“A WINDOW ON THE INTERNATIONAL
WORLD OF ART ”
The Plans, Hopes & Dreams:
Iowa Falls, a small city of 5,000 located on the Iowa River in north central Iowa, is called “The Scenic City” because of its natural beauty. The addition of the Pat Clark Art Collection will add another resource to the community, one that will teach residents of all ages to appreciate “beauty ” in many forms. The original intent of the donor was to offer Ellsworth Community College students and residents of her hometown an opportunity to see the world through her collection. In December of 1997, Pat Clark said: “I’ve learned to love and appreciate the many cultures of the world that are all so beautiful and diverse. I hope everyone who sees the collection, especially the young people, will appreciate that beauty and diversity more than they ever have before.”
The huge task of preparing the collection for viewing is coordinated by an energetic organization called the Friends of the Pat Clark Art Collection. This group of volunteers is committed to the preservation, support and display of the collection. Task forces within the group focus on specific needs: publicity, fund-raising, grant-writing, storage, plans for display, and events planning. The group has taken field trips to other communities that have art collections to gather information and ideas.
Local supporters of the arts hope that the presence of the Pat Clark Art Collection in the community will act as the catalyst for many new activities and learning experiences. Art shows, classes and festivals may receive new impetus from the interest generated by the collection. The historic Carnegie-Ellsworth building has become home to the collection and welcomes tour groups, complementing stops already made by such groups in Iowa Falls to ride the Scenic City Empress River Boat or visit other local attractions such as the Iowa Falls Historical Society.
Ellsworth Community College students benefit directly from the gift of the collection. The Ellsworth Foundation offers approximately $6,000 for workshops/scholarships for students who are interested in becoming involved in all phases of the collection — from helping with preparations to exhibit the collection — to becoming a docent for groups visiting the collection. The faculty, staff and student body also use the collection to attract attention and students to their community college. The collection will be used extensively by the Ellsworth Art Department for instructional purposes. Public school students also have access to the collection through their teachers and tours.
As with any community project, help is needed in many forms — volunteering, fund-raising activities and soliciting donations. Everyone is invited to participate in this art adventure that Clark has made possible for her hometown. To volunteer or for further information, contact Kristie Nevenhoven, art collection manager, at the Ellsworth College Foundation office at 641-648-8576.