By Emily Nelson, originally published here
Creative and research pursuits take graduate students in the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History near and far.
One University of Iowa student will walk 500 miles across Spain in an effort to better understand holy pilgrimages. Another will kayak down the Platte River in Nebraska to study endangered birds and the waterways in which they nest. One will use sophisticated technology to tease out clues hidden in a French medieval gothic cathedral. And another will bring long-forgotten scientific tools—that are also amazing works of art—back to the people of Ireland.
While research and discovery often aren’t the first pillars associated with those who study and create art, they’re important aspects to advancing the field of art and art history at the UI.
“People sometimes mistakenly assume that artwork emanates only from an individual’s conversation with themselves,” says Steve McGuire, professor of metal arts and 3-D design and director of the UI School of Art and Art History. “In fact, every good artist is able to be a good artist because they deeply investigate what contemporary artists are doing, what’s happening in the wider culture, what’s happening in science and engineering, and, of course, the long history of art making.