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The Collection

Explore your creativity, learn something new, expand your craft or begin a new hobby 

The Waterloo Center for the Arts’ Permanent Collection was established in 1962 with the Marvin Cone painting I Have Loved the Unloved, a gift from the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Junior League. Through additional gifts and purchases, the collection has continued to grow and develop in exciting directions. Within the many halls of the Center, pieces from the Collection are always on display in one or more of the featured exhibitions.

Sharing our treasured collections with nearby and nationwide institutions is a cherished opportunity to celebrate the artists in our collections.  In part because we are honored to expand audiences and contribute to scholarship for the pieces in our collection, the Waterloo Center for the Arts lends artwork regularly, contributing to exhibitions and displays at nearby and nationwide museums and galleries. Artwork from the collection has traveled to many local museums and college and university galleries as well as to Brown University, Florida State University, and recently to Middle Tennessee University, the Haitian American Museum of Chicago and the Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Waterloo Center for the Arts welcomes requests to lend items from the Collection is pleased to support loans at qualified venues.

One of the special collection projects that the Waterloo Center for the Arts participates in is the Haitian Arts Digital Crossroads (HADC), a collections digitization initiative.  The HADC is an National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Humanities Collections and Reference Resources (HCRR) grant-funded project exploring the current state of Haitian art resources and their accessibility to build new resources. The project began as a collaboration between Grinnell College Libraries and the Waterloo Center for the Arts. Through close collaboration, the team considered best practices with regards to photographic documentation of artworks and developed a metadata schema for Haitian art. The HADC team at Grinnell College working together with the Waterloo Center for the Arts and other partnering institutions, is currently building an accessible database that will expand as a multi-institutional platform for scholars and researchers of Haitian art. Since its inception, the collection has grown to accommodate the largest public collection of Haitian artwork in the world!

Midwest Art

This collection reflects the diversity of Midwest art. Various artists represented in this collection include Lela Powers Briggs, Byron Burford, Steve Gerberich, Richard Hunt, Mr. Imagination, Preston Jackson, Nancy Josephson, Gary Kelley, Corita Kent, Mauricio Lasansky, Paco Rosic, Nina de Creeft Ward, Derek Webster and Ulfert Wilke to name but a few. 

American Regionalists

American Regionalist masters includes Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton and contemporary working artists of the heartland.

American Decorative Arts

Featuring unique works of art in a wide variety of media including clay, metal, glass and fiber, this collection was established in the 1970’s through generous contributions by Mrs. Helen Sulentic. The collection continues to grow and selected works are on display on an ongoing basis. Visit the Center to see works by Rose Cabat, Warren Mackenzie, Gertrude & Otto Natzler, Mark Shapiro, Paul Soldner, and many others.

International Folk Art

From African masks to Indian textiles, the Center is the perfect place to find stunning examples of works by some of the finest folk artists around the globe. The Center is particularly known for its outstanding collections of Haitian and Folk Art.

Haitian Art

The Center maintains the largest public collection of Haitian art in the world featuring a vast array of colorful paintings, powerful metal sculpture and glittering beaded and sequined banners. The collection, which was initially founded in 1977 with gifts from Dr. & Mrs. F. Harold Reuling, has grown to become a veritable “who’s who” of Haitian art: from Hector Hyppolite, Philome Obin and Georges Liautaud to Edouard Duval-Carrie and the artists of the Grand Rue.

Public Art

A varied collection of works of public art are onsite at the Center and in the surrounding areas. Works range from murals and mosaics to monumental sculpture.

Additional Information

Cancellation Policy

Should minimum enrollment not be met, class will be cancelled, participants will be notified and a credit or a refund will be issued. If you withdraw from a class up to 3 days prior to the first session, you will receive a refund minus a $10 processing fee or a full credit towards another class registration. After that time no refunds will be given. Material fees are non-refundable.

Inclement Weather Policy

If inclement weather occurs, WCA may cancel classes. Tune in to KWWL or Facebook for up-to-date cancellation information. Please note that whenever Waterloo Community Schools are cancelled for weather, the Phelps Youth Pavilion and WCA youth classes/programs will be cancelled.

Handicap Accessibility

The Waterloo Center for the Arts is handicap accessible. If you require special assistance to participate in our programs, call (319) 291-4490

Pre-Registration is Required for All Classes

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