Jenna Bonistalli Installation

Sculpture and Intermedia

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The Sculpture and Intermedia Program at the University of Iowa prioritizes conversation that invites multiple perspectives into the process of self-discovery and supports each student’s pathway through the field of contemporary ideas and art practice. We value the conceptual, technical and aesthetical components of artistry with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity that necessitates a wide range of approaches to working with materials and media. 

Bed on wall, white dresser with house on top, dinning room set with white table cloth and lit candles, mirror on wall and dishes and food on floor.
Stacey Lee Gee, MFA 2020

Sculpture & Intermedia is comprised of two distinct disciplines that have a rich history and symbiosis in the School. This purposeful union enhances creative opportunities for students and fosters new avenues for research. Students are presented with a wide spectrum of possibilities to stimulate experimentation and production. They work collaboratively with faculty who are exhibiting artists with active studio practices to identify on an upward learning path that relies on conceptual thinking and making. The program has dedicated Instructional Services Specialists who are expert technicians in the studio and assist students with equipment use and fabrication. 

People on floor wearing white shirts and black pants, with files making swans
Heidi K. Bartlett, MFA 2015

Sculpture explores the essential relationships between concept, form, space, and the body, encouraging integrative work between installation, site-specific, objects, kinetics, video, performance and robotics. At the same time, students can investigate bronze and aluminum casting, metal fabrication, wood assemblage, or embodied and interdisciplinary forms inside their search for original content. 

Person on floor with arms above head and image of same in blue off kilter of person.
Jake Jones, MFA 2021

Iowa’s Intermedia program was founded in 1968 by Professor Emeritus Hans Breder and was the first interdisciplinary art program in the country.  Intermedia exists at the convergence of disciplines, exploring both the physical and temporal dimensions.  The program investigates video, sound, performance, installation, new media, electronic art and community-based and social practices.   Students are supported in developing their personal interests and advancing their work; contextualized by the histories of avant-garde art and with critical awareness of contemporary culture and its current conditions. 

white column on concrete floor with digital signage
Joe Lacina, MFA 2017

Our BFA and MFA students have 24-hour studio access and state of the art facilities. Students’ experiences are enrichened through visiting artist lectures and studio visits and benefit from the many resources available throughout the University of Iowa.  The Sculpture & Intermedia Program has an active visiting artist program where each semester, we bring notable artists working in Sculpture & Intermedia. Additional opportunities are available throughout the School of Art and Art History, and programs such as The Creative Matters Lecture Series at The University of Iowa.
The Sculpture & Intermedia Program and the SAAH prepares graduates to comprehensively challenge prevailing practices in artistic expression, develop new ideas, and become creators and leaders in their chosen fields.

Sculpture Facilities

In the Sculpture & Intermedia program, we offer top-tier Sculpture facilities that are second to none in our Visual Arts Building that opened in 2017. Our MA/MFA and BFA students have 24-hour access to their studio spaces. Additionally, there are six galleries through the School Art and Art History, where students can book exhibition space.

In our shop facilities, students can investigate both traditional and experimental approaches to materials and processes. Sculpture has a dedicated installation lab for sculpture student research and experimentation with installation, projections or performances. The flexibility of the area allows students to produced handmade paper and work with a 6'x4' vacuum table. Also, we have 3 sewing machines for students who work with fabrics. Wax and plaster rooms allow students to learn about these materials and all their possibilities for casting and forming. In the woodshop, students will find equipment and hand tools to address all of our student's needs.

The metal Foundry/Fabrication area has a wide array of hot metal fabrication processes available,  including MIG welding, TIG, spot welding, manual plasma cutting, and a gas forge. Bronze, Aluminum casting, and ceramic shell are part of our foundry. Included are a sizeable sandblasting cabinet and a spray booth. Besides, students can cold form metal using our slip-roller, finger brake, and pneumatic shear or use metal lathes and milling machines, a cold saw, and many other tools in our machine shop.  In our Prototyping Area, our students have access to an electronics lab and the latest computer-aided fabrication tools with CNC plasma cutter, 4x4 laser cutter, CNC router, 3D printing and Waterjet cutting.

Intermedia Facilities

In the Sculpture & Intermedia program, we offer top-tier Intermedia facilities, including state-of-the-art Mac-based labs support high-definition video production and 5.1 channel surround sound engineering. Video projectors, Smart TVs, HD and 4K Canon cameras (both video and DSLR), Rode microphones, Lowel light kits, Tascam audio recorders, speakers, high-capacity external hard drives, tripods, and other accessories are available for checkout by our students. We share digital printing facilities with Graphic Design and offer gallery, project, and studio spaces for the development and presentation of new work.

Instructional Service Specialists

  • Anthony Sutowski – Sculpture

Banner image: Jenna Bonistalli, MFA 2020