SmART Saturdays at the Dubuque Art Museum encourage creativity and fun

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Looking for a creative outlet for your children? Here’s something fun and educational at the Dubuque Museum of Art!

Perfect for kids ages 6-10, smART Saturdays provide a variety of hands-on art activities in the museum’s remodeled children’s art classroom.

“Participation in art classes can make children smarter, more inventive and confident,” said Margaret Buhr, director of education at the Dubuque Museum of Art. “SmART Saturday classes do that as well as celebrate the joy of discovery. Classes also provide a great bonding opportunity for children and their caregivers. And most importantly, classes are fun, lots of fun!”

The new program will be held one Saturday a month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting on Jan. 27. Runde Auto Group is the proud sponsor of smART Saturdays!

The programs are designed to encourage creativity and thinking outside the box. Instruction and project guidelines will be provided, but individual expression is encouraged.

“Unlike a traditional structured class, smART Saturday’s open-ended projects focus on problem solving and creative thinking,” Buhr said. “Children will explore a variety of mediums and are encouraged to experiment with techniques and ideas in a safe and nurturing place.”

The cost is $10 per child per session ($5 for Dubuque Museum of Art members). Advance registration is required by the Thursday before the Saturday class. Adult caregivers must be in attendance.

The dates include:
Jan. 27: Mini puppets
Materials and instructions will be provided for participating children and their adult caregivers to make their very own unique jointed puppets to take home.
Feb. 17: Stickers, Buttons, and Magnets, Oh My!
Fight off dreary winter days by making bright and colorful pinback badge buttons, refrigerator magnets, and stickers. A hand-operated badge maker will be available for guided use.
March 17: Mini-terrariums
Children and their adult caregivers will design their very own nature-inspired scene using provided materials in the form of a tiny terrarium. Note: No live plants or materials will be used in this project.
April 21: Buggy Bouquets
Celebrate spring flowers and Iowa artist Grant Wood’s birthday by creating your own “Lilies of the Alley.” Children and their adult caregivers will construct a vase “arrangement” of paper flowers, butterflies, caterpillars, bugs, or whatever makes you think of spring.

Here is the Facebook event for the first SmART Saturday on Jan 27:

Voices Mural Project Update: All Done For This Year!

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The Voices Mural Project artists have all headed home, leaving an abundance of colorful scenery in their wake.

There are now 18 murals in downtown Dubuque, created by artists from all over the country. The works of art are drawing attention from locals and tourists alike.

“It’s been an honor to bring to muralists with such international acclaim to Dubuque,” said Sam Mulgrew, president of Humanities Iowa and one of the five directors of Voices Productions. “The work of these artists will be sure to transform the urban experience in downtown Dubuque.”

Voices Productions suspended its 11-year tradition of the Millwork District gallery shows this year to embark on this public art project.

Runde Auto Group is proud to be a major sponsor of the Voices Mural Project, along with Humanities Iowa.

Here are the murals:

  • 1st and Locust Street, by ARCY from Connecticut
    • “My pieces showcase the freedom of what can be achieved with a spray paint can. Many of my works contain photo realism, while others are purely abstract. In the end, no matter what I create, I strive to make an impact on this world.” -ARCY


  • 1st and Main Street, by Zore from Chicago
    • Current and upcoming exhibitions of Zore’s work include Art Basel Miami and Italia Arte’s Museum of Contemporary Art in Italy, and solo exhibitions at the Zhou B Art Center, Dorothea Thiel Gallery of South Suburban College, 33 Contemporary Gallery, and the Torres Gallery of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.


  • The Smokestack (east & west walls), 62 E. 7th St., by Cold (Corbin Lundborg) from Minneapolis
    • “At The Smokestack building, I aimed to make something organic, inspired by nature and the Native American burial grounds the building lies on. The second garage side wall I painted was inspired by the motorcycles inside and my childhood graffiti roots.” -Lundborg
    • Lundborg moved back to Minnesota after four years in the United States Air Force. He now serves as a Staff Sergeant in the Public Affairs office, working as a photojournalist.
    • Corban also works part time at Richard Green Central Park Community School in South Minneapolis teaching art to inner city seventh and eighth grade students.



  • Capri (upper wall), 398 Main St., by Didi (Diana Contreras) from Miami
    • “‘Wild Rose’ was inspired by Iowa’s national flower.  I wanted the colors to compliment the cityscape with the reds, purples, and pinks.  ‘Wild Rose’ is a beautiful confident woman who is not afraid to stand out.  As she turns around, her vibrant hair flips as she looks at the viewer in the eyes. The same beauty that was offered to me during my stay in Dubuque, I wanted to leave behind something just as beautiful!  This is my largest and most ambitious mural to date.” -Didi
    • “Women are the primary subject matter in my work. Emotions or intuitively is how I begin a piece, as a result, creating provides a sense of healing.  I aim to find beauty even in the darkest emotions. The reoccurring themes in my art are love, beauty, and empowerment.  My works are a combination of classical realistic rendering with a personal element of distortion and street flavor. The figures are a reflection of myself, thus, every painting is a self-portrait.” -Didi



  • Capri (lower wall), 398 Main St., by Amanda Valdes from Florida
    • Valdes’ art focuses on the female identity, primarily drawing inspiration from the dolls in her head. The sirens who fill her works are typically manufactured with acrylic paint, at times deconstructed with peroxide or embellished with pieces of broken mirror. She often uses spray paint, colored pencils, ink, and watercolor as well.


  • Shamrock Imports (back wall), 391 Bluff St. (you can view from the back of Monk’s Kaffee Pub) by Andonia Giannakouros, of Dubuque
    • Her work focuses on the human figure making use of repetition to symbolize disruption, vibration, and to mimic images from her childhood.
    • “This exhibit focuses on the events following the economic collapse of 2008. The images are frozen moments of fading summers which, having been acted upon by memory, represent a changed reality. Even that which has been constant is changed forever the moment it slips through our fingers.” -Giannakouros


  • 231 W. 2nd St., by Nate Dee from Florida
    • The mural features a barn owl, which is an endangered species in Iowa. It includes the letters WSDM, shorthand for the word Wisdom along the side of the painting.
    • The painter has been featured in magazines such as Delve, Making Waves, WeMerge, DUO, and the Miami New Times.
    • “I want the viewer to find his or her own meaning and relationship to the artwork. At first glance there is a sense of whimsy in my work that is grounded by its urban visual elements.” -Nate Dee


  • 233 Main St., by Gaia, from New York
    • Gaia was just listed in the Forbes “30 Under 30” list in Art and Style and was a Fullbright recipient to study and paint in New Delhi on behalf of the State Dept.
    • “The flower arrangement seeks to celebrate the accomplishments of Ada Hayden as a preservationist and botanist in the state of Iowa.” -Gaia
    • Ada Hayden is the woman featured on the mural. The flower is the wild rose, Iowa’s state flower. The eye in upper right corner is Father Mazzuchelli, who helped establish St. Raphael’s Cathedral, which is near the building.


  • Fresh Take (south wall), 345 Main St., by Christina Angelina, of Los Angeles
    • Angelina is internationally renowned for her public art and large-scale figurative murals. She was a featured artist in the Google Art Project’s Street Art Collection launched in 2016, and was highlighted as among the most innovative artists to watch in Sleek Magazine in 2016.
    • She will be back in Dubuque at the end of September to put finishing touches on her pieces.


  • Fresh Take (north wall), by Christina Angelina, from Los Angeles
    • She will be back in Dubuque at the end of September to put finishing touches on her pieces.


  • 197 Main St. by Gaia, from New York
    • This piece “seeks to interrogate the mythology of labor in the United States and who has traditionally been allowed into the ranks of ‘the productive.’ How will our nation transition into the 21st century as our economy becomes increasingly more automated?” -Gaia


  • Capri (back alley), 398 Main St. by Gera Lozano, from Brooklyn
    • “This mural is inspired by the historical roots of the local area. The design comes from a place of admiration and appreciation for the minimal abstract patterns of the native peoples that inhabited the region. … ‘Pattern Revival’ aims to resonate with the fresh and vibrant vibe of the Capri Cosmetology College.” -Lozano


  • 487 Locust St. by Werc
    • Werc was born in Ciudad Juarez, but grew up in El Paso, Texas, where he spent 20 years mastering his craft. Werc paints, collages, and designs based on inspirations that come from symbols, urbanization, letters, language, graffiti, border culture, and the nostalgic humor among immigrant cultures.



  • The Dungeon (east wall brick and stucco), 302 Locust St by Werc


  • The Dungeon (east wall cinder block), 302 Locust St by Gera Lozano
    • “The design is inspired by the Mississippi River, and the captivating movement of water. The mural captures a moment of water waves dancing with the current.” -Lozano


  • 231 W. 2nd St. by Werc and Gera


  • Back wall of Capri, by Wendy Mulgrew
    • “The mural  is called the ‘Hush Of Heaven.’ It is about the ‘space’ of peace that is ours.  It is about the decision for quiet and rest despite the clamoring noise of fear, apprehension and insistence control.” -Mulgrew

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See bios of the artists here.

See all the murals here.

Here’s a walking route so you can see all the murals in 3/4 of a mile.

Check out these videos to see time-lapse videos of the creation of the Dubuque murals. Videos courtesy of Digital Dubuque.

Learn more at the Voices Productions website.

That’s a Wrap! The HHR is Done!

A couple of months ago Jordan Degree got a Chevy HHR for the Dubuque Art Center from Runde’s. The Are Center had plans to get it wrapped in a vinyl coat and that’s exactly what they did!  Jordan says he is loving the HHR and is very pleased with how the wrap turned out. Check out the pictures below and look out for it on the roads!