Our Blog // Posted by PS1_Admin by Filed in Art

Until we figure out how to embed it into this website, the PS1 blog is located here:


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the new ps1 // Posted by PS1_Admin by Filed in Art

hello dear (sometimes lonely) ps1 blog readers.

today we are taking the first tentative steps into the future. it’s fairly anti-climactic (really actually totally anti-climatic, though, speaking as a maker making with the face of an arts organization, one gets used to having to wave your arms to get people’s attention) but it’s a start. and this marks a small step.

to bring one up to speed:

ps1 the art entity is slightly changing what it is and what it does. this is precipitated by more than a couple things but mainly the move out of our “exhibition space” in the basement of the Jefferson Building (SEE LAST BLOG POST).

this move is allowing us to re-focus our energies on ps·z & the Zenzic Press as well as develop a new mentality towards what we can offer the iowa city arts community. it is an opportunity for us to re-imagine who we are and what we do. here is some of what we are imagining:

• we are still a structure to be utilized for artists (broadly defined to include writers, musicians, thinkers, craftsmen, and all) to produce and present their work

• we will continue to make things happen in two ways: by programming it ourselves and by providing the space and being accessible to what others are programming

• we will continue to grow what we offer (from tools, resources, and workshops at ps·z and zenzic press as well as opportunities for others to have an integral say in what this organization does and becomes)

• we will seek new adventures (including developing more art that is active, alive, and not confined to a single space)

thanks for continuing on with us. we are excited for the bright new future!


john e & kalmia s


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We will not be renewing our lease in the Jefferson Building // Posted by PS1_Admin by Filed in Art

Dear Ps1-interested people,

As the subject states, we will NOT be renewing the lease in the Jefferson Building. As the discussions of our tenancy this spring and the new lease recently presented  to us has made clear, it is time for us to move on.

None of the stipulations of the lease were insurmountable on their own. As a much-loved organization with healthy support, we are confident we could raise enough money to cover a year’s worth of rent and utilities.  We are creative, flexible, and savvy enough to shift some of our organizations other activities to make up for the barrier of not being able to do live performances (we can and will continue to do these at ps·z!). But the sum of these changes and the philosophical mentality inherent there within don’t make sense to us. We figure: if we are going to initiate a large-scale fund-raising campaign ($10,000+), we want it to go towards a long-term solution, not leave us in the same boat this time next year. Ultimately, we want to put our energy towards a space where all our programming is possible and welcome.

We really appreciate all the work that has been done by people in the University business office and UI Foundation this spring in figuring this out for us. And as we’ve said in the past, we are immensely grateful to the UI Foundation for supporting our organization for the last 5 years. Their gift of space and resources has been an exemplary example of the University fostering a real commitment to the community that ultimately holds it. Management-wise, Dan Black and Steve Elder have taken care of countless legal and structural challenges over the past 5 years. This history of support has been bolstered our organization to the point that we will survive (if not thrive) with this newest change.

Though there may be those that read this loss negatively, this is not our nor the James Gang’s stance. To be clear: there will be a hiatus on art exhibitions while we re-imagine new installation spaces and possibilities. We have several ideas along these lines and invite others to get involved with us now as we plan this new exciting future.

As a timeline for vacancy: We are planning on ending all live performances at PS1 in early June. We have a theatre performance that first weekend, one music show scheduled for June 3rd, and a video screening scheduled for June 12th. We are booking no other performances in June to begin transitioning out. Our June exhibition will end June 22nd, and for all intents and purposes will be done with any programming in the basement of the Jefferson Building then.

Thanks again to all who have worked with us on this and helped our organization grow to what it is. ps·z and the Zenzic Press remain testaments to that work and are unfolding in amazing ways we couldn’t have foreseen. We look forward to consolidating our efforts and re-creating ourselves once again with more support and dedication to Iowa City’s art community.

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SOMATOTOPIA // Posted by PS1_Admin by Filed in Art, Event, Exhibitions


a group exhibition of tangible art

Opening December 7th, 2012, 6-8 pm

PS1 Gallery

On view through December

PS1 will shift the focus of the gallery experience from visual and distant to haptic, close, embodied, and material. This exhibition will run from Dec. 7-Dec. 28 at Public Space One, with an opening reception from 6-8pm on the 7th. It includes over 30 objects, installations, and events from international, national, and local artists. For example, Luiza Kurzyna’s Long Distance, a jacket with interconnected arms, to be worn by two people at once and facilitate a new perspective on limbs, movement, and body. A “reading lounge” will feature a number of artist’s books including Tarpaulin Kingdom, by Matt Runkle. Work will be installed and the gallery will be transformed from “white cube” to a full-sensory environment to encourage lingering, hanging out, and the handling of the art/work.

The work submitted via national and international call features a collision of electronic-responsive work, artist’s books, textured photography and painting, experimental clothing/textile work, and a series of events, installations, and performances. Curated by Public Space One Program Director, Kalmia Strong, this exhibition continues the PS1 December tradition of combining local and inter/national artists for a group show in Iowa City. “The pieces in this show were chosen to engage sensory participation and subvert the ‘gallery experience’ by pushing visitors towards either more or less comfort than they would typically feel interacting with artwork.”

Accompanying the exhibition are several one-time performances, installations, and workshops.

During the December 7th opening:
Kaloyan Ivanov “Void Simulacrum” (NYC)
Alea Adigweme “Double Bind” (IC)
Mark Drummond Davis “Somatophobia” (IC)
Tiberiu Chelcea “Everyone who…” (Ames)

Workshops (tentative dates, times TBA)
TBA – “The Cocoon Project” featuring work by Sherry Aliberti (NYC)
Sunday, Dec. 9 – “The Body Electric: Honing a Sense of Self” workshop with Elizabeth June Bergman (IC)


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Two Exhibition Opportunities… // Posted by PS1_Admin by Filed in Art, Exhibitions

for the opportunistic exhibitionists among you. No, that sounds terrible. …for the makers-of-things and PS1 enthusiasts among you. #1: SOMATOTOPIA (our December group show). #2: Spring exhibition series. Scroll down for details!


Public Space One invites submissions for SOMATOTOPIA, a group show of touchable art. This exhibition will shift the focus of the gallery experience from visual and distant to haptic, close, embodied, and material. 

Touchable work in all categories is welcome:

  • created with the intent of touch (eg. installations, artist’s books, furniture)

  • conceptually dependent on touch (eg. ephemeral art, haptic poetry)

  • typically displayed untouchably (eg. painting, printmaking, sculpture)

  • time-based/performative (see below)

Artists in time-based media are invited to invent a way that their work can be presented touchably. Proposals for one-time participatory events/happenings/performances/workshops involving touch are also encouraged and will be scheduled throughout December. 

Work will be installed and the gallery arranged to encourage lingering, hanging out, and (of course) touching the art. Attendants will be present when the gallery is open, but artists should expect some wear and tear on their work. Work is not insured, and artists must cover the cost of shipping their work both ways. The show will run from Dec. 7-23, 2012, with a public opening reception on the evening of Friday, Dec. 7.

Please submit your name, the title and date of one piece, and up to three digital images and/or 200 words of description by Sunday, November 4 to somatotopia@publicspaceone.com or c/o Public Space ONE 120 N. Dubuque St. Iowa City IA 52245. If your submission has installing and handling specifications/instructions, please detail this. (eg. Your quilt can be hung on the wall AND/OR visitors can wrap it around them.) You will be notified on Sunday, November 11, and physical work must be delivered to Public Space One (129 E. Washington St. Iowa City IA 52240) by Tuesday, November 27. Every effort will be made to include all submissions, but considerations of gallery space and presenting a wide variety of work may limit the work that can be shown.


Public Space One is seeking artists for our SPRING EXHIBITION SERIES……………………

………………. What will happen in 2013? YOU DECIDE. 

PS1′s mission is to serve the Iowa City community by providing a venue for innovative, experimental, and challenging contemporary art. We encourage incoming artists to utilize the space for the duration of their exhibition by holding events such as screenings, artist talks, performances, or workshops. While all proposals  will be seriously considered, highest priority generally is given to artists whose work moves beyond the walls of the gallery and makes the most of the uniqueness of our space.

Submit a one-page proposal describing your work and explaining how you will use our space. Feel free to  include images or other supplemental material. Please email your proposal to gallery@publicspaceone.com no later than Friday, October 26.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Our Art Fair Community Forum // Posted by PS1_Admin by Filed in Art

Our Art Fair, the exhibition by Hideous Beast, opened at PS1 on Saturday, June 2nd with a forum about the Iowa Arts Festival and its relationship to the various arts communities of Iowa City. A panel of representatives from four of those communities joined us:

Megan Dehner – Gallery Attendant, The Chait Galleries Downtown
John Engelbrecht – Director, Public Space One
Katie Hargrave – Graduate Student, University of Iowa School of Art and Art History
Sean O’Harrow – Director, University of Iowa Museum of Art

We invited the organizers of Summer of the Arts, who are responsible for the Iowa Arts Festival and other programming throughout the summer, but, with the panel happening during the height of the festival, they were unable to attend.

The conversation was lively, informative, and is pushing our thoughts in many new directions. We will continue the conversation in various ways in the coming months. Stop by or send us an email if you would like to join in.

If you were unable to join us Saturday, the audio recording of the conversation is here. We will post video soon.

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ps+z Studios // Posted by PS1_Admin by Filed in Art

We are excited to announce that ps+z (on the lower level of the Wesley Center at 120 N. Dubuque St.) will be renting studios starting in July. This week there are two opportunities to check out the studios (and the new space): Drawing Club, Thursday 6/7, 7-9p and Correspondence School, Saturday 6/9, 11a-1p. Please feel free to come by anytime during those activities to see the studios, talk about the ps+z project, and of course, draw and write.

More details on ps+z and studio rental:

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ICCSA Season One End Raffle // Posted by PS1_Admin by Filed in Art

ART [ Iowa City Community Supported Art ] RAFFLE

We are wrapping up the first season of ICCSA Series 1. It was a success (our artists were supported), though we have a couple shares remaining. We are raffling off what is left to fund the program for the future! The raffle runs from now until May 20th and will end at the annual PS1 Cheap Art Sale. One need not be present to win; any support helps us keep our many projects going!

To be raffled off: (3) Inaugural prints from ICCSA (by Kalmia Strong & John Engelbrecht), (1) *Full edition of ICCSA Season 1 ($350 value), and (1) Super Secret Mystery Prize Package ($8 million**).

*Full edition Season 1 includes 7 fine art pieces from:

Chris Reno (fine art book), Mollie Goldstrom (print), Caleb Engstrom (print), Christina McClelland (sculpture), Andrew Ritchey & Richard Wiebe (DVD & golden paperclips), Amber O’Harrow (print), and the ICCSA inaugural print by John Engelbrecht & Kalmia Strong (print).

Tickets are $1/ea, 6 for $5, or 25 for $20; winner will be drawn at the conclusion of the Cheap Art Bazaar on May 20th.

Tickets are available at PS1, at a plethora of random art happenings over the next three weeks, (including SOUP on May 6th), or by contacting John Engelbrecht (319.331.8893, john@publicspaceone.com) and Kalmia Strong (917.703.1350, iccsa@publicspaceone.com). You can also buy tickets through our Paypal donation link (below). Just note in the comments that you’re buying raffle tickets, and we’ll put your tickets in our hat!

All proceeds from the raffle go towards supporting local arts programming that is often challenging, weird and experimental, but always accessible, well-intentioned, and absolutely necessary.

**really pretty kinda rough estimate


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Summer Residency III // Posted by PS1_Admin by Filed in Art

We have summer on the brain already. We want pool parties and barbecues and long days and popsicles melting all over our hands. But summer is not just about the heat; summer is about making things happen.

This summer is our third annual Summer Residency! We want you to submit a proposal for using the gallery as a studio all summer long. Perks include but are not limited to:

- cool basement
- studio space
- exhibition in August for what you make during the residency
- access to sweet PS1 happenings*

Send a short proposal of why you need the space, what you would do, and why PS1 is the perfect place to do it. There are some words and ideas about the gallery and what we look for in proposals here.

Proposals are due Monday, April 30. Send proposals and any questions to gallery@publicspaceone.com.

* Sweet PS1 happenings are always available to all.

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Lions and Lambs // Posted by PS1_Admin by Filed in Art

2012 has been off to a whirlwind start, and the rest of the spring is set to continue coming in like a lion. Before we get too far ahead, we want to take a moment to stop and look back and forth into the recent past and the distant past, into the ever murkier and brighter future. The January Art Auction was awesome. The whole week of concerts and radio shows and improv and auction and pancakes and more were great. We absolutely could not have done any of it without you – all of you who came, who performed, who donated, who bid, who supported and encouraged every step of the way.

We also could not have done any of it (or any of the other awesome things that happen at PS1) without the help of The James Gang. PS1 was The James Gang’s first endeavor almost 10 years ago, above the Deadwood, just down the street from our current location.

PS1 is proud to be the longest running endeavor of The James Gang, which is why we are excited to tell you about a great event happening at an exciting place with even more exciting potential for PS1. On Wednesday, February 29, starting at 6pm, The James Gang is hosting an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner at The Wesley Center. There will be a simple meal of pasta, salad, bread and presentations by PS1 and the other great endeavors of The James Gang (Mission Creek, Reclaiming Roots, and the Iowa Youth Writing Project). It is the perfect time to find out more about The James Gang, PS1, and the other endeavors; meet some awesome people doing and creating great things around town; and get involved.

So, thank you for being great and supportive and encouraging and just you. Leap down to The Wesley Center on the 29th to find out more about The James Gang, how it makes PS1 possible, and the other cool things they are doing around town.

More details + RSVP here.

ps. Stay tuned for all kinds of cool spring time things at PS1.

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