Muscatine Art Center Ice Cream Social returns August 22nd

Who can resist a scoop or two of ice cream on a warm summer day? Why not add in some good music and family fun at the same time.  If this sounds like a good time to you then come join the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center from 1 to 4 p.m. on August 22 for the return of the Annual Ice Cream Social.

The Art Centers’ Ice Cream Social is a Muscatine tradition that dates back to 1979, and after the cancellation of the event in 2020, staff and volunteers are especially thrilled to celebrate summer and the arts with the community once again.

Featured live music for this year’s event is Crusin’ who will perform from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Before and after their performance, and during the intermission, visitors will also be able to experience music from the historic Tangley Calliaphone. After some restoration and a digital upgrade in 2020, the calliaphone is ready to share some music of the past while also spotlighting a bit of Muscatine history.

Special exhibitions include Nancy Judd’s “Alterations: tailored solutions to climate change”, “Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray”, “Bruce Walters: What the Hand Dare Seize the Fire?”, and “Broadmoor School from the Collection of Col. Richard G. and Sandra D. Toye”.

In the studio, artist Steve Gerberich will lead a “Gerb’s Garage” session where children can build whimsical creations from recycled materials. Gerberich has exhibited at the Muscatine Art Center multiple times and is known for his exhibitions, “Springs, Sprockets, and Pulleys” and “Holiday Springs and Sprockets”.

“Nancy Judd’s exhibition features sculptures in the form of garments made from recycled, repurposed, and found objects,” Melanie Alexander, Director of the Muscatine Art Center, said. “The staff thought it would be fun to have Steve return to lead his ‘Gerb’s Garage’ activity since it connects with Nancy Judd’s exhibition while bringing back an Iowa-native artist we all love to work with.”

Throughout the afternoon, attendees can visit with artist Bruce Walters and meet David Zahn, sculptor of the recently installed bronze piece, “Expressive Spirit”.

There will also be plenty of family-friendly activities such as games in the courtyard, building with big blue blocks from Musser Public Library, and learning about wildlife with Muscatine County Conservation.

There is also the option to join the family-friendly bike ride organized by the Melon City Bike Club and Harper’s Cycle & Fitness. The bike ride will leave from Discovery Park at 1 p.m. and stop at the Muscatine Art Center. Participants will receive a token for a free ice cream.

“There is something for everyone at the Ice Cream Social,” Alexander said. “Expect to see some of your friends and neighbors at the event while also helping to raise funds for the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center and its mission to support educational programs at the Muscatine Art Center.”

Kent Corporation is the event sponsor. Admission to the Ice Cream Social, as well as the bike ride, is free of charge. Proceeds from the sale of ice cream and desserts go to the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit for more information about programs and events and to download a quarterly newsletter.