Goats, yurts, and art aplenty

The Live from the Iowa Alps Art Exhibition

Artists and attendees have fun around a fire at Windy Goat Acres. PHOTO BY MICHAEL D. DAVIS

CHELSEA — When I got out of my car at Windy Goat Acres for the Live from the Iowa Alps Art Exhibition opening day on Sunday, May 7, I was greeted by some horses. The beautiful acreage that sits off the beaten path among corn fields and old farms is home to several different art installations this month among the exquisite eclectic scenery.

The art is sprinkled among the hills allowing you to stroll around at your leisure and see all that there is to see. Joshua Cox, the organizer of the event, had a piece at the top of a hill that he created with his wife Dawn Gettler.

The Marshalltown based couple’s installation is entitled, “Don’t go home without me,” and reflects many things within their own lives. The feature was made with a number of different materials, from wood and glass to artificial turf.

All of the art at the exhibition plays with the Iowa countryside, but no other piece shows the ups and downs of our rural terrain than Rachel Buse’s “Earthstone.” A series of tiles originally available at Kmart in the 70s were laid out in a row showing the rises and falls of the Iowa ground.

Another piece that dazzles the eyes is Brittany Brooke Crow’s “Upon further reflection,” a series of circular mirrors that nearly completely disappear among the grass and hang from a fishing line from an old hay ring. Depending on the time of day and a million other little things, who knows what the mirrors will reflect?

“Don’t go home without me” by organizer Joshua Cox and his wife Dawn Gettler. PHOTO BY MICHAEL D. DAVIS

The art that is featured for the month blends in seamlessly at Windy Goat Acres. Jessica Kettler, an artist herself, is part owner of Windy Goat. Originally from the Vinton area, Kettler has made the acreage her artistic playground in the past couple of years with co-owner Jim Carney, a carpenter who is the master builder of acres.

In the past couple of years, Windy Goat has expanded on the property. After first adding some yurts, Jessica and Jim, then decided to add a cabin.

“It’s a nice little retreat space,” Kettler said.

A multitude of events are hosted at the acreage, including a Yoga retreat from June 2-4. f yoga isn’t your vibe, then maybe the immersive fantasy event on June 10-11 will float your boat. The Hobbits and Elves retreat will turn rural Chelsea into the slopes of Middle Earth with quests that will have you begging for Mordor.

The Live from the Iowa Alps Art Exhibition helped Cox test the waters. Not sure at first whether there would be interest in the area, Cox was happy with the turnout and the reception on the opening Sunday.

A group walks from art piece to art piece, admiring the goats and yurts. PHOTO BY MICHAEL D. DAVIS

Next year, for the second Live from the Iowa Alps art exhibit, Josh wants to make the whole opening weekend an event and include other artistic mediums, including performance art. Mr. Cox is as well looking into organizing other artistic events in Tama County, including more traditional, gallery type events.

All of the Live from the Iowa Alps art pieces will remain up at Windy Goat Acres for the month of May. If you wish to see the beauty among the hills, schedule a time with Windy Goat Acres to stroll about admiring the art. Pictures of the art pieces will be posted online throughout the month at www.tobuildahomeforus.com/iaalps.

Whether you decide to go out and see firsthand the marvelous art standing at Windy Goat or just look at the website listed above, these fascinating pieces aren’t to be missed.

The piece “A portal in neon pink, and another one to puncture my folly” by artist Stacey Lee Gee. PHOTO BY MICHAEL D. DAVIS

“Upon further reflection” by artist Brittany Brooke Crow. PHOTO BY MICHAEL D. DAVIS