AMES, Iowa — “Transmogrify,” a graduate thesis exhibition by Iowa State University integrated visual arts student Dan Johnson, is on display Oct. 29–Nov. 9 at the ISU Design on Main Gallery, 203 Main St. in downtown Ames. A public reception will be from 5:30–8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8.

Johnson’s process-based art involves mining his own memory and imagination to explore the possibilities inherent in spontaneously generated imagery, he says. He uses line to illustrate his fascination with invented subjects and worlds. The illusion of depth created through color is both utilized and distorted intentionally, at times providing a sense of realism while also inverting expectations and flattening the space with colors that are out of their natural placement.

“‘Transmogrify’ simply means to transform in a surprising or magical manner, and that is precisely what I hope to accomplish with my work,” Johnson says in his artist statement. “The word also bears connotations of humor and play, and I try to infuse all of art with this sense of playful if sometimes esoteric comedy.”

Johnson, of Davenport, has exhibited his work locally and regionally, including exhibitions in Rock Island and Moline, Illinois, and Ames. He currently serves as a teaching assistant in the ISU Department of Art and Visual Culture. He received a bachelor of arts in English in 1998 and a master of arts in English (creative writing) in 2001, both from Iowa State, and will graduate with a master of fine arts in integrated visual arts in December.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thursday. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.


Dan Johnson, Integrated Visual Arts graduate student, djj@iastate.edu
Rachel Connell, Design on Main Gallery, (515) 291-0859, designonmain@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu