AMES, Iowa — “The Good Sport,” an exhibition by multidisciplinary artist Rachel Merrill, a Grand View University associate professor of art and design, is on display Feb. 11–March 13 at the Iowa State University Design on Main Gallery.

A reception will be from 5–7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, with an artist’s talk by Merrill at 6 p.m. 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.

“In an act to be something I’m not, I expose what I really am — a stupid good sport. Using American sports competition (organized conflict) as a metaphor, I question the performative demands of womanhood, competition and self-preservation,” Merrill says in her artist’s statement.

“My current work is a cultural critique of stupidity, a vacuous display of self-importance. It’s an observation of pop culture sound bites, public spectacle and a heavy dose of personal insecurity on instant replay.”

Presentation and workshop

Merrill will give a presentation and host a public workshop from 12–2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, to share the behind-the-scenes of her work. From idea generation and sources to production, participants discover the influences behind her “It’s Always a Competition” series using humor, research and process. If interested in attending, you’re encouraged (though not required) to bring working ideas for creative projects to workshop with Merrill and other participants.

A graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art, Merrill’s work has been exhibited throughout the US, winning several awards. She is the recipient of a 2019 Iowa Artist Fellowship from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.


Rachel Merrill, Artist, heymerle@hotmail.com
Rachel Connell, Design on Main Gallery, designonmain@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu