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Posts tagged 2012
See this archive of Civil Rights-Era Photography

The Whole World Was Watching, Des Moines Art Center

Closing January 6, 2013


Response from guest contributor Deb Anders-Bond

Viewing these photos brought me very close to weeping over the cruelty, bigotry and racial injustice witnessed by photographers during the civil rights protests of the 1960’s. My hope is that those who were not alive during this time will visit the Des Moines Art Center to see these photos and understand the racism of that time which still exists today. Every individual must learn to believe in every human being’s worth, dignity and equality.

Deb Anders-Bond is a recovering photographer currently working primarily in collage. Deb lives in Ames, dreaming that  the beloved weather beacon will once again light the skies over her home town, Des Moines!

Drawing Through to the Other Side

Sarah Napier, Mars Cafe

December 2012


Excerpt from Napier’s installation of drawings. Photo: Tim Mitchard

Interview from contributor Jennifer Mitchard

December 13, 2012

Sarah Napier is a 26 year old Iowa native. She primarily works in colored pencil and pen on paper creating innocent, bright, and hallucinogenic illustrations. Her work is currently being shown at Mars Cafe where I sat down with her to talk about her new collection.

A quote from her Artist’s Statement:

Much of the influence for this body of work is from her bipolar disorder. …. Many of the pieces in this set were created as therapeutic works meant to help her express herself through the manic and depressive waves of her bipolar. 


Excerpt from Napier’s installation of drawings. Photo: Tim Mitchard

Jennifer: Tell me a little about your work.

Sarah: My work is therapy on paper, it’s what I did to keep the crazy under control.

How long have you been working on the pieces in this show?

About 6 months but the bulk of it was created over the last 3 months.

What are your ideal working conditions?

I totally watch Rosanne or some other 90’s sitcom and make stuff on my couch. I’m usually by myself…. watching Rosanne.

I’ve noticed an interesting progression from your older, more innocent pieces compared to these. Can you explain this evolution?

6 months ago I had a manic episode and drew throughout the whole thing. My art evolved quickly over that time. You can still see the old stuff in it but it’s darker and has more depth now. My collages are new and were brought on by a project I was working on before the manic episode.


Napier’s “Pixelated Girl Face (self portrait)” Photo: Tim Mitchard

Which piece is your favorite and why?

Pixelated Girl Face, self portrait. I don’t know where I got the energy to do that one. I haven’t been able to do a piece like that again. It was a piece that was how I felt when I made it. I felt like it represented what I was feeling.

What do you want people to take away from your work?

I want to make people happy and have fun with mental disorders.

Do you have any major influences? Now or past?

My bipolar definitely affects my work. Being raised in a bible camp, it is hard to break away from happy things and present something to the public that isn’t all butterflies.

I wouldn’t want my family to come and see this. My grandma is not allowed.

What do you feel like your work is about?

Memories and feelings about them. Trying to recall childhood feelings of discomfort. You know when you’re little and you feel awkward in a situation? Like that.

How do you see your work evolving?

That’s the problem with bipolar. I’m sure it will, but I have no idea how or why. I can’t plan it.

I’ve noticed that your work has a lot of repeated imagery. What do these images represent?

The arrows are the flow of emotion, they direct you up and down, like the polarization of my disorder, they are pixelated and not smooth. I like to break things apart.

The girls were different versions of me on different days… However the little girl inside of me wanted to dress up.

Space is everything. It’s the most imaginative thing I can think of, there are so many possibilities out there that we don’t even know about yet.


Excerpt from Napier’s installation of drawings. Photo: Tim Mitchard

What are your plans for tonight?

Writing my artist statement and I need to make dinner, I bought macaroni and cheese. I’m lazy.

Meet the artist from 6-8pm on Friday Dec. 14 at Mars Cafe for her opening reception.

Jennifer Mitchard is an artist, photographer, graphic designer, and writer, living and working in downtown Des Moines. She is the co-owner of JeTim Art Photography and a designer at RAYGUN. She studied Art and Writing in Central Iowa and Northern California. Find her work at