"In Conversation: Zaiga Minka Thorson, Dana Keeton, & Ryan Vizzions,” February 23

February 22, 2023 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography

Via River Cities Reader

Thursday, February 23, 6:30 p.m.

Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA


Protestor on illegal wall of shipping containers straddling the AZ / Mexico border , December, 2022
Ryan Vizzions



Protestor on illegal wall of shipping containers straddling the AZ / Mexico border , December, 2022




A lauded painter, a noted art therapist, and an award-winning photojournalist will share their histories and thoughts at the Figge Art Museum on February 23 when the Davenport venue hosts In Conversation: Zaiga Minka Thorson, Dana Keeton, & Ryan Vizzions, an informal and enriching conversation about how artists address personal trauma through their artistic practices.

Michigan native Thorson is a Black Hawk College Professor Emerita, having taught at the Moline institution since 1999. She holds a BFA in Painting from Western Michigan University and an MFA in Painting from Northern Illinois University, and is represented by Iowa Artisans Gallery in Iowa City. Having received numerous awards for her graphic design and artwork, which she exhibits both regionally and nationally, Thorson has served on the education committee for the Figge Art Museum, as well as on the Rock Island Preservation Commission and the Visual Arts Committee of Rock Island's Quad City Arts. She has stated that her reverence for nature is rooted in her Latvian heritage and growing up in Michigan, and her interests include research and travel to America's National Parks and UNESCO World Heritage sites, her points of interest particularly focused on sacred sites.

Based in Iowa City, Keeton is a registered, board-certified art therapist and a licensed mental health counselor whose trauma-informed psychotherapy work incorporates art therapy, EMDR, mindfulness, and breath work, as well as cognitive behavioral, client-centered, and strength-based approaches. She is also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), a therapeutic technique that assists in reducing the intensity of emotions associated with disturbing life experiences; YogaCalm, an integrated wellness approach utilizing yoga movement, meditation and mindfulness; and a certified Victim Service Provider with the Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance.

Vizzions has been named Creative Loafing's 2014 "Best Fine Art Photographer" (readers choice) and 2015 "Best Cityscape Photographer" (critics pick); worked alongside international brands such as Adidas and artists such as Pharrell Williams; collaborated with local companies including #WeLoveATL, The Atlanta Opera, and Van Michael Salon; and covered many music festivals, among them Outkast's long awaited reunion series "Outkast ATLast." In hosting his own annual photo exhibition Wander Never Wonder, Vizzions connects local photographers and helps provide a platform for local artists to make money off of their craft. The artist and photojournalist is also deeply involved with the community of Atlanta, Georgia, often donating portions of his art sales to various local charities and foundations.

In Conversation: Zaiga Minka Thorson, Dana Keeton, & Ryan Vizzions will take place on February 23, the 6:30 p.m. program will be preceded by a 5 p.m. cash bar, and participation in the evening discussion is free. For more information, call (563)326-7804 and visit FiggeArtMuseum.org.


Tags: Iowa museum talk photography trauma