Our Mission Statement – Southern Arizona Centre for the Arts (originally know as Raccoon Valley Centre for the Arts) is a 501(C)(3) Tax-Exempt Non-Profit Multi-Discipline Arts & Humanities Organization # 47-5615194 - RVCA/SAzCA © 2019 All Rights Reserved.
Southern Arizona Centre for the Arts
Executive Director - Ballet Master, Chef & Rabbi
Director of Therapeutic Services &
Children's Programing – Ballet Mistress, Licensed Massage Therapist
Karina S. Levy, LMT.
Official Affiliate Organizations:
Raccoon Valley Centre for the Arts - 501(C)(3) Tax-Exempt Non-Profit Arts & Humanities Multi-Discipline Educational & Service Organization | Urbandale Iowa \ Founded in 2015. #47-5615194
Raccoon Valley Massage Centre
William D. Sturdevant Memorial Art Lyceum
The Ballet Training Centre
Artistic Endeavors Unlimited
Sounthern Arizona Centre for the Arts | Tucson AZ USA
Executive Profiles –
Our Founders: Jonathon & Karina Levy
The dream of becoming an artist, isn't worth having as a life, if it isn't shared and passed on to the next generation.
The Arts were the origin of our educational process and need to be preserved, supported, and developed!
Please donate and help us continue providing Arts programing to our community! Thank you!
Biography of William D. Sturdevant
It might easily be stated that, William Sturdevant is Iowa's great lost artist. A contemporary to Grant Wood, Sturdevant excelled in skill, and mastered a variety of media – from painting to lithographs; wood carving to, his personal preference of, hard stones. The beauty and vitality of his wood carvings, and his love for direct carving demonstrate the profundity of his involvement in the WPA and the subsequent regional-art venues that expanded during the pre- and post- World War II era.
Sturdevant was boldly expressionistic, utilizing a wide-range of variation from figures that were fantastic to the monstrous, as well as elements of surrealism and the profoundly realistic human condition. His artistic vision and genre of works directly contrasts other artists of his period, in that, rather than base his works on a thematic vein, such as the idyllic Americana, Sturdevant expressed the full range of human-experience, whether utilizing content of historical significance, or futuristic vision. His works demonstrate the great value of an artist who understood his own time and place, in relationship to the world, and he echoed not only the popular sentiments of comic books and sci-fi, yet reflects on the masters, and bridges his contemporaries with vivid social commentary.
Sturdevant was a proud Iowan native, with artistic roots deeply founded in the MidWest regional art tradition. However, his work was veritably dismissed in his home state – Murals painted by Sturdevant, during WWII, at the Fort Dodge US Army 7th Service Command have disappeared with no recognition or concern for their artistic, historical, or cultural value, and perhaps only three photos are known to exist of the display. Even so, Sturdevant's intellectual curiosity and creative passion allowed him to develop a comprehensive perspective, exhibiting works in California, Boston, and even Japan; as well as engaging in research on topics ranging from a study in color-perception and IQ touching on the field of parapsychology, to an in-depth scholarly study of pre-Columbian art and design involving the Indigenous American/Aztec culture of Mexico.
Sturdevant's artistic career was underpinned by his ability to educate, and he was known as a versatile and dynamic instructor at both the college and high school level, alternately. He also served as a director of art programing for the Public School Systems in Joliet, Illinois, and Des Moines, where he utilized television to conduct art lessons for children with the aid of his ventriloquized puppet, Melvin Shenanigans. In fact, many artists who became art educators in the Des Moines area directly trace their influence to being taught by Sturdevant.
William D. Sturdevant's prolific body of work is an American art treasure that deserves to be recognized for its scope and depth, as well as its significance as a reflection upon the historical counter-culture statement in contrast to his friends and colleagues of traditional Americana influence of his period.
William D. Sturdevant
Artist | Educator : born 1922 July 3 | deceased 2010 January 30 | Des Moines ia
B.S.E.and M.S.E.educational degrees From Drake University 1945/1947 - respectively.
San Francisco, CA. | Newport Beach, CA. | Beverly Hills, CA. | Washington, D.C.
@ Maxwell Galleries; Ellsworth Gallery; The Parthenon; and IFA Gallery,
Exhibitions and Juried Shows:
Mexico City | October 1955 | April, 1956 throughJune 1957 | 1958
@ The Inter-American Art Exposition; The National Institute of Fine Arts; and The
Mexican Institute of American Cultural Relations, respectively.
New York City | Chicago | Boston & Cambridge | Kansas City | Detroit | Tokyo/japan
@The National Academy of Design, The Architectural League, National Society of American Illustrators and Art Directors; The Art Institute; Museum of Fine Art & Gropper Galleries; Nelson Gallery; Institute of Art; and Society of American Graphic Artists (in N.Y. & Japan) – respectively.
Muralist at the US Army Seventh Service Command, Camp Dodge, IA. during WW II.
Mural Artwork, mentioned above, whereabouts currently unknown
Works in private and public collections as listed and being researched, includes among others, The Portland Museum of Art | Oregon.
Publications, Awards and Distinctions, Specialized/Recognized Research:
Design Magazine: January 1948
American Artist: February 1959
Lapidary Journal: 1961, February 1971, December 1981, & November 1990
Indian Journal of Parapsychology, Rajasthan, India, 1963
North, a Canadian Government Publication, January/February 1964
National Woodcarvers Association Journal, January/February 1970
Archeology, January 1971
North Central Association of Colleges Journal, March/April 1971
In order as listed from above publications: From Bugaboo to Blessing; The Engraved Metal Plate; Sculpture in Onyx Marble, Lepidodrendron: a Sculptural Gemstone, Glyptic Sculpture, Torched Metal Jewelry; ESP & Creativity; Carving Fang & Claw; Ernst Barlach, Sculptor of Humanity; The World of Aztec Sculpture; Donal Hurd: Anatomy of Ideal Form.
Art Committee Award 1942 | The Des Moines Women's Club of Hoyt Sherman
Awarded the 1957 Lady Black Purchase Award | Boston Museum of Fine Art
Recognized and Listed in the Following:
Who's Who in the West: 1963 – 1964; Dictionary of International Biography: 1964 – 1965; Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology: 1965; the Royal Blue Book: 1969; Dictionary of Educational Specialists: 1971; Personalities of the West and MidWest: 1971; Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans: 1972 through 1977.
Research Paper, presented and published in March of 1958, on:
Extra-Sensory Color Perception [a study involving children with developmental, mental & physical, disabilities.]
Unpublished finished work: The Gods of Monte Alban
Artist's Careeras anEducator
Ann Arbor High School, Michigan: 1945 to 1947
Mankato State College Art Department, Minnesota: 1948 to 1955
Professional Studio Artist & Instructor, San Diego, California: 1961 to 1965
Des Moines Technical High School, Iowa: 1969 to 1987
East High School, Des Moines, Iowa: 1988 to 1989
Associate Professor of Art
Western College, New Mexico: 1947 to 1948
Assistant Professor of Art/Art Education
California Western University, San Diego: 1959 to 1961
Bemidji State College, Minnesota: 1965 to 1967
Art Supervisor/Art Coordinator
Joliet Public School system, Illinois: 1955 to 1959
Des Moines Public School system, Iowa: 1967 to 1969
Served the North Central region, upon numerous occasions, as an Educational-Evaluator of High School Art Departments in order to certify art programing.
Please contact The William D. Sturdevant Memorial Art Lyceum at
Raccoon Valley Centre for the Arts
by email: RVCtrARts@gmail.com
by phone: 515/664.1533
W.D.S. Memorial Art Lyceum-Raccoon Valley Centre for the Arts © 2015
Rediscover the Artistry of the Iowa-born, forgotten American Artistic Master - William D. Sturdevant
We embrace inclusive practices at the individual level, regarding employment & participation in events/classes. We regard each person's importance based upon what the individual brings to the table by utilizing their personal experience, knowledge, & skills.
We adhere to the rights protected by State and Federal Law.
Copyright © 2015-2019 Raccoon Valley Centre for the Arts and Southern Arizona Centre for the Arts - All Rights Reserved.
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