Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Other Art Show

This week is Art Week in Des Moines, a new concept that began last year and continues this year. The idea is to promote broader local participation and increase support for the city art scene, an idea which is definitely welcome. The week includes a number of events ranging from a plein-air painting event with subsequent sale to a film festival, tours of the Art center, and even culinary art. The week culminates with two art festivals that run concurrently. The Des Moines Arts Festival is a three-day event that originated long ago as an art-the-park exhibition benefiting the Des Moines Art Center. In the subsequent years it has morphed into something much larger. There are about 150 booths in the art portion of the exhibition, but they sometimes seem overshadowed by the other features of the festival, including live music and food, street performers, beer and wine tents, and the like. Held in  the heart of downtown to great enthusiasm, it is nothing short of a three-day street party, and very enjoyable.

The second show that weekend, known unsurprisingly as "The Other Art Show," happens this year
Saturday and Sunday June 25 and 26. Officially called ArtfestMidwest it is an indoor show held in a very large exhibition hall at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The beauty of this show is that it's in cool comfort indoors (summers in Iowa are hot), with excellent security. An outdoor show is at the mercy of the elements, but not so the Other Art Show. Furthermore, since this is only an art exhibition, people who attend are there for the art, not the party. It's been held there for about a decade now, and though it does favor locals to an extent, artists come from as far away as Colorado and Oklahoma as well as from closer states.

I've participated in Artfest Midwest a number to times over the past few years and always enjoy the show for it's informed patrons and cool, art-focused atmosphere. I'll be showing new cityscapes this year, some of which I posted a few weeks ago. Quite a few are Des Moines cityscapes, but there will be pictures of other places like Paris and New York as well. I posted an example of a Paris cityscape below. So if you're in Des Moines this weekend, stop by our booth and visit.
"Paris After the Snow" (homage to EC), 2016, 20x16

Art Week
Artfest Midwest
Des Moines Art Festival
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