Iowa Alumni Magazine | February 2007 | Reviews

The Daily Palette Website

By Kelly Stavnes
The Daily Palette

A stark tree stands alone in the middle of an expansive prairie, dwarfed below a giant blue sky and low-lying clouds. Farther along, fabric in hues of gray and beige weave together for a striking abstract display, while an intricate mural of Chinese calligraphy transports viewers to the Far East.

This isn't a tour of a typical art museum. Instead, these works can be found on the "Daily Palette"-the University of Iowa's online gallery of creations by statewide artists. Launched during former UI president David Skorton's Year of the Arts & Humanities initiative in 2004-05, the "Palette" highlights a new piece each day in an effort to heighten awareness and appreciation of art created in Iowa.

Visitors can encounter a broad spectrum of styles, either by selecting days at random or using the site's searchable database.

The "Palette" expanded earlier this year with the "Iowa Writes" project, courtesy of a UI Year of Public Engagement grant. Directed by the editors of the Iowa Review literary magazine, "Iowa Writes" mingles poetry and prose with the painting, photography, sculpture, textiles, and other artworks already on display. Even more recently, the site began offering a new category called "Iowa at 30 Frames Per Second," a collection of streaming videos by "time-based artists."

Although the "Iowa Writes" segment is likely to end after two years, the "Palette" is expected to become a permanent fixture on the UI homepage. Art appreciation has never been so easy.