Monday, November 30, 2009
Rose Franzen - Queen of Maquoketa, Iowa!
Rose Franzen is from Maquoketa, Iowa...not very far from where I grew up. In fact, my daughter Jenna and her daughter Caroline Louise live in Maquoketa, where Jenna has been working at the library for over ten years. A few years ago, Rose decided to paint as many people's portraits in Maquoketa as she could. The Iowa Arts Council wisely gave her a project grant. The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC is currently exhibiting Rose's "Portrait of Maquoketa", a collection of 180 paintings. The exhibition can be seen until July 2010. I know Rose Franzen and she is a talented and deserving artist. Calling national attention to her small home town of Maquoketa is making people feel very proud they are from Maquoketa. This project also is helping the town move forward - as the community has been struggling with economic and cultural problems. Rose's portraits are a reminder of the power of the people in a community.