The combination  of having Careena [Melia] visit the classroom to share details and her enthusiasm for her project and then participating in the first public presentation was an enriching and meaningful experience for our students.  These kinds of experiences are the ones they will remember.  Careena was an inspiration for the students as an artist driven by her passion and committed to sharing her talents generously. Thank you for helping to connect us.
-Susan Wolverton, William R. & Winifred Shuttleworth Professor of Theatre Arts, Chair, Coe College (Cedar Rapids, IA)


In August of 1930, Grant Wood spotted the now infamous American Gothic House in Eldon, Iowa, because of an experiment in artistic outreach.  According to American Gothic: A Life of America’s Most Famous Painting (Steven Biel, 2005):

That summer, Edward Rowan, the young director of the Little Gallery in Cedar Rapids, decided to extend his efforts at promoting community fine arts […].  “Mr. Rowan,” reported the Ottumwa Courier, “announces that the extension work is done to show that the small midwestern community, entirely isolated from certain contacts, will yet respond most heartily to them when the opportunity for appreciation of the fine arts is given.”

While much has changed since 1930 and experimentation is no longer necessary, the Grant Wood Art Colony continues the endeavor for artistic outreach. The Grant Wood Fellows visit schools, museums, and other organizations across the state during their fellowships. Situated in the Office of Community Engagement, the Grant Wood Art Colony intends to extend its outreach in the coming years.


To receive information about Fellows visiting your community, contact Maura Pilcher.