AMES, Iowa — The Veil, a collection of video, sound, installation and sculpture derived from experiences of grief, will be on display April 16-25 at the Iowa State University Design on Main Gallery, 203 Main St.

In her master of fine arts thesis exhibition, Judy J. Long, an Iowa State graduate student in integrated visual arts from Ankeny, explores the emotions generated by personal loss and occupational exposure to postmortem environments including funeral homes, morgues and hospital rooms.

Long, who has been a headstone engraver and tissue recovery technician — surgically removing donated human tissue for transplant, education and research — since 2014, says these experiences have profoundly influenced her artwork.

“Working in an environment that cares for the deceased, I have witnessed many traumatic scenarios of death — some seemingly impossible. It is a humbling and real experience,” she said. “I take great care in what I do because I know what it’s like to lose.”

Gallery hours and reception

Gallery hours are 2–5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and 2–7 p.m. Thursday. A public reception will be from 5–7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, with a brief performance at 5 p.m. and a gallery talk by Long at 6:30 p.m. There is sensitive content throughout the exhibition; parents/adults are urged to consider this with young viewers.

About the artist

Long received her bachelor of arts in graphic design and studio arts from Grand View University in 2014. While at Iowa State, she has served as a research assistant for art and visual culture professor April Katz and a teaching assistant for art history faculty members John Cunnally (“Introduction to Visual Culture Studies”), April Eisman (“Art History I” and “Art History II”; transferring course content to Canvas for “Modern Art and Theory” and “Art and Theory Since 1945”), Emily Godbey (“Art History II”) and Wendy Parker (“Art History I”).

Long has exhibited her work at the Sanford Museum, Cherokee; Des Moines Arts Festival, Artfest Midwest, Iowa State Fair, Viaduct Gallery and Fitch Open Studio, all in Des Moines; and Octagon Center for the Arts, ISU Design on Main Gallery and ISU College of Design’s Gallery 181, all in Ames. She will receive her master of fine arts in integrated visual arts from Iowa State in May.


Judy J. Long, Integrated Visual Arts, Sk3tch3s@gmail.com
Catherine Reinhart, Design on Main Gallery, designonmain@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu