MUSCATINE, Iowa —
Amp up your creativity.
Connect with creative people.
Make your city shine.
That’s the rub of the club — the DoNight Club — organized in June 2009 by Muscatine native Andrew Anderson, 33.
That first club meeting was a metal casting workshop.
Anderson and a group of friends gathered some imaginative people and have tried to manage time and space to “do things, creative things.”
Anderson called it “an intersection of different art disciplines.” Many different art medias are encouraged and offered.
For example, one Saturday morning last summer, a 20-foot watermelon slice appeared at the Farmer’s Market. DoNight members brought cans of black spray paint with them to encourage customers and vendors to spray paint seeds on the creation.
“Public spectacle projects draw attention and jump their audience out of their daily ruts,” Anderson said. “Fantastic things happen when things are fun.”
An enormous Mark Twain that appeared in last year’s Fourth of July parade in Muscatine was also a DoNight project.
Anderson thought that Musser Public Library would be the perfect home for the giant Twain, but it was too large to get through any of the entrances.
Tom and Ann Meeker then welcomed the larger- than-life character to reside on loan at the entrance to Pearl Plaza, 217 W. Second St.
“Mark Twain is like a hero to our group, because he himself lived by his creative ideas,” said Anderson.
About a hundred members have joined DoNight so far — artists, seamstresses and engineers among them. The club meets at homes of members or at an artist’s studio.
Organizers invite new members of high school age and older.
The group brainstorms on what classes to offer and what projects to bring to life.
There are no membership dues, but minimal fees are charged for classes. The money is used to reimburse instructors for supplies and compensate them for their time and expertise.
Anderson is by profession a creative event designer and producer. After attending Muscatine Community College and the University of Iowa, he moved to New York City.
He then moved to Istanbul, Turkey, to learn a foreign language and stayed five years. He worked as a technical producer for a performance touring group in Turkey.
He returned to Iowa City to finish college and graduated in 2007 with a business degree.
“After being away from Muscatine for many years, I found people here have a very positive attitude toward creative ideas – even stronger than I remembered it,” he said.
The drawing club part of DoNight is on hiatus while a bigger project created by Anderson is almost ready to appear in downtown Muscatine.
“The Kraken,” a huge, inflatable sea monster with 25-foot-long tentacles, will soon converge on some local buildings.
The Kraken is a public art project, Anderson said.
“It shows that Muscatine is an inviting place for artists and creative people, and a place where people should expect interesting and exciting experiences,” Anderson said.
Anyone can visit and follow its movement at www.MuscatineRiverMonster.com.