Skip Navigation LinksHome > Events > Museum Program & Events > Grant Wood's Birthday Bash with the CROpera!

Grant Wood's Birthday Bash with the CROpera!

Join us for Grant Wood's Birthday Bash!

 Wednesday, February 13 from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM.

Let's celebrate Grant Wood's birthday with an evening of art and music. The composers of CROpera's original commission will introduce the pieces performed by Jessica Pray Patel, soprano, Jared Rogers, tenor and performer Jhe Russell. will be performing. Participate in the re-creation of "Imagination Isles," a frieze Grant Wood and his students painted for the McKinley school cafeteria in 1924. Light refreshments will be provided.

In early September 2017, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre Artistic Director Daniel Kleinknecht approached Cedar Rapids Museum of Art Executive Director Sean Ulmer about the possibility of commissioning two or three composers to create new one-act operas about Grant Wood inspired by one (or more) of Grant Wood’s paintings.  On September 13, Ulmer took four potential composers along with Kleinknecht through the grant Wood Gallery as well as through the storage areas, sharing with the composers the Museum’s rich holdings in works by Wood.  Afterward, the Museum worked with the composers by providing them with images of the works they found most intriguing and the composers went off to create.

Composer Michael Ching created “8 Woods and a Van,” which drew inspiration from eights works by Grant Wood and Jan Van Eyck’s Portrait of Giovanni (?) Arnolfini and his Wife, also known as the Arnolfini Wedding Portrait. Some of the Wood works included the Mourner’s Bench and the Imagination Isle frieze, both works that Wood had a hand in while still a teacher at McKinley Junior High School. Additional works included Stone City, Sultry Night, and Portrait of John B. Turner, Pioneer.
Composer Jean-François Charles created “Grant Wood in Paris,” which drew inspiration from a number of Wood’s impressionistic works, some of which were created on trips to Paris. Wood’s The Coil Welder from the J. G. Cherry Company series, and The Spotted Man were also utilized.
Composer Robert Lindsey-Nassif created “American Gothical,” utilizing Wood’s seminal painting American Gothic from the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Hosts for this Event:
CRMA and the CROpera