Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project

The Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project records and preserves the voices of women visual artists in Iowa reflecting on their lives and their artwork. In 1998, creator and director Jane Robinette began interviewing Iowa women artists about their experiences and art practices. The interviews cover family and personal history, education, development as an artist, artwork, creative process, influences, and more. The Daily Palette is pleased to present excerpts of the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project's 2008 updates that Robinette collected from the Project artists who were interviewed nine or ten years ago. Visit the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project's website.

Crowd—salt, mixed media/collage on paper, 12" x 10", 2000

Gelsy Verna was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1961. She lived there and in Zaire for the first few years of her life, but since 1968 grew up in Montreal, Canada. She is the second of six children; her father was a radiologist and her mother, a teacher. She received her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in December 1988, and her M.F.A. from there in December 1990. She taught art at the university level, including the University of Iowa and the University of Wisconsin.  Her artwork consists mostly of collage, works on paper, mixed media, and oil on canvas.

Sadly, Gelsy died unexpectedly on March 11, 2008, at the age of 46; her five-year-old daughter, her mother, and her siblings survive her.

Read her first-person narrative edited from the interview.

This page was first displayed
on May 07, 2008

Find us on Facebook