The Secret History of the Cedar Valley

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Exhibit Information

The Secret History of the Cedar Valley was an exhibit organized by Art Professor Matthew Wilson-Pickering which took place in March/April of 2007 at the Wartburg College Art Gallery in Waverly, Iowa.

The show celebrated the wonderful array of influential bands and musicians in the Cedar Valley and uncovered obscure and fascinating lo-fi musical projects of hitherto unknown individuals and groups.

The spontaneous energetic spark of the creative impulse was championed as embodied in the Do-it-yourself (DIY) aesthetic, which valued the homemade over the mass-produced.

The exhibition featured art, design, photography, cultural artifacts, videos, and original music documenting the prolific creative output and rich cultural impact of the independent (“indie”) rock music scene in the Cedar Valley over the past 30 years.

Interactive listening stations allowed gallery visitors to hear archival recordings of local music and provided a wealth of visual and historical information about each selection. The design of posters, flyers, albums, cassettes, CDs, and other promotional materials was also showcased.

Opening Reception

The opening for the exhibit took place on Saturday, March 17, 2007. Over 150 people attended. Among those attending were Steve Turner, all members of Drednex and Aggressive Chubbies, Barb of House of Large Sizes, Clair Clarke, Colin Lamb (Ran sound at Dean's Parkade Lounge), Chris Kenline, Sara Shelton, Nathan Perry, John Fecik, Derek Reynolds, Jay Perkins, Scott Ream, Marcus Brewer, Leah & Chuck Hoffman, Steve Potter, Mike Wilson, Blake Badker, Stephen Oulman, Neils Thulstrup, Noel Isley, Dana Lechtenberg, Josh Otten and Cam from FSU Garage, Heather & Justin Baumgartner, Benjy Klosterman and Jason & Justin from Old Scratch Revival Singers. Attendees came from as far away as San Francisco CA, Oakland CA, Portland OR, Minneapolis MN, Jonesboro AR, Iowa City IA, and Des Moines IA.

Exhibit Promotional Materials


Downloadable graphics to promote the exhibt can be found at


The following individuals have been a huge help in gathering the knowledge and materials which form the bulk of this exhibit:

Contributors to the Secret WIki can be found on the User Page.


  • Bryan McCarty designed the Secret History logo and built the original SH website
  • Kyle Thye created the illustrations used in the Secret History promotional materials

Installation Assistants

  • Tara Pickering
  • Dena Pickering
  • Lauren Kahler
  • John Fecik
  • Bianca Grace
  • Nathan & Christine Perry

External LInks