Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Loving the Des Moines Life: Arts Festival!

Welcome to Loving the Des Moines Life, my ongoing series of exploring my new hometown.

Last weekend was the annual Des Moines Arts Festival. It features artists from around the country (typically, only 10% of those who apply are accepted. The festival includes live bands, theater and dance performances, a film festival, and opportunities for children and adults to create art. The best part: it's free.

Mr. Nomadreader and I live close enough to the Pappajohn Sculpture Park to walk, but I appreciated the bicycle valet offered for those who rode bikes there. (it's the little things.)

"Monumental Wine" by Signe & Genna Grushovenko
While we weren't opposed to purchasing art, we were eager to simply explore art and talk in realistic terms about what kinds of pieces we want for our apartment. We are living in our favorite apartment ever, and it's exciting to be making permanent aesthetic choices that will work in this space and also translate to future spaces. There were two artists who took my breath away. The first is actually a couple, Signe and Genna Grushovenko, who collaborate on their art. We both loved the use of texture and pattern to create intricate layers. If I had the money, I would have bought one. Take the time to see more of their paintings. Their online portfolio is amazing.

The second artist, who is a little closer to our price range, nearly tempted us to buy a piece. The problem? We couldn't choose just one. Rick Abrams does fantastic pop art. Each framed painting has three dimensions. He paints on acrylic and adds multiple layers. Their beauty truly cannot be appreciated unless you see it in person. It's exactly the kind of whimsy and statement piece that would be perfect in our urban, industrial loft apartment. We will be buying a painting by Rick Abrams at some point. The real question will be how many we decide to purchase.

There were many other incredible artists whose work I enjoyed in booths. The range of talent and styles was incredible. I also enjoyed the talent in the Iowa Emerging Artists tents. Des Moines is such a wonderful city for the arts, and seeing so many people of all ages walking through the Arts Festival this week was inspiring. I'm already looking forward to the 2012 Des Moines Arts Festival!


  1. It sounds like you had a great time, and the samples that you posted on the blog were wonderful! I am a big fan of pop art, and would love to see what you do finally choose for your space! Great post today, thanks for sharing!

  2. I love this series on Des Moines. My husband has a lot of family in Montezuma, IA, which is a TINY town outside of Des Moines. I'm always looking for something fun to do in the city when we visit them, because there's nothing to do in their town.


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