AMES, Iowa — “Hide and Seek,” an interactive exhibition by Julia Franklin, will be on display Aug. 27 through Sept. 28 at the Iowa State University Design on Main Gallery, 203 Main St.

Franklin, originally from Wichita Falls, Texas, and now of West Des Moines, recently became director of the Anderson Gallery and community outreach for the Department of Art and Design at Drake University. She had been a professor of art at Graceland University, Lamoni, for the past 19 years.

“Hide and Seek” originates from Franklin’s memories of her childhood in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Vintage furnishings are arranged to recreate her home, while bed sheets create walls that define the space. A maze of blanket and sheet forts prompts visitors to explore, wander and engage with secret hiding places.

Embedded in the interactive installation are clues and personal items from Franklin’s life that hint at the mystery surrounding her father’s death when she was a teenager. This family-friendly show is intended to unite ideas of imagination, escape and reality in a memorable and meaningful way.

Gallery hours and activities

Gallery hours for “Hide and Seek” will be 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. A public reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, with an artist talk by Franklin at 7 p.m. A “Build Your Own Blanket Fort” activity will be from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, in conjunction with the Octagon Art Festival.

About the artist

Franklin holds a bachelor of fine arts in studio art from Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, and a master of fine arts in sculpture and ceramics from Texas Christian University, Fort Worth. She worked in community outreach at the Dallas Museum of Art before moving to rural Iowa to teach at Graceland University, where she received the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011 and the Excellence in Scholarship Award in 2019.

Franklin received an Iowa Arts Council 2018 Iowa Artist Fellowship and 2019 Art Project Grant, which will fund an immersive, performance-based installation for the Oskaloosa Art Center. She has exhibited work nationally in more than 70 shows, including the City Museum, St. Louis; Arlington Museum of Art, Texas; John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Fine Arts Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Parkside; and many regional colleges and universities. She also participated in a monthlong residency at the Vermont Studio Center.

Franklin is a member of the Des Moines Art Center Print Club’s board of directors and assists nonprofit arts organizations with grant writing.

Learn more about Franklin on her website.


Julia Franklin, Installation Artist, juliafranklinart@gmail.com
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu