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Coming Up


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Coming Up


ART WEEK DES MOINES AND AN OMAHA ROAD TRIP

IN THAT ORDER

During Art Week Des Moines The Residential will stage We Must Arise and Act! a three person group show featuring new work by  Heidi Wiren-BartlettRachel Merrill, and Rachel Buse. The show and a performance will open Tuesday, June 21st. You should be able to cross back and forth from the Fitch Building's open studio night. If you are a member of Salon 4700, sign up to participate in the Conversations with Creators event for a VIP preview on June 20th. 

Support for this exhibit was generously supplied in part by David Safris of Visionary Services, Dr. Darren Jirsa, Virginia Traxler, and Jim and Melinda Kabel.

save the date
July 10th

Prepare yourself for a famous Chicken Tractor Road Trip on Sunday, July 10th. We'll go see Midwest-born-top-of-the-art-world Sheila Hicks and Doug Aitken both at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha. We're working out a timeline and what other stops might be worthwhile, so watch for more details soon!


Thanks to all who enjoyed the 2016 Microgrant Dinner. Alex Braidwood, Brent Holland, Catherine Dreiss and Mary Jones with Printober, Levi Robb, and Rob Stephens. Thanks, especially, to our dinner-specific sponsors, Olson Larsen Galleries and  Moberg Gallery. 

 

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Bridgework


REGIONAL CONNECTIONS FOR

THE GOOD OF EVERYONE

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Bridgework


REGIONAL CONNECTIONS FOR

THE GOOD OF EVERYONE

ANNOUNCING BRIDGE WORK

A SET OF REGIONAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT EXHIBITIONS
OCT. 13th TO NOV. 20th at THE GARAGE at SALISBURY HOUSE

Chicken Tractor is proud to partner with Plum Blossom Initiative in Wisconsin and Darger HQ in Nebraska to create the first MIdwest Regional set of professional development exhibitions. A selected group of emerging artists will work with curators to create a high quality group exhibition in their home state to open in fall of 2016. A few months after that, all participating artists from each state will have a combined group show. Plum Blossom Initiative conducted Bridgework 1 in Wisconsin in 2015.

In Iowa, four artists will work with Mat Greiner of Chicken Tractor and artist and independent curator Scott Sjobakken to stage an exhibit of all new work at the Garage at the Salisbury House. Our Iowa artists for 2016 are listed below.

heidi Wiren bartlett

IOWA CITY

I am an interdisciplinary performance artist from the Great Plains. I was raised by a queer single woman in small town Nebraska and that experience deeply impacted my view of the world. Shifting between minimalism and invented ritual, my research includes nature, natural processes, the body, and how we orient ourselves within hegemonic social and political landscapes. The most powerful vehicle for this work is often my body, a body that represents a peculiar mix of power and vulnerability specific to being a white woman in America. I engage in artistic self-sorting that opens me up to deconstruct and discuss issues of gender, race, class, and corporeality.

Website: www.heidiwiren.com

TATIANA KLUSAK

DES MOINES

I produce objects that don’t fit in. They exude mild uncomfortability, uselessness through contradictions, and dark goofiness. Often they provide overly simple solutions to complex problems. They try too hard. They are destructively earnest.

My recent work addresses the imperfections of the art industry, and the endearing awkwardness of trying to connect with art as a viewer. My work combines historical artifacts with futuristic contemporary items to appear amorphous in time. References  include medical equipment, Medieval torture devices, relics, sporting goods, faux traditional home décor, and vintage plastic. Some drive the structure and mechanics of my sculptures, while others are directly harvested for parts, textures, colors, and smell.

Website: tatianaklusak.com


CANDIDA PAGAN

IOWA CITY

I work as a sculptor and in (at least) two ways as a book artist: As the artist behind a literary fine press, which publishes new work be emerging authors and poets: Digraph Press, and secondly, I make artist's books that respond to an idea or place, or are a record of time. 

www.digraph-press.com is where you can see some of the things I've done and am working on currently.

My artists' book work is visible at Booklyn Artist with some background information on each piece.


BREANNE TRAMMELL

IOWA CITY

My art is about stupid things that I genuinely care about. It explores objects and icons from popular culture, the confluence of high brow and low brow, and mines from my personal history. 

It presents common experiences and awkward memories that we come to terms with. My work commemorates these experiences through humor and playful formalism. Like a gigantic crocheted cheeto or letterpressed twitter posts. 

Objects, observations, and inescapable memories that may seem unimportant but are significant and make us who we are. —Not Jerry Maguire

Website: breannetrammell.com

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About


Seriously, what's with the name?

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About


Seriously, what's with the name?

What is Chicken Tractor?

Chicken Tractor is an artist centric nonprofit organization located in Des Moines, Iowa. We are committed to enriching the visual arts ecosystem of our city by creating professional development opportunities for artists. Through free educational programming, art field trips, micro grants, a noncommercial gallery and, eventually, an artist residency program, we believe that we can help artists create better opportunities for their art and their careers. And that is good for everyone! 

Why is it called Chicken Tractor?

Chicken tractors are mobile chicken coops that urban farmers use to let their chickens range safely. With open bottoms that allow the birds to peck and scratch and poop, the most difficult, errant land will become verdant if the chickens are allowed to feed on it. Put your coop down on a terrible spot of your yard, let the chickens be, well, chickens, and months later, your land will be fertile and rich.

Artists are, in many ways, just like those chickens. Over and over again, artists have gone into the cheapest, least glamorous parts of their cities out of necessity, created studios and communities and brought energy and desirability to the neighborhood. Unfortunately, when the neighborhood becomes hip, the artists are frequently priced out. Chicken Tractor would like to turn this predisposition into something positive for the artists and their city. Metaphorically, we want to plop down on a section of the arts ecosystem of Des Moines that is a bit sparse and make it rich. And we would like to do it in the areas of Des Moines that don't have all the bells and whistles. They might even have one bell and no whistles.

So what is the long-term vision of chicken tractor?

As a young nonprofit, we are currently focused on providing opportunities for artists that take more elbow grease than capitol. We coordinate carpool trips to museum shows that are within driving distance of Des Moines, bring in speakers like the Iowa Arts Council to present about applying for grants, and run pop-up art shows for emerging and mid-career artists who aren't represented by a local gallery. We are building towards our goals of having a dedicated gallery space which can also host our educational programs and an artist residency program that will bring in 2-3 artists at a time from out-of-state and put them in studios that are embedded within a larger, local artist studio structure. This is an ambitious goal for us, but we are passionate about it. We feel that one of the most important links that is missing from the Iowa art scene, one of the things that is holding a lot of artists back, is a greater dialog with other artists and institutions outside of the state. It's a warm, welcoming place to live, but its isolation from the larger art world has a cooling effect on artists' practice and careers. We want our locals to have the opportunity to forge real relationships with artists from outside the community in the hopes that some of those relationships will not only be fruitful for the artist-in-residence but for the resident artists.