Spencer students view graphic novel collection

Thursday, May 3, 2012
osh Siefken, from the University of Iowa Museum of Art, spoke to each school on Tuesday, sharing the history and art significance of modern-day graphic novels and comics.

On Tuesday afternoon, the sixth grade class at Lincoln elementary sat enthralled by the man at the front of the room. Josh Siefken works at the University of Iowa Museum of Art, and had brought a collection of graphic novel art to show to the students.

"For a long time graphic novels and comics weren't seen as high art," Siefken said. "Now they're considered not only high art, but also literary."

This graphic novel collection is the newest of the series that UIMA puts together. Each year since the flood, the museum has gathered together a collection of art. Past collections have included African and Native American/First People artwork. As a free program, they then offer these collections to area schools, going to each school and showing the artwork to students.

Jan Myers and the Talented and Gifted program helped to bring Siefken and this collection to Spencer schools. In one day, Siefken visited each school, spending about forty minutes sharing the work and talking about the history of the specific medium.

Graphic novels are popular with this age group. So popular, in fact, that the school librarian can't even keep them on the shelves.

"The kids don't get a lot of outside art influences," said Katie Van Voorst, Art teacher at Lincoln. "It's fun, very interesting."

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