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Following in Grant Wood's footsteps
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Mariangeles Soto-Diaz and Tyler Starr are the first two Grant Wood Fellowship recipients. They have lived in Iowa City and worked on the University of Iowa campus during the inaugural year of the Grant Wood Artist Colony. During the academic year, each fellow teaches a total of two courses at the School of Art and Art History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, leaving the rest of the time for the artist’s own work and research.
Soto-Diaz, who received the painting fellowship, holds a Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University and a Master of Arts from the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts. She has exhibited internationally and her work has been reviewed in publications such as the L.A. Times, Art Nexus, and Arte al Día. She works in Southern California.
Starr, who received the printmaking fellowship, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, Conn., and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota. In 1998, Starr was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Studio Arts from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts in March 2011 where he was a recipient of the Japanese Ministry of Education Scholarship.
In conjunction with the Grant Wood Symposium, which takes place April 13 and 14 in Art Building West and the Black Box Theater of the Iowa Memorial Union, Soto-Diaz and Starr created new exhibitions as a culmination of their fellowships. Prior to the opening, they invited Iowa Now into their studios to see what they’ve been up to. Both exhibitions are showing in the Art Building West Gallery through Saturday, April 14, and are free and open to the public. There will be a reception from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, April 13.