Iowa City artist Marcia Wegman traveled to Lithuania and Latvia with Heifer International, the organization that helps galvanize communities by providing livestock for a sustainable source of food and income. The so-called “study tour” inspired Marcia to create a series of pastel paintings, which will be on exhibit at Iowa Artisans Gallery, beginning June 6, during the Iowa City Gallery Walk.
The study tour visited farms all over Lithuania and parts of Latvia during the twelve-day trip, resulting in a wonderful overview of both countries, which have only been out from under Soviet rule for sixteen years. They toured modest farms “where Heifer had provided cows, goats, sheep or beehives to a number of families in the vicinity,” Marcia says. “We were warmly received by these communities of small farmers, shown around the farm, often invited into the very small farmhouses, and almost always given an outdoor banquet of their homemade foods. It was an emotional experience that left me with an even higher regard for the work Heifer does, and how they do it.”
Marcia is donating a portion of her profits from sales from this exhibit, which runs through July 20, to Heifer International. She says, “It was so moving to speak with people who had been sent to Siberia as children and now were finally able to live back on the land that had been in their family for years. Heifer is helping them regain the farming skills and knowledge that were lost during the 50 years of Soviet occupation.”
Iowa Artisans Gallery is open daily, Monday-Wednesday 10– 6pm; Thursday & Friday 10 am – 7pm; Saturday 10 am – 5:30pm; and Sunday 12 – 4 pm. For more information, please call 319-351-8686.