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Reynolds honors three female artists during Iowa Women’s Art Exhibition reception


Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds honored three Iowans today by displaying their artwork in the Iowa Women’s Art Exhibition, which celebrates female artists and their contributions to the cultural vitality of Iowa.

Today’s program was held in Reynolds’ formal office where the exhibition is on display through June 2017. It features artworks from Jody Boyer of Council Bluffs, Jane Gilmor of Cedar Rapids and Rachel Merrill of Des Moines. The exhibition series was created in 2014 by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and the Iowa Arts Council.

More Iowans are using art as an essential element to improve quality of life in their communities, and female artists contribute to the entrepreneurial community of women in Iowa. Increasingly, Reynolds hears business and industry leaders say quality of life — including a vibrant arts scene — rises to the top of their check lists when deciding where to reinvest and grow.

“Women in Iowa continue to provide innovative and dynamic leadership in communities across our state and I am eager to highlight their achievements,” Reynolds said. “This exhibit has provided me an opportunity not only to showcase the works of these artists, but to also recognize the role they play as entrepreneurs in our state.”

The following artists’ work is currently being displayed in the Lt. Governor’s Formal Office.

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  • Jane Gilmor of Cedar Rapids has exhibited internationally since 1974. In 2012, A.I.R. Gallery, New York City published a retrospective of her work, “Jane Gilmor: I’ll Be Back For The Cat” by J Sperling. She has received a 2011 Tanne Foundation Award, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, Iowa Arts Council grants, a McKnight Fellowship, and fellowships in Ireland, Italy, London. In 2003, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Portugal. Recent solo exhibitions include “The Architecture of Migration,” Long Island University, New York City; “Blind,” A.I.R. Gallery, New York City; “(Un)Seen Work,” Grinnell. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The New Art Examiner and is included in Lucy Lippard’s OVERLAY: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory; Broude and Gerrard’s The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970’s; and Pioneer Feminists: Women Who Changed America, 1963-1976. Gilmor is Emerita Professor, Mount Mercy University, and has a Master of Fine Arts and Master of Arts from the University of Iowa, and a Bachelor of Arts from Iowa State University.
  • Rachel Merrill of Des Moines holds a Studio Arts degree from University of Northwestern and a Masters of Fine Art from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She is an artist and faculty member at Grand View University where she currently teaches Art History and Studio Art courses. She is a contemporary artist, having exhibited her work both locally and nationally. Her current work includes drawings and documented performances exploring various aspects of “events.” She is active in the local art community, sharing a passion for art and education of the arts within the Des Moines area.
  • Jody Boyer of Council Bluffs is a visual artist and arts educator originally from Portland, Oregon. In her studio practice, she explores the broad interdisciplinary possibilities of traditional and new media with a specific interest in personal memory, cinema, landscape and a sense of place. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts from Reed College, her Master of Arts in Intermedia and Video Art from the University of Iowa, and her K-12 teaching certificate from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her artwork has been shown nationally, including at the Des Moines Art Center and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and in publications such as Review and Art in America. She currently teaches studio art at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and visual arts at Norris Middle School. In 2014, she received the Caucus of Social Theory in Art Education’s Social Theory in Practice Award for K-12 Art teachers and was selected 2014 Nebraska Middle School Art Educator of the Year by the Nebraska Art Teacher Association.

A new application round will open in spring 2017 for artists to submit their work for display. The exhibit rotates semi-annually and will feature new female artists in July 2017.

The public is welcome to visit. The Iowa Arts Council is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. More information is available at or by calling 515-281-5111.

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