What’s billed as a two-day celebration of the arts opens this morning in Perry at the Hotel Pattee, featuring the work of more than 70 artists, many whom are from Iowa. The event is attracting top people from the art industry, including Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Gioia will lead a symposium at the hotel this afternoon. Gioia says he’ll be talking about art in communities and the N-E-A. He says it won’t be “any enormous ideological pronouncement of any sort” but to “celebrate the achievements that have happened in Perry, Iowa.” Gioia says he’s not making the trip to Perry to see any particular artist, but to experience the hotel and its contents. The hotel is filled with art, furniture and other architecture from the Arts and Crafts movement, which has its roots in 19th century England and legendary designer William Morris. He envisioned everyday objects at work and home becoming works of art and had an enormous impact in the U.S. in the early 20th century. Gioia credits the hotel’s owner with her display of skills in Perry.He says “What Roberta Ahmanson has done is to take this initial building to the next level, which is to completely fill it with works of art so that every room in the hotel is a perfect human environment.” For more information on this weekend’s activities, surf to “www.hotelpattee.com” or call 888-424-4268.
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