Debate continues for artworks to be placed in new addition of Iowa Dental Building

The University of Iowa Dental Science Building will receive two artworks for their new public lobby space. The addition was built about one year ago to better accommodate the traffic between patients and doctors and to provide a more comfortable waiting area. The budget for this project is $300,000. Pamela White has worked with the University of Iowa for over 20 years. Since 1992 she has worked as the University of Iowa Museum of Art as Curator of painting and sculpture. She has been a Project Director for National Endowment for the Humanities grants and an adjunct faculty member for the UI College of Liberal Arts. 

                                Click here to see an audio slideshow about the project.

My name is Pamela White and I have a law degree and a doctorate and I’ve been affiliated with the university for over 20 years.  I mostly was on staff working as a curator, where I would research the artists help through their contacts follow through with how the art was installed and really my role hasn’t changed a lot.

For this particular project, this addition, the budget’s around 300,000 dollars.

We are in the Dental Science Building, we’re in the new edition, it’s just been open about a year. The original building dates from the early 70s and so it’s a kind of architectural style that we call Brute architecture and that was very much in fashion in the late 60s and 70s.

Well what we’re in is really the new public lobby for the facility. It’s a two-story space of a concrete wall and then there is a plaster wall that were looking at for the other one, so it would be in the entryway.

In keeping with the desire now of the art on campus committee to have art that could be removed from the buildings if necessary and moved into the museums collection, I started researching what were some artists of this period. And very quickly the director had a contact and found that there was a wonderful 1970s Sam Gilliam painting available on the secondary market through a dealer.

We liked this painting because it was the same period as the building and I found a wonderful painting by Gene Davis and researched the artist, brought several images forward for the committee and director to choose, and the user committee, the dean and various people that live in this building really liked the Sam Gillian and Gene Davis.

They are very large paintings. One’s very vertical and it’s all colored strips and the other one looks tie-dyed almost.

We need to affix the paintings to the concrete but were also worried because of the skylights about the UV rays so we have to breed on that. Especially with the Sam Gilliam, we are worried a little bit about fading.

I have found a product called Optium that removes 97% of the UV rays and so we can actually build a little box for the Sam Gilliam painting.

The goal is that we try to get this done by the middle of December.

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One Response to Debate continues for artworks to be placed in new addition of Iowa Dental Building

  1. Todd Duncan says:

    I am pretty new to the area though I was born in Iowa, I have been doing ornamental plaster and concrete since 1985. Started doing it with my friend who’s father owned a ornamental plaster co in Boston Mass. Can do anything from running cornice in place to mold making.

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