Pictured: Dana K. Leahy, “Song of Solomon” (detail) mosaic, 2013, 36” x 29”
The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery at Augustana University opens “Project 66: The Biblical Mosaics of Dana K. Leahy,” which will be on view from Thursday, Sept. 9, through Saturday, Oct. 2. A gallery reception with artist talk will take place on Friday, Sept. 10, from 7-9 p.m.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and raised in southeast Iowa, artist Dana K. (Schuldt) Leahy, of Urbandale, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations/journalism from the University of Northern Iowa, and completed three semesters toward a master’s degree in art at Iowa State University.
Leahy began work on the Project 66 series of Biblical Mosaics in April of 2006. “Project 66: A Glimpse of the Holy Bible Through Mosaic Art,” is an ongoing artistic endeavor by Leahy to represent each of the 66 books of the Bible through a marriage of stained glass mosaics and carved, stained wood art.
“Like many artists, I believe that the urge to create is bestowed by a divine creator and that the ultimate value in creating art is in having purpose, meaning and beauty in one’s life. If answers or opportunities arise in the future context of creating Project 66 mosaics, then I will be poised to exclaim what is carved into the back of every piece: “Soli Deo Gloria” or to God alone be the glory,” Leahy said.
Leahy had her first Project 66 exhibit at St. John United Church of Christ in Ft. Madison, Iowa, in June of 2012. For her second solo exhibit at the Heritage Gallery in Des Moines, Iowa, in the fall of 2013, Leahy exhibited 23 mosaic pieces from Project 66 and a variety of mosaic boxes.
Leahy suspended her work on Project 66 in June of 2014 to complete a 5-piece, 13.5 x 11.5 foot mosaic cross for the new entryway of Windsor Heights Lutheran Church, of which she is a member. In May 2017, The Sacraments and Seasons Cross was installed and dedicated. During this time, Leahy was also commissioned to create a baptismal font for St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Des Moines, which was dedicated in November of 2016. Leahy and wood artist, Dwight Dubois, also collaborated on and finished new altar and lectern pieces for St. Stephen in 2020. Aside from occasional commissioned projects, Leahy works exclusively on Project 66 mosaics.
A gallery reception for the exhibition with artist talk will take place on Friday, Sept. 10, from 7-9 p.m.
About the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery
As a part of Augustana University, the mission of the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery is to contribute to the educational and cultural vitality of the university, the surrounding community and the state of South Dakota. The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery inspires the artists of today and tomorrow, and serves as a resource for teaching and promoting life-long learning through its permanent collection and temporary exhibition program with accompanying artist visits, gallery talks and educational materials.
The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery is located at 30th Street and Grange Avenue, in the Center for Visual Arts at Augustana University. The gallery is open to the public and free of charge. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Saturday from 1-4 p.m. The gallery is closed Sundays and major holidays. Guests must wear face masks and abide by physical distancing requirements.