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Russ Nordman’s “Iowa Combines” to be featured in Ray Frederick Gallery

MARSHALLTOWN – Northeast Iowa native artist Russ Nordman will share a display of his artwork in MCC’s Ray Frederick Gallery, room 306, on the Marshalltown Community College campus. The Nordman exhibit will open 9 am on Monday, August 31, and will be on display through noon Friday, September 25.

Nordman has been an artist and studied the arts for over forty years starting with earning his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa in 1991. After graduate school, Nordman was an artist-in-residence at the Recology Artist Residency Program at the Sanitary Fill Company in San Francisco. From 1994 to 1996, Russ became a project manager for a nationally recognized video artist, Bill Viola.

Later Nordman returned to his native state of Iowa to study Film and Video Production at the University of Iowa. While in Iowa, he partnered with Hans Breder to form a digital-based performance group called “Liminoid Laboratory.” This group performed in several places including Experimental Intermedia in New York and at St. Petri Kirche, Dortmund, Germany.

Since 2002 Nordman has been a Professor of Media Arts at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. In his work, he transforms observations of the ordinary and the everyday into a contemplative and imaginary commentary on the human experience. His work has been exhibited across the country, including the California Museum of Photography, the Des Moines Art Center, and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

This will be Nordman’s first exhibit at MCC. His display will include Archival Digital Photo Collage prints. The exhibit will include perspectives of Iowa Combines. “My art is inspired by my travels around Iowa,” commented Nordman. “I enjoy showing them in the state where I was inspired.”

Nordman’s ongoing project, the “Iowa Combines,” has him traveling to counties across the state of Iowa to photograph the unique architecture, historical sites and distinct characteristics of each county. “The eventual goal is to produce multiple digital collage artworks from photographs gathered in each Iowa’s ninety-nine counties.”

Nordman also has a connection specifically with MCC. The cube sculptures that are now displayed on the west lawn of campus were originally featured at Wartburg College where Nordman attended school. When the cubes were moved to MCC from Wartburg, Nordman and fellow student Tim Kurtt created a set of pyramid sculptures that were influenced by the cube and replaced them on the Wartburg campus. “We decided to do an independent study, making ephemeral sculptures around campus. As I recall, our interaction with the cubes resulted in creating something playful with them. You can imagine in the early 80’s the cubes in a small Iowa town resulted in some mixed feelings.”

The Ray Frederick Gallery is open weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information contact MCC Art Professor Tim Castle at 641-844-5776 or

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