Featured Artists

Jean Berry

Artist Biography
Born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and was raised in Kansas City, Missouri. She married early in life and had three children. Berry began studying art as a teenager and took instruction in art at the Kansas City Art Institute. Berry then moved to Des Moines, Iowa, and received an Associate of Arts degree from Des Moines Area Community College in 1980. She trained with artists Chancey Rosenbaum and Brenda Jones.

The death of her youngest child, Toni, was a watershed for Berry, after which she threw [herself] into [her] art to fill the void. In spring 1987, she enrolled as a student of art at Drake University in Des Moines. There she completed a B. F. A. in May 1989. Her work was exhibited regionally and nationally  after she received her degree and was included in a Smithsonian Institution exhibition. In 1989, she won the Fourth Annual NAACP King Celebration Art Award. A career highlight was her 1998 exhibit at Rand Afrikaans University’s Gencor Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa. Other notable exhibits include Philadelphia’s October Gallery, The Waterloo Museum of Art, and The Sumner School Gallery in Washington, DC. Her work is currently being represented by Hudson River Gallery in Iowa City, and can be seen in numerous permanent and personal collections around the world.

Berry has work in public collections such as Gencor Gallery at the Rand Afrikaans University in
Johannesburg, South Africa, Belize City, Central America, Howard University in Washington, D.C., Bowie State University in Bowie, MD, Huston Tillotson College in Austin, TX, the University of Iowa Women’s Archives, the Waterloo Art Museum, and private collections all over the United States.

Berry’s work involves figure drawings and collage with charcoal, pastel and oil bar. Found materials like pieces of cardboard, cloth and paper are interwoven to bring a realistic nature to the art. In her work Berry strives to record the world and its people as a unique cultural
experience. Emotional elements are designed to represent compassion; the essence of life. Creating life through art is Berry’s challenge.

Website: jeanberryart.com

Destiny Dixon

Artist Statement
Destiny Dixon is a self portrait painter born in Tulsa Oklahoma, and raised in Davenport, Iowa. She loves creating paintings with vibrant acrylic and watercolor paints, and uses art to highlight nostalgic and meaningful parts of her life. Throughout Destiny’s career as a visual artist, she has earned multiple awards, scholarships, and commissions for her artworks. Some of these honors were received from the Festival of Trees, the All-State Art Educators of Iowa, the Rock Island Tri-City Jewish Center, the German American Heritage Center, the FIGGE Art Museum, and the Creative Arts Academy. Additionally, Destiny has participated in many art-based events in her community through mural painting, and selling her handmade jewelry online and at vendor fairs.

Website: CharmCharmz of Destiny Ari’e

Indo Fulcher

Artist Statement
Indo Fulcher is a Waterloo- Cedar Falls, Iowa based artist in printmaking, photography, sculpture, and installation. She received her BFA in printmaking and minor in art history in 2020 at University of Northern Iowa. She recently received her MFA in Print Media at Pacific Northwest College of Arts at Willamette University in Portland, OR in 2023. Indo employs many types of printmaking skills such as; relief, intaglio, screenprint, etc. Indo’s work experiments with the way printmaking can be explored with the use of materials, natural pigments, collage, three-dimensional and photographic aspects. In her work, Indo explores shadows, objects and family within layering and repetition.

My works convey past memories and how those memories are remembered in the present. Shadows are markers of where we are and where we are going. The shadows of my youngest brother have been a symbol of youthfulness and memories. Including my figure to connect that my shadow is over layered with my father’s and brothers. I see shadows as another version of ourselves and throughout time memories intersect. Like objects, memory age and I fixated on keeping them intact. I use them repetitively, trying to hold on. I use photographs that I have taken and convert them in various print processes; by using pressure prints, intaglio, laser cut stencils, and needle felting to combine all these images. In the exploration of colors, natural dyes, and multiple layers, I hope I can share my space,
memory and relationships in a way viewers can experience.

Instagram: @indofulcher

Cameron Gray

Artist Statement
Cameron Gray is a Birmingham-born artist whose work focuses on Blackness in America. He uses his work to help him decipher his own understanding of self. He believes that Blackness is a universal force. He tries to reveal a small part of its glory through every work he creates. Through his artistic and social practice, he hopes to be a reminder to people of how we got here, with the intention to spark inspiration in Black Futures. Grounded in multimedia practice and employing a community-based focus, Gray’s artwork seeks to raise social consciousness by uniting thinking and making. His current body of work considers basketball as a cultural phenomenon and an expression of lyricism, beauty, and joy. In 2020, Gray founded the Buxton Initiative, an organization that centers Blackness in the realms of art, music, literature, and film. In 2021, he was the recipient of an Iowa American Rescue Plan grant and an Iowa Arts and Culture Resilience Grant. Using these awards, Gray conceived and received permission to install a permanent sculpture in a local Ames, Iowa park. This sculpture, “Black’d Out Books,” functions not only as an artwork but as a Little Free Library featuring books by Black authors, a first in the city’s history.

Instagram: @Cam_Gogh
The Buxton Initiative Instagram: @thebuxtoninitiative
The Buxton Initiative website: thebuxtoninitiative.com

Dania Green

Artist Statement
I am an acrylic painter that loves painting portraiture surrounded by flowers and natural elements.
My art journey started in 2020; I began creating art to express my love and care for the people around me. I gifted them with paintings and projects I knew would be unique to only them. As I continued to create, I became further interested in what art means. Today I am learning to express myself through my art and to create with purpose and intention. To me, art is a beautiful gateway to culture and people around the world. Art is a history lesson, a language lesson, a love lesson, and so much more. Being only 20, I am taking in all the knowledge I can, and creating art is a way to put what I’ve learned to fruition. With each new creation and idea, I understand more about myself. Art has connected me to my community and spaces with endless creative possibilities. As I continue on this journey, my art will grow, and so will I.

Instagram: @daniagpaints

Mike Hollingsworth

Artist Biography
Born and based in Waterloo, Iowa. Mike Hollingsworth is a contemporary artist who mainly works in paint and ink. He pulls inspiration from Impressionism, Abstract, Asian and many other styles of art. Integrating his experiences, thoughts, emotions, memories and observations, Hollingsworth seeks to develop artwork that communicates and connects his rich “Inner World” with that of the “Outer World”.

Artist Statement
Bridging the gap between the Inner World and the Outer World.

Instagram: @hollingworks
Email: hollingworks.art@gmail.com

Marcus Irvin

Artist Statement
My name is Marcus Irvin. When I was a kid around the age of five an elder family friend, Saven Haiden, called me Marcuso in reference to little Pablo Picasso. My Aunt, Wanona Spivey, would show him the  drawings I made and he was impressed that my drawings had their own signature. The nickname stuck and people close to me called me Marcuso. Fast forward 50 years later I’m still creating art because I love doing it; that’s not always the case as sometimes it feels like torture as well.

My artwork is generally mixed media paintings consisting of oil, acrylic and enamel combinations. MarcusoArt is laced with humor from tongue and cheek to a deep introspection of soul spirit.

I reference my work to being Surreal Expressionism though you may see it as you will. A lot of my paintings are floating out there undocumented. I’ve never been a mainstream artist, but my work has been in an undercurrent, underground and by word of mouth through many years.

My hopes are that when you view my work; it moves your spirit in some way.

Pratt Institute, Rubelle And Norman Schafler Gallery,
Black Earth Gallery, Blue Man Group, Public Murals, Exit Art, and MarcusoArt are some honorable mentions. Enjoy life!!!

Akwi Nji

Artist Statement
Akwi Nji is an interdisciplinary artist creating in words, voice, and visual art. Her most recent projects include Correspondence, a short film of choreopoetry funded in part by the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts; Enuf, an album of studio-recorded spoken word and music released in 2023 which accompanied a corresponding body of visual work in a solo exhibition of the same title; The Remoir Project, a nationwide audio and visual storytelling arts initiative; and Consider the Meaningful, an interdisciplinary collaboration with Ballet Des Moines. Her boundary-blurring interdisciplinary artwork explores the intersectionality of gender, race, motherhood, and associations with spiritual and geographic home. She is the creator of Threshold, a gallery, micro-venue, and artist lounge located in Cedar Rapids and dedicated to showcasing diverse forms of visual, literary, and performing arts.

Website: www.akwinji.com
Instagram: @akwinji
Linkedin: @akwi-nji

Isaiah Patton

Artist Statement
I am a multi-media artist based in Cedar Falls, IA. The mediums I work with are  Cyanotype/Documentary Photography, Oil Paintings, to Performance Art, and Tattoos. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and received my Bachelor of Arts degree with a studio emphasis in photography. I am currently a co-owner and artist at Honey and Vinegar Tattoos and have been professionally tattooing for four years.

Website: www.pattontattoos.com/gallery
Instagram: @isaiahpatton_atdawn

Jenny Sammons

Artist Statement
Hi there! I’m an artist living in Fairfield, Iowa. My creative career started in jewelry design and I owned a small jewelry business for over 15 years in Washington, DC. In 2014 I attended Maharishi  International University to study art which led to my working under skilled silversmith, Tommie Lane of Thimbles by TJ Lane for several years.
I love to paint animals, nature and people and I’m always finding captivating subjects. I’m influenced by naive folk artists like Grandma Moses and Karla Gerard, and most meaningfully, I’m drawn to African motifs and patterns as a way of connecting with my ancestral roots. Since a young age I’ve always loved creating things with my hands and my love for pattern in design has carried over from my background in jewelry to my drawings and paintings.

Website Jennysammonsart.com

Jill Wells

Artist Biography
Iowa-based artist, Jill Wells has firmly situated herself within art and advocacy work. A 2005 graduate of Drake University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, she is known for her dynamic, colorful, and tactile multimedia works investigating race, history, stereotypes, accessibility, and human experiences. By exploring the powerful alignment between arts integration and sensory
perception, Wells’ work seeks solutions for innovative pathways into accessible art. In her practice, Wells engages with individuals of all abilities, through various interdisciplinary art workshops and talks to create new modes of working through the arts, that are inclusive and representational. Without shying away from the complicated socio-political histories relevant to the world, Wells’ interactive, multimedia works “are transforming the art scene through social
engagement and she is building a future of advocacy through the arts.”

From 2012-15 Wells served as a Substance Use Activities Specialist for inpatient services. In 2015 Wells obtained her Iowa Boards as a Certified Alcohol and Substance Use Counselor for the state of Iowa and served as an inpatient and outpatient substance use counselor for 5 years. In 2020 she founded Artists X Advocacy Mentorship Program (AXA). In 2021 Wells was the recipient of the Iowa Arts & Culture Resilience Grant. Additionally, in 2021, Wells was a TEDx speaker on The Power of Public Art. In 2022 Wells became the first Harkin Institute Artist Fellow and was the lecturing artist for Al-Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences in East Jerusalem for The Resistance Course on “The Disability Art, Revolution, and Advocacy in the USA”. Her artwork is represented in the permanent collections of The Havelocks, Dublin, Ireland, The Center of Afrofuturist Studies at Public Space One, The City of Iowa City, The University of Iowa; The Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families, and Disability Rights Iowa.

Artist Statement

My art practice has always been the pathway that allows me to live life without regret by doing something about the problems that trouble me. My work explores intersectional social issues of racism, unequal opportunity, disability discrimination, and inaccessible design, and seeks
solutions in and through art. In creating, I can experience clarity and access the past and the present to increase the quality of life for others, leading to better social integration for others and myself now and into the future. I make paintings, murals, immersive/interactive installations incorporating sound and light, and tactile/touch-based art, to prompt dialogue around diversity, accessibility, and unity. I choose to make art that is itself more accessible to
marginalized audiences by its physical composition; its placement in skywalk systems, public schools, and city buildings; and by narratives of inclusivity and collaboration. My artistic representations of marginalized cultures, populations, and communities are, within themselves, acts of resistance against systems of oppression. Through my practice as an artist, advocate, and mentor, I aspire to dismantle these systems by elevating the power of accessibility through art and exhibiting the social changes that occur as a result.

Website: www.jillwellsart.com

 Power and Impact October 28 – March 31 at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

410 3rd St SE | Cedar Rapids, IA 52401