Artist of the Month

A talented typography artist left the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation to attend a small Christian college in Sioux Center, Iowa. And more than 53,000 Instagram users have virtually followed her here.

Michael Frizzell
Ally Karsyn

Michael Frizzell used to need weeks or months to finish a painting, but now, in just 90 minutes, he has a painting of Biggie Smalls almost done.

Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs—it’s a mixed-up fairytale world in “Uh-Oh!,” a musical written and composed by Diana Wooley, CEO of LAMB Arts Regional Theatre.

Over the past two weeks, we’ve heard several poems by Jeanne Emmons, professor emeritus of English and writing at Briar Cliff University. She’s an avid canoeist, who found a well of inspiration from her humble boat.

"The Red Canoe Awakens to a Spider Web" is the last poem in her soon-to-published, 32-page book.

She can feel it shivering in the

slight breath of morning, between

the thwart and the rear seat, the filaments

radiant in that horizontal light, making

Jeanne Emmons penned her first poem in kindergarten. Hand-drawn, Crayon colored flowers rimmed the edge of the page. Written to her mother, who kept the note, it said, “You are pretty. Deep, deep pretty.”


After winning her first poetry contest 26 years ago, Jeanne Emmons received the prize money and decided, “I’m going to use this $500 for something life-changing.”

GhostCat formed almost three years ago as a trio with Alex Erwin on vocals and guitar, Cody Garwood on bass and Steve Skog on drums, who all worked together at the Sioux City Conservatory of Music.

In 2014, the Sioux City-based indie-rock band released its first album, a seven-song EP, called “Useless Fairytales.” The band has evolved and matured in the last few years. Their new full-length album, called “How Infinite the Sky," reflects a more optimistic outlook on life.

Alex Erwin with GhostCat
Matt Downing

Last year, Alex Erwin, the frontman for GhostCat, demonstrated his commitment to his craft during a Battle of the Bands competition. He appeared on stage, sitting down to play his guitar, with his right leg wrapped in a walking boot and propped up on a wicker ottoman.

While the indie-rock band has won five of Battle of the Bands competitions, they're opting out of those events to focus on other musical endeavors.

Angst and young rockers go together like macaroni and cheese.

But instead of enjoying the gooey deliciousness, the musicians are smothered in sticky foreboding feelings of being fed up and betrayed by the world, figuring out life is harder than they thought it would be.

Coming up next on The Exchange, we take a look back at an historical event that still shapes our lives today.

We talk to a Morningside alumnus who took part in the civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery Alabama more than 50 years ago.

Also we catch up with some of news from the Iowa legislature.  That and more after this news.