Three new exhibitions to open at Muscatine Art Center in June – Voice Of Muscatine

A view of Birds in Art, on view
in the Stanley Gallery starting June 1. [City of Muscatine/Submitted]

Three new exhibitions will be on display at the Muscatine Art Center starting in June. The 47th annual Birds in Art exhibition will open on both floors of the Stanley Gallery June 1 with the printed works of artist Philip Laber, House of Cards, on the second floor of the Musser McColm mansion starting June 3. The Iowa Watercolor Society Traveling Exhibition returns June 8 on the second floor of the Musser McColm mansion.

Birds in Art will be on display through September 10 while House of Cards remains on view until August 6, and the Iowa Watercolor Society Traveling Exhibition will close July 30.

Birds in Art, an exhibition organized by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, is traveling to the Muscatine Art Center for the first time. Since 1976, Birds in Art has showcased the remarkable talents of more than 1,000 international artists, who presented their best work interpreting birds and related subject matter. Birds in Art is recognized globally as the exhibition setting the standard for avian art.

“Partisan Divide”, Philip Laber, 2010.

This travelling exhibition features 50 entries from the 47th annual Birds in Art exhibition. The full exhibition of work by 118 artists was presented at the Woodson Art Museum in Wasau, Wis., from September through November 2022. Three notable jurors evaluated nearly 1,000 images from 570 artists located around the world. Bronze, acrylics, oils, watercolor, linocut, sandstone, and other mediums are represented in the traveling exhibition.

  Philip Laber, former Professor Emeritus of Art at Northwest Missouri State, will showcase his works in the Musser McColm mansion. His exhibit, House of Cards, is a suite of experimental printmaking that examines, and metaphorically represents, American and global cultures and politics, and the resulting consequences upon daily life edited through the eyes of a mythical and whimsical “Everyman”. The works are a hybrid approach that combines traditional etching and engraving processes with digital imagining and contemporary printmaking.

In the summer of 2016, Laber retired from teaching photography, printmaking, and drawing at Northwest Missouri State to become a full-time artist. His creative interests remain experimental printmaking and photography, and more recently, exploring acrylic painting. The public will have an opportunity to meet Philip Laber on Sunday, June 25, at the Friends Annual Ice Cream Social.

The Iowa Watercolor Society (IWS) traveling exhibition features the work of 30 Iowa watercolor artists, and judges have awarded first through fifth place winners along with Honorable Mentions and a winner for the Transparent category. The Iowa Watercolor Society (IWS) was organized in 1977 by a small group of enthusiastic watercolorists. IWS now celebrates well over 150 members and offers the opportunity for interested painters to network with artists statewide.

“Spring Green”, Jan Vander Linden, 4th place.

Artist Jo Myers-Walker, whose watercolor is included in this year’s exhibit, will host a “toast” to the late watercolorist, Carol Steinmetz. Myers-Walker will lead a watercolor floral workshop in memory of Carol Steinmetz starting at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 22. Visit for details.

For further information about the exhibits, click on the links below:

 The Muscatine Art Center is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Call 563-263-8282 for up-to-date details or visit for more information about programs and events.