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September Press Release

“Human Gaze” by artist Anna Segner is just one of the many works that will be on display throughout September at the Charles City Arts Center. The exhibit seeks to explore the relationship between toy animals and their real life counterparts.

ISU Professor/Artist To Exhibit Work at Arts Center in September

CHARLES CITY, Iowa - The Charles City Arts Center will host an opening reception this Friday for Iowa State University faculty member and artist, Anna Segner. The exhibit titled “Toy (with) Animals” seeks to expose the contrasting relationship that occurs between real animals and their toy counterparts.

Segner’s acrylic and mixed media paintings aim their sights on the materialism that surrounds our consumption of toys, specifically plastic and stuffed animals, and how the production of those toys actually may harm the real life animals they are made to resemble.

The artist explained, “Today, the popularity of animal-based toys swell, suggesting a society-wide admiration of animals misplaced in consumerism, and the toy industry responds to meet the demand. However, the industry contributes to the degradation of the environment, disruption of ecosystems, and shrinking biodiversity. Within children’s bountiful piles of colorful plastic and polyester is nostalgia for a wilderness now scarce. In addition to the destruction, the toy industry does little to educate children about animal context, agency, and anatomy.”

Segner’s art assembles these conflicts together in various “toy-scenes” that tend to start conversations about the work and the issue itself.

“For example, my painting “Watering Hole III” depicts a toy-scene that could never occur in nature—predator and prey (as well as extinct) animals coexisting in harmony around a watering hole, aka the sink. These works mourn the fading natural existence of animals and examine materialism’s role in decontextualization of the animal.”

A Minnesota native, Segner received her BA from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and then her MFA from Iowa State. She has exhibited extensively throughout Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin over the last 5 years.

The Charles City Arts Center is excited to show her work locally according to Assistant Director, Karl Haglund.

“The work that Anna creates is very thought provoking beyond the individual paintings themselves, but more so in the greater context of her body of work. It gets us excited about the exhibit opening and the conversations that are sure to be had.”

The exhibit will be on display throughout the month of September, kicking off with an opening reception sponsored by Tellurian Brewing on Friday September 1st from 5-7 pm. The reception and exhibit is free and open to the public.

The Charles City Arts Center is located at 301 N. Jackson Street across from Central Park. For more information they can be reached at 641-228-6284 or by emailing


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