Aerial view of Gibson Square Park with large white tent and big crowd of people

August 26–28, 2022

As soon as the applause had died down following the August 26 building dedication ceremony, there was a line at the door of the museum. Over the course of the opening weekend an estimated 4,000 visitors viewed the inaugural exhibition and many more enjoyed programming and activities in Gibson Square Park. The broad diversity of visitors seen, and languages heard, in the galleries illustrates that art truly is for everyone. The Stanley is a beacon that will support Iowa as a destination university long into the future.

Photos by Elizabeth Wallace

panoramic view of the line of visitor waiting to enter the new museum of art
Two women with dark hair stand in front of brightly colored quilts hanging in a museum gallery
A woman stands looking at a framed lithograph. She holds an art poster in her hand.
A group of three university students look at a large African mask
Visitors in a museum gallery look at paintings and a large ceramic sculpture
Visitors in a museum gallery look at framed artwork and sculptures
A small child squats in front of a wooden African slit drum. An adult stands next to him.
Two women stand in front of a large, pink fish sculpture.
A group of visitors in an art gallery. There is a low-profile sculpture on a table in the foreground, a large, wide painting (with blacks, yellows and white background) on the left and an installation of hanging and standing works in the background
People seated on two benches watch a video in a darkened room

Volunteers assisted visitors with wayfinding, providing snacks, signing the guest book, and selecting souvenir buttons. Herky stopped by to give high-fives and greet visitors.

Woman with short dark hair seen from behind. She wears a t-shirt that reads "Volunteer.  Homecoming"
A small boy in a light blue shirt jumps in the air to give University of Iowa mascot Herky a high five.
popcorn machine with people standing in line to grab a bag of popcorn
Circular lapel badges displayed on a table. A hand reaches in to choose one.
A woman leans over a table to sign a guest book
Small child wearing a yellow t-shirt and green shorts eats popcorn out of a bag
University of Iowa mascot Herky's signature and photo on the museum guest book

Friday night the museum was open late and Gibson Square Park came alive with food trucks, picnicking, and performances by treesreach, Pictoria Vark, and Houndmouth.

Looking up the lightwell past a brick wall lit from below toward a square of dark blue night ky.
Front entrance of museum at night with the light from the lobby pouring outside
Exterior of museum building at night. A large sign with "Homecoming" is installed on a wall in the foreground and lit from below
A man and woman sit at the top of a staircase look out over a park filled with people. There is a stage with a band in the distance

On Saturday and Sunday, museum visitors enjoyed performances by the Cedar Rapids Opera, juggler Luther Bangert, the Steve Grismore Trio, and the Wilder-Hill Players.

Visitor sitting on the floor to watch a performance in the lobby of building. There is a brightly-colored, geometric wall mural behind them
A man in a white shirt and dark pants juggles white balls in front of an outdoor sculpture
At left a woman in a dark purple dress sits in a rocking chair. At right a man stands playing a bass clarinet.
A trio of jazz musicians: drums, upright bass, guitar
Female opera singer stands before a grand piano and a screen with a portrait of Grant Wood.
A line of musical theater students sing to a seated audience in front of a brightly colored, geometric wall mural

Stanley Campus Council Kickoff

On Thursday, September 1, the Stanley Campus Council welcomed UI students to the museum with artmaking, music, and snacks. Well over 200 students attended and enjoyed viewing the galleries as well as the free tote bags and pizza. 

Photos by Allie Tokarski

Tote bags imprinted with a paint brush swoosh and "Stanley Campus Council"
Group of students select tote bags from a stand in front of a brightly colored wall mural
A large group of students in the lobby of a museum