easier to leave and let go. Adapting to life in that unique environment led to an incredible number of specializations practiced nowhere else. This deep knowledge and Venetian cultural roots are being lost.
Sara felt such an affinity for the city and was so alarmed by its condition that she became a student of Venice’s culture in particular – dialect, the biology of its shallow lagoon, history, cultural traditions, food dishes. She made more and longer visits. She spoke with residents about the tourists who bought pizza instead of seafood, about the centralized government far away in Rome, about the foreign investments changing the face and character of their city. Sara decided to become a Canaletto of the night, documenting the Venice of her day in paintings and reference photographs.
Spohnheimer has come to appreciate local culture even more after returning to Iowa after living in California for several years. We don’t fully understand how precious different cultures are until we step outside of or lose them, if even for a short time. Celebrating, practicing, and protecting each of our unique local cultures gives meaning, stability, and continuity to our lives and connects us to our ancestors. The importance of this has been brought to the forefront for Sara, and she wishes to offer the subject to you for consideration.
Content coming soon.
Information for Artists & Visitors
Additional questions can be directed to the UUFA office (515-292-5960, firstname.lastname@example.org).