Dimensions: 29 x 22
Gift of Lavon Short Kiacz and the family of Daniel T. Kiacz, 2007
Like many works by Dan Kiacz, Desert Dance explores the folk tales of the southwest through animal imagery. Often in these tales different animals would represent characteristics of human behavior. For example, the wolf may represent wisdom or innovation. Likewise, rabbits sometimes represent fear or becoming open-minded, and antelope have been used to symbolize taking initiative. In this scene, the three animals dance around a campfire. It is unclear if the event is a celebration or a ritual, but it is clear that the animals are engaging peacefully despite their adversarial nature.
Dan Kiacz earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts from Ohio University. He then began his career as a distinguished artist, printmaker, and professor at the University of Oklahoma where he was a popular and honored professor for thirty-one years. In 1987, he received the Distinguished Lectureship Award given by the OU Associates. Ten years later he was named the Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts, and in 1998, he was named the Brian and Sandra O'Brien Presidential Professor. Kiacz is well known for his serigraphs which explore folk tales from the Mexican/Hispanic Southwest and often involve animals or tell of multicultural myths. His work is held in many private and public collections including a large selection of works in the Oklahoma Arts Institute Collection at Quartz Mountain.