In an old chicken coop, glittering paintings line the slat wood walls. Leaving behind the combines in the cornfields, the artist steps into another world of spiritual symbols from mandalas to voodou flags. He’s greeted by the half-finished, sequined smiling face of Sweet Micky, the Haitian pop star who became president. Nearby, he hangs a self-portrait, showing his pasty white body in the buff, which slightly stands out among his other subjects.
For Devon Cadwell, a pair of shoddy shoes inspired a series of songs. By day, the local singer-songwriter is a therapist at Jackson Recovery Centers but, rather than drawing on his personal experiences, his mind wanders to make-believe world of lost love, ship captains and a runaway groom.
The sound of Mexican folk music echoes throughout the lobby of the Sioux City Public Museum. With broad sweeping motions, tiny dancers from Irving Elementary create a colorful flurry of flouncing skirts.
A few of the older girls with La Perla Tapatia have their faces half-painted like La Calavera Catrina, also known as the “Dapper Skeleton” or “Elegant Skull.” A stark white palette is punctuated by a dark green patch around one eye and skeletal lines extending from the lips.