Friday, April 24, 2009

The Iowa - Phoenix connection

Barak Obama, Nevada, Iowa, December 2007
Photo: Marilu Knode

Iowa is on my mind today. Last Saturday we attended an opening of Phil Curtis's works at Cattle Track, an artist compound and ground zero for much of Phoenix's modern arts community, located in Scottsdale. Phil Curtis moved to the west to oversee several WPA programs, including the founding of the Phoenix Art Center (now the Phoenix Art Museum). In his work with the WPA, Curtis helped the now-named Des Moines Art Center make it past the depression and WW II.

The Des Moines reference reminded me of when we saw Barak Obama speak in Nevada, Iowa, in December 2007, well before Iowans played a leading role is setting Obama's march towards the White House. And Iowans just legalized gay marriage--surely this is part of the revolution in American attitudes towards itself and each other.

I think Phil Curtis represented a grounded, yet open-minded, attitude through the things he brought to the arts, both here and in Iowa.

Let's hope Arizonans embrace Obama when he speaks at ASU's commencement later this month--he may be key to our financial survival.

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