Sculpture Garden a backdrop for meditation, yoga at the Figge

Sculpture Garden on display April 6-June 23.

meditation yoga
CREDIT Julius Schmidt (American, 1923-2017), Stainless Steel Sculpture, 1971, stainless steel, City of Davenport Art Collection, Friends of Art Acquisition Fund, 197.4 © 1971 Julius Schmidt.

Large works of art are springing up at the Figge Art Museum in a Sculpture Garden that will be on display Saturday in the Katz gallery. It also will serve as a carefully designed meditative space that will inspire meditation and offer yoga.

The exhibit, for which the Quad Cities Regional Business Journal is the media sponsor, runs from Saturday, April 6, to Sunday, June 23. The QCBJ also previously served as media sponsor for last year’s Ansel Adams exhibit.

In the runup to the Sculpture Garden’s April 6 opening date, experts at the Davenport riverfront museum have been working to transform the gallery “into an oasis within the museum, providing a space for contemplation, mindfulness, and relaxation within a peaceful garden of sculpture.”

The exhibit at the 225 West Second St. museum will feature a selection of large works from Figge’s permanent collection, including sculptures by well-known artists Marily Davidson, George Rickey, Gene Horvath and Julius Schmidt. 

These works will be accompanied by traditional art historical interpretation, the Figge said in a news release. Attendees also will find mindfulness prompts and activities generated by Iowa City artist and Art Therapist Dana Keeton and local yoga instructor; Reiki Master, sound healer; and Thai Bodywork practitioner Becky Nakashima Brooke. 

Meditation encouraged

Ms. Keeton and Ms. Brooke will also create a meditative space in the center of the gallery. It will feature floor cushions and soothing music. Visitors there are encouraged to contemplate the surrounding sculptures and see them through new perspectives. 

Those new perspectives will be encouraged by the curated activities in the exhibition. They include communal journaling, yoga instruction and meditation prompts, the Figge exhibit promises.

Leading the effort is Ms. Keeton. She is an artist and art psychotherapist in private practice in Iowa City. Her work with clients is centered on an integrative mind-body approach rooted in trauma-informed art psychotherapy, the Figge said. 

In addition to her clinical work, Ms. Keeton provides art therapy informed workshops in museum settings. As an artist, she is interested in exploring new ways to create with both tactile and lens-based media, the release said.  

Trained as a photographer, her current work focuses on collaborative multimedia projects that investigate themes connected to nature, the environment, and the innate human need for calming and soothing amidst the natural cycles of change. 

Ms. Brooke has a diverse background that includes end-of-life doula. She also is a Reiki master, yoga instructor, Thai bodyworker, sound healer, and qigong teacher. She uses her knowledge of qigong and sound healing to guide meditation, the release said. Through her guidance, individuals can experience profound relaxation and harmonization of the body, mind, and spirit, the Figge promises.

Pioneering work on view

The sculpture artists on display in the Katz Gallery “garden” include Mr. Schmidt whose pioneering metal work earned him the unofficial title “grandfather of cast iron sculpture.” The late artist gained international recognition in 1963, and his works appear in more than 30 museums including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art.

Mr. Rickey, who died on July 17, 2002, was an American kinetic sculptor. Such works contain movement that can be seen by the viewer or depends on motion for its effects.

The late Illinois artist Gene Horvath’s bronze and steel sculptures already are on display in Illinois and in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois. At the time of his death on April 14, 1995, the Rockford Art Museum wrote, “his portfolio included sculptures grounded in locations from Rockford to Rock Island, and from Dallas to Chandler, Ariz.”

Ms. Davidson is internationally known for her works in sculpture and design for the home. Her works have been exhibited in New York, Germany, England, Yugoslavia, Australia, and Mexico and featured in Design Magazine, The New York Art Review, and Arts Magazine.

Tickets for the exhibit are available purchase here.

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