Spring Art Expose 2017 | Discover New Work at the Annual Art Market (Formerly Riverbank Art Fair)

The IMU Ballroom is filled with artworks for Spring Art Exposé April 8-9, 2017.

Presented by University of Iowa Fine Arts Council in partnership with Mission Creek, the 2017 Spring Arts Expose promises to be an unforgettable experience, with over 90 artists showcasing their work in the Iowa Memorial Union ballroom April 8 and 9.

Artists from all over the Midwest and beyond share artwork in a variety of media, including painting, jewelry, photography, printmaking, glass, clay, metal, wood, fiber, and more. In addition, a student art display will be held in the North Room preceding the ballroom.

“It’s a showcase opportunity for regional artists to get exposure and it turns into a fun weekend for everyone in the community,” says Annalise M. Castro, a member of the Fine Arts Council. This free indoor art exhibition and sale  involves some exciting extras, too, like the Annual Wine & Craft Beer Tasting on April 8. “We have a really great venue, and community members can come and shop but also find new artists to follow, and discover new wineries and breweries in the region that they didn’t know about."

The free Wine & Craft Beer Tasting, from noon to 3 p.m., has been expanded to include twice as many vendors. Anyone 21 years or older is welcome to participate. Area vendors will showcase a selection of wines and craft beers that patrons can sample for free and purchase to enjoy later. The vendors rotate from year to year, so patrons can discover wineries and breweries from all over the Midwest. Vendors this year include Ardon Creek Wine, Summit Brewing Co., Peace Tree Brewing, and Wilson’s Orchard.

The dates of the Expose were moved to early April last year to coincide with Iowa City’s big performing arts event, the Mission Creek Festival. This year’s festival runs April 4 through 9, presented by the Englert Theater, and includes such talent as Andrew Bird, Margaret Cho, Saeed Jones, Rufus Wainwright, and DIIV.

Organizers hope to bring a literary reading to the IMU, sponsored by Mission Creek, in the space housing the student art display. There are also plans to show an art-related film on Saturday, April 8, in the first floor Iowa Theatre

A self-supporting, nonprofit student organization, the Fine Arts Council has organized shows since 1970. Students with various majors are hired each year to organize all phases of the two major art events, the winter Holiday Thieves’ Market and the Spring Art Expose.

“Four students work together to organize the Spring Art Expose,” says Castro. “We filter through all the art submissions, we do a juried acceptance process and then notify everyone who got accepted. We do all the marketing leading up to the show, deal with event planning and logistics, and manage the event over the weekend.”

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Freeform gold rings by popular Art Exposé artist Vahan Bedeian.

Of the over 90 artists involved, some are new to the show and some are veterans. One of Castro’s favorite art couples has been coming to the Expose for over 15 years. “Vahan G. Bedeian and his wife, Vicki, are probably my favorite artists!” Castro says. “He casts beautiful jewelry and his wife does beading.” A self-taught silver- and goldsmith, Bedeian creates rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets, and cast charms. Vicki combines knitting with wire and glass beads to create wearable art as well as traditional chainmaille pieces. Castro says she and her mother each have rings they wear every day that were designed by Vahan Bedeian. “I’ve purchased something from their booth at every show I’ve been a part of,” she adds.

For more information, please visit fineartscouncil.uiowa.edu/ and Facebook.

The 2017 Spring Art Exposé will be Saturday, April 8, from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, April 9, from 10 am to 4 pm, with the Wine & Craft Beer tasting held from 12 pm to 3 pm on Saturday.