Meet the Artist: Yun Shin

Meet the Artist is a series of interviews with the Iowa Arts Council Artist Fellows.

Yun Shin of Orange City is a Korean artist who believes that the process of making is a way of reconstructing relationships and remembering home. Relying on family treasures for inspiration, she reinterprets them by engaging in the intense process with repetitive movement. Labor and time, the very process of making, which is hidden and invested within each object, become the significant part of her work. She has exhibited her work at Woman Made Gallery, Chicago in 2014 and Pen and Brush, New York in 2015. She holds a MFA in studio art at the University of Texas and a BFA degree in craft and material studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently teaches painting, drawing, sculpture, and ceramics at Northwestern College as an assistant professor.

What themes does your work deal with?
I work to approach containment and preservation from an emotive place. I am fascinated by objects that belong to my family members. In learning to live with my emotional past and relationships, I value the physical look and details of each object. I especially appreciate handcrafted objects that my mother crocheted, such as sheets, covers and curtains. IMG_7512 Yun ShinThrough recreating the objects based on my own personal interpretation, I start to understand the intense process of working alone in contemplation. I transform objects to preserve not only objects but also my memories and relationships.

See more of the interview with Yun HERE.

They had a place, and their place was here

by Chris White

img_8160-herencia-oc-drums-smallerAll teenagers struggle to find their place. As a teacher, again and again, I see one question lingering on students’ faces: Where do I belong? But for kids who have immigrated to northwest Iowa from Mexico and Guatemala to flee widespread poverty and violence (some with their families, some without), those questions of belonging can be especially daunting.

For two students at Sioux Center High School, their questioimg_7905-herencia-students-smallerns of identity go beyond the usual teenage challenges of finding a place at the lunch table, in the group project, on the team, in the social hierarchy. Instead, theirs go a bit deeper: What family will I stay with tonight? What will people assume about me when they hear me speak Spanish with my friends? And during this election season, what will politicians and classmates say about me and my family when they debate our collective worth?

I was especially excited when our school brought a group of students including these two boys to Orange City Art’s Beyond OnStage event Herencia de Timbiqui, a band from Colombia. If anything else, it would be a break from the hard work of reading and writing in English, a chance to hear world class music in their native Spanish, to hear something that sounded like home.

img_7893-herenica-students-smallerAfter the group returned from the afternoon concert, I ran into these two boys in the library. “How was the concert?”

They beamed with joy. These two boys–who normally look stoic and concentrated, who handle their education with adult maturity because they feel so lucky to have it–were nothing short of giddy. They could not contain their happiness. They went on and on about how awesome the music was and showed me band members’ autographs they got on their arms. They acted, for once, like kids. Like high school students should act. Because for one afternoon, they were not the stranger, the alien. The concert was for them. They belonged, without struggle, and had fun. For an afternoon, they had a place, and their place was here.img_8113-herencia-oc-smaller

“I will NEVER forget this!”

Jen and I were surprised the other day — 13 tickets ordered for the Herencia concert — from a school principal.
Central Lyon Elementary honored the 11 fifth grade students who auditioned for Opus Honor choir—by treating them to a concert. The show? A big name band from img_7985-herencia-in-oc-mediumColombia — Herencia de Timbiquí— performing in Orange City Oct. 7, sponsored by Orange City Arts.
Eleven kids and two teachers showed up, full of enthusiasm.
They bounced into Unity Knight Center… then the band members followed a few minutes later, with high-fives for all of the kids. Twenty minutes into the concert, every student in row F was still sitting, but definitely moving to the music. By the last 20 minutes, they had joined adults and college kids, dancing in front of the stage.img_8041-herencia-vocalist-willian-medium
“It was unforgettable,” said Central Lyon elementary music teacher, Janelle Flatebo.
What did the 5th graders say?
“It was awesome!”
“Best night of my life!”
“I will NEVER forget this!”
Thanks to you — Central Lyon and OC Arts supporters — for making experiences like this happen!

— Janine Calsbeek, OC Arts director





This engagement of Herencia de Timbiqui is made possible through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Other sponsors are Orange City Arts, Staples Foundation, Northwestern College, Sioux Center Arts and Orange City Area Health System.

Southern Exposure grant logo Sepala_RGB300MAAF_Logo_Pantonenea-logo 2016

Win an original work of ArtRageous art!

img_0299-1-artrageous-oc-painting-dance-smallORANGE CITY — The singing and dancing troupe, ArtRageous, painted 10 huge paintings while performing at Northwestern College in Orange City October 27.

Donate to Orange City Arts $50 or more between July 1 and December 31, and receive a chance to win one of those works of art. Donate here!

Paintings are 6’ x 6’ or 6’ x 4’, on heavyweight paper, said Janine Calsbeek, Orange City Arts director. They are unframed. Images include Martin Luther King, Elvis, Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and an eagle with American flag.img_0370-artrageous-oc-painting-small

The winner of the drawing will select the painting of his/ her choice.

One of the teachers of students at the ArtRageous assembly said that she was happy to see her students get on stage with the ArtRageous musicians, said Calsbeek. Hopefully, the teacher said, the ArtRageous show “opened their eyes to how cool the arts are. I already have kids asking if we can go next year!”

img_0092-artrageous-oc-painting-smallCalsbeek continued, “Local supporters make these kind of experiences happen.”

Two other paintings were sold by auction at the ArtRageous event — to attendees from Okoboji and from Alton — with the proceeds going to Orange City Arts.

Donate online here.  Or send a check to Orange City Arts at PO Box 202, Orange City IA 51041. Or drop your check in the city hall mail slot.

Donations to Orange City Arts are tax-deductible.img_0661-artrageous-oc-painting-kids-small

All who donate $50 or more between July 1 and December 31 will be automatically entered in the drawing. Season pass holders for 2016-2017 will also be entered.img_0654-artrageous-oc-full-stage-smallimg_0188-artrageous-lauri-painting-oc-small


Give an experience in the arts! Gift certificates available

Give a unique gift this holiday season!

Gift certificates are available for Orange City Arts’ winter and spring classes and performances… and we’ve got a great line-up! Learn to watercolor. Try your hand at magic tricks. Make wine. Laugh & cry with Kevin Kling. And much more….

For a gift certificate, contact Jennifer or Janine at Orange City Arts: 707-4885 or

Classes for children:
Magicians in the Making with Lisa Lairdimg_0197-beginning-painting-for-kids
Painting on Canvas… for Kids! with Will Browning
Puppetry, with Black Lights! with Lisa Laird

Classes for high school and adults:
Realistic Watercolor for Beginners with Pam Harp
Art Start: Watercolor Journaling with Judy Thompson
Art 101 with Will Browning
Siouxland 103: West to the Plains with Jim Schaap
The Art of Winemaking with Terry Mouw (for adults 21+)
Chicken Soup for the Chicken: The Healing Power of Story with Kevin Kling
Memoir with Barbara Turnwall
Painting… Uncorked! with Rein Vanderhill
pam-harp-amaryllis-2015-27Vibrant Paintings with Alcohol Inks with Paula Crandell
International Cooking

An Evening of Dance, Jan. 28
Cantus, premier men’s vocal ensemble, Feb. 18
Kevin Kling, storyteller, Feb. 24
Mermaid Theatre, large-scale puppet show from Nova Scotia, March 20

Not to brag, but…

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs launched a new campaign in December, aimed at convincing Iowans to polish up their hidden gems and shamefully share their best and brightest.

“We’ve had so many conversations with Iowans across the state, and it’s clear that towns across the map have too many of their own best-kept secrets,” said Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie. The Iowa Arts Council is part of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

“I’m a member of the Iowa Arts Council board,” said Janine Calsbeek, director of Orange City Arts. “We in Iowa have a lot to be proud of that people may not know.”

Part of the push is the 50th anniversary of the Iowa Arts Council and Iowa’s 170th birthday. In fact, it’s also the 40th year since Orange City Arts was founded.

In conjunction with the “#NotToBrag” campaign, Orange City Arts is inviting residents in and around Sioux County to send in their stories. Bragging isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged! Orange City Arts is looking for amazing people, places, art, music and film having to do with Sioux County and Orange City to highlight all through 2017.

See the Iowa kick-off video below.

Send your story to Orange City Arts at, with “Not to Brag” in the subject line.