116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The long-awaited Stanley Museum of Art at 160 W. Burlington St. in Iowa City is open, and thanks to Diana Nollen's article on Aug. 24, I was motivated to attend the Aug. 26-28 opening activities. Of course, motivation to see museum exhibits at home had built since 2008. Fourteen years is a long time to wait, but I can attest to the fact that the Stanley Museum is worth the wait.
First of all, when opening the website, I was greeted with "Always Free and Open to All." Yes, Director Lauren Lessing stressed the fact that the museum is for the community when she spoke to our Johnson County Retired School Personnel Association group. This is certainly true, from my perspective. When I called the museum to ask whether our senior sketchers' group could sit in gallery rooms to draw, I was told to just stop by the info desk and pick up stools. Then, I believe she ended with something like, "This is the way we see the museum being utilized."
Secondly, as an instructor who drove to Coe College, I feel a positive connection between my past school home and my Iowa City residence. The Stanley Museum is an example of our cities being connected. Our daughter and I agreed that our favorite part of the opening weekend was the Cedar Rapids Opera's production of The Grant Wood Operas: Strokes of Genius. Via (witty) opera, we were able to further understand Grant Woods' paintings.