Skip to main content
The University of Iowa Libraries

The University of Iowa Libraries


Spotlight Series Displays Master List: Artists featured in display

Spotlight Series” displays are meant to connect the library to the UI cultural houses and resource centers.

Berenice Abbott

Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) was an American photographer from Springfield, Ohio, who is best known for her series of photographs taken of New York City from the early 1930’s through the 1950’s. However, her photographs of lesbian expatriates in Paris in the 1920’s are equally as striking. These photographs undeniably make visible a community of influential lesbian artists and writers. Featured here is her portrait of Jane Heap, coeditor of the Little Review, who was a magnetic figure and unabashedly masculine dresser.

Jane Heap, Photograph

Abbott, Berenice (1990).  Berenice Abbott:  Photographs.  Washington, D.C.:  Smithsonian Institution Press.

Corinne, Tee A. (2004).  Berenice Abbott.  In The queer encyclopedia of the visual arts, pp. 2-3.  San Francisco, CA:  Cleis Press. 

Cottingham, Laura (1996).  Notes on lesbian.  Art Journal, 55 (4), pp. 72-77.  Retrieved from JSTOR database.

Hammond, Harmony (2000).  Lesbian art in America:  A contemporary history.  New York:  Rizolli.

Judy Baca

Judy Baca (1946-) Noted for her socially conscious murals, Judith (Judy) Baca has been creating art for three decades. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she is recognized both as an outstanding leader-organizer as well as for her murals. Powerful in size and subject matter, Baca’s murals bring art to where people live and work so that they can see themselves reflected in a public space. Pickers Guadalupe Mural  is one section of a four panel mural on the history and future of Guadalupe, California. The mural was designed and painted by Baca in collaboration with hundreds on the town’s residents.

 Pickers Guadalupe Mural.  1989, Acrylic on plywood.

Baca, J. F. (1990). Pickers guadalupe mural: Det. Data from: University of California, San Diego.

Congdon, K. G., & Hallmark, K. K. (2002). Artists from latin american cultures : A biographical dictionary / kristin G. congdon and kara kelley hallmark. Westport, Conn. ; London : Greenwood Press.

Rubinstein, C. S. (1982). American women artists: From early Indian times to the present. New York, N.Y.: Avon. 

Carmen Lomas Garza

Carmen Lomas Garza (1948-) Born and raised in Texas, Lomas Garza’s paintings have traveled all over the United States and Mexico in numerous exhibitions. Much of her work focuses on the traditions and daily activities of Mexican American culture.  In a folkstyle that uses bright colors and simply drawn images Lomas Garza portrays people, oftentimes family members, in ways that convey a love and respect for family, home and one's culture. Curandera (Healer) depicts a scene at a neighbor’s house in which a lady in bed is very sick with the flu. The family called a curandera to do a final cleansing, or healing, for this flu. Curandera’s have a vast knowledge of healing traditions and are highly respected.

Curandera (Faith Healer), Oil on linen mounted on wood

Carmen Lomas Garza. (2009). Retrieved September 23, 2009, from AskArt.

Lomas Garza, C., Rohmer, H., & Zubizarreta-Ada, R. (1990). Family pictures / paintings by carmen lomas garza ; stories by carmen lomas garza ; as told to harriet rohmer ; version in spanish, rosalma zubizarreta = cuadros de familia / cuadros de carmen lomas garza ; relatos de carmen lomas garza ; escritos por harriet rohmer ; version en español, rosalma zubizarreta. San Francisco, Calif. : Children's Book Press.

Sheldon Harvey

Sheldon Harvey (1978- ) is a Navajo painter and sculptor from the Four Corners region of the Southwest who recently came to public attention when he won the Best of Show award at the 2008 Santa Fe Indian Market for his painting “The Trickster Way.”  Harvey uses both Western technique and Navajo traditional art forms to explore Navajo religious traditions with the intention of keeping the old ways in the present. 

Elder God.  Desert pine, oil paint, macaw feathers, steel. 

Pleshaw, Gregory (2009).  Sheldon Harvey:  Following the trickster way.  Native Peoples, 22 (4), 26-27.

Zorn, Elayne (2008).  Sheldon Harvey.  In Encyclopedia of Native American artists, pp. 64-66.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 

Hisako Hibi

Hisako Takeda Hibi (1907-1991) born and reared in Fukuikan, Japan until age 13. Hibi is best known for her sensitive portraits that documented her emotional and physical experiences in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II.   

Hallmark, K. K. (2007) Encyclopedia of Asian American Artists /Kara Kelley Hallmark. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press

Laundry Room (1943) (Mothers are lined up at the communal wash basin at the Tanforan Assembly Center/ Japanese American internment camp in Topaz, UT, passing up their own terns to bathe for the opportunity to wash their children)

Wadsworth A. Jarrell, Sr

Wadsworth A. Jarrell, Sr. (1929-) a social revolutionary artist of the 1960s and consummate jazz enthusiast was reared in a rural area near Athens Georgia. Jarrell along with fellow members of the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC) created Chicago’s seminal piece, the Wall of Respect  mural and later became a founding member of AFRI-COBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists), recognized for developing a new diasporic African identity predicated on the tenants of black pride and social responsibility.

Wadsworth A. Jarrell, Sr.  (2001). Retrieved September 8, 2009, from The HistoryMakers.

Coolade Lester, 1970. Acrylic on canvas. 

(“ Coolade” Lester Lashley a popular jazz musician and  friend of Wadsworth. “Coolade, vernacular used to describe the brightly colored clothing worn by African Americans in the 1960s., See pg. 160, Lock) 

Lock, G., & Murray, D.,. (2009). The hearing eye: Jazz & blues influences in African American visual art. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press

Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) a native of Atlantic City and a child of the Harlem Renaissance, used his art as an instrument of enlightenment. He favored thematic paintings that presented history in the form of multiple pictorial narratives within two dimensional frames that told the history of African Americans during the Great Depression, the Great Migration, and World War II. 

Jegede, D.   (2009). Encyclopedia of African American artists /dele jegede. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press.

And the Migrants Kept Coming, panel 60 from the series.

(Depiction of African Americans leaving the towns by the hundreds to go North to enter into Northern industry)

Jacob Lawrence. (2000). Retrieved September 5, 2009 from, Oxford Art Online. 

Pamela Shields

Pamela Shields (1956- ) is a Bay Area artist who primarily works with photographic images, printmaking and digital media.  Shields work pointedly critiques the inconsistencies of history and memory while also attempting to create new complex narratives of experience.  Her piece, Ghost Dance Remnant, responds to the 1890 U.S. Government suppression of the Ghost Dance religious movement.   

Everett, Deborah (2008). Pamela Shields. In Encyclopedia of Native American artists, pp. 64-66.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 

Harlan, Theresa (1994). Watchful eyes: Native American women artists (pp. 21).  Pheonix, AZ:  The Heard Museum.

Ghost Dance Remnant.  Liquid light on muslin. 

Jensen, Joan M. (1998).  Native American women photographers as storytellers.  Retrieved September 10, 2009, from Women Artists of the American West:  Past & Present. 


Valerie Soe

Valerie Soe (1961-) a noted social activist and feminist born in Berkeley, California and reared in a middle class suburban home. Soe uses art to give voice to the oft stereotyped and longed silenced Asian American woman portrayed in the U.S. media through experimental video making and writing.  She relies on her personal experiences as an Asian American woman as a point of departure in her work.

Hallmark- K. K.  (2007). Encyclopedia of Asian American Artists/Kara Kelley Hallmark.  Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. 

Mixed Blood (1992), video installation.

(An examination of interracial marriages within the Asian American community)

Valarie Soe. (1994). Retrieved August 12, 2009 from, Women Artists of the American West.

Nahum B. Zenil

Nahum B. Zenil (1946 - ) is a Mexican artist born in Chicontepec, Veracruz, whose mostly autobiographical mixed-media works grapple with the convergence and divergence of his multiple identifications, particularly as a gay mestizo Mexican man.  In Sireno (Merman), Zenil inverts the expectation of the female-bodied mermaid of Mexican lore by imposing his own likeness into the traditional image.

Sireno (Merman), 1987.     

Douglas, Eduardo de Jesús (1998).  Colonial self:  Homosexuality and mestizaje in the art of Nahum B. Zenil.  Art Journal, 57 (3), 14-21.

Sullivan, Edward J. (2002).  Zenil, Nahum B.  Retrieved August 27, 2009 from GLBTQ:  An encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, & queer culture.  Web site:

Sullivan, Edward J (1988).  Nahum Zenil’s “Mexican-ness” in Mexican painting of the eighties, Part two.  Arts Magazine 63 (3), 86-91.