Tag Archives: des moines art center

Not your church/temple’s stained glass — now at the Des Moines Art Center

I’d heard the Judith Schaechter stained glass art was unlike any stained glass most of us have ever seen but seeing is believing – and marveling at the intricate detail and provocative images in her stained glass artwork, now on display at the Des Moines Art Center. Perfect escape from the isolation of a pandemic + polar freeze. We visited on Sunday (temp: – 8) after booking an appointment online and found the space easy to navigate while 6 feet from other viewers, all wearing masks. Highly recommend visiting.

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Queer Abstraction show opens at the Des Moines Art Center

Word has it over 900 people showed up last Saturday night (June 1) for the Des Moines Center’s first show to feature the artwork of LGBT&Q artists…The crowd included many members of the “queer” community, some drag queens, no shortage of presumably straight folks and me. It was a great celebration – with food, drink, music – and, of course, work by 15 artists that is well worth a visit to see! Oh and it also won a major prize from Sotheby’s: https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/sothebys-prize-winning-queer-abstraction-exhibition-breaks-new-ground-in-iowa

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Do not miss the “tape show” at the Des Moines Art Center

It is way cooler than it sounds, this show with giant site specific installations by artists who,use tape as their medium. Check out the photos here for proof. Our long overdue visit happened to coincide with an open house for kids and families from Findley Elementary School who worked with one of the artists on a installation of colorful bouquets taped  onto the gleaming white exterior of the Richard Meier wing. How cool is that? The kids seemed so excited to be the belles of the ball at the art center which threw a reception for the kids complete with servers with trays of delicious looking kid-friendly appetizers including grilled cheese sandwiches. And in the I.M. Pei wing long tunnels made of very strong tape were strung across the galleries, strong enough for kids and even their parents to crawl through. I love that the art center was willing to do that! Continue reading

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What our out-of-town guests liked in Des Moines/central Iowa

We had 19 out-of-town guest for Thanksgiving this year (from L.A., Tucson, Chicago, suburban Chicago, Springfield, suburban Detroit, Brooklyn and Washington D.C.) and enjoyed showing them around the new improved Des Moines. Among their favorites:

– La Mie restaurant for lunch

– East Village for shopping – including Raygun, Porch Light, Kitchen Collage, Gong Fu, Eden

– Winterset – lunch at Northside Cafe (complete with a visit from Santa, who inadvertently spooked our 2 1/2-year-old niece), shopping at the Ben Franklin on Shop Small Saturday (as fate would have it), a visit to Roseman Bridge.

– Star Bar for lunch

– Django for dinner

– Raccoon River Brewery for afternoon billards and drinks

– Confluence Brewery, hand-crafted beer served in the taproom and in refillable half-gallon bottles (aka growlers.)

– The Des Moines Art Center’s Halston-Warhol show.

– The downtown Pappajohn Sculpture Park (although it was too nippy when we visited to walk around.)

– Gateway Market for cheese and bread shopping.

– The state historical museum (good places for a little girl to run around…and I need to revisit the Hollywood in the Heartland exhibit)

Floor Logo

 

 

 

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Halston, Warhol, pillbox hat together again – thx to Des Moines Art Center

All kinds of fun sounding events this month in conjunction with the Des Moines Art Center’s exhibit exploring/celebrating the friendship/collaboration of Halston and Warhol! I hope to make it to some!

An exhibition preview party will be held at the Art Center on Thursday,
September 18 from 6 – 8 pm (5 – 6 member hour) to celebrate the opening
of the exhibitions. Live music by DJ 8|10 and cash bar. Admission $5;
members FREE. The Art Center restaurant Baru at the Art Center will also
be open for dinner, offering a special menu; reservations recommended.

DES MOINES, IA (August 2014) – On September 18, the Des Moines Art Center
will open an exhibition organized by The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh: Halston
and Warhol: Silver and Suede, which runs September 18, 2014 – January 18, 2015
in the Anna K. Meredith Gallery. After premiering at The Andy Warhol Museum this
past May, the exhibition will embark on a national tour, beginning with the
Des Moines Art Center. The same evening, the Art Center will open a companion
exhibition, 15 Minutes in Des Moines: The Art Center Collects Andy Warhol, on view
in Blank One Gallery.

Silver and Suede will examine the dynamic friendship between legendary
American fashion designer, Roy Halston Frowick (b. 1932, Des Moines), and artist
Andy Warhol (b. 1928, Pittsburgh) through art, fashion, photography, video, and personal memorabilia. Born within four years of each other, they had similar
beginnings to their careers, both starting out as window dressers for department
stores before relocating to New York City where they each found success in their
chosen fields.

An exhibition preview party will be held at the Art Center on Thursday,
September 18 from 6 – 8 pm (5 – 6 member hour) to celebrate the opening
of the exhibitions. Live music by DJ 8|10 and cash bar. Admission $5;
members FREE. The Art Center restaurant Baru at the Art Center will also
be open for dinner, offering a special menu; reservations recommended.
DES MOINES, IA (August 2014) – On September 18, the Des Moines Art Center
will open an exhibition organized by The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh: Halston
and Warhol: Silver and Suede, which runs September 18, 2014 – January 18, 2015
in the Anna K. Meredith Gallery. After premiering at The Andy Warhol Museum this
past May, the exhibition will embark on a national tour, beginning with the
Des Moines Art Center. The same evening, the Art Center will open a companion
exhibition, 15 Minutes in Des Moines: The Art Center Collects Andy Warhol, on view
in Blank One Gallery.
Silver and Suede will examine the dynamic friendship between legendary
American fashion designer, Roy Halston Frowick (b. 1932, Des Moines), and artist
Andy Warhol (b. 1928, Pittsburgh) through art, fashion, photography, video, and personal memorabilia. Born within four years of each other, they had similar
beginnings to their careers, both starting out as window dressers for department
stores before relocating to New York City where they each found success in their
chosen fields.
Halston became the defining American fashion designer of the 1970s
through his effortlessly chic

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New Des Moines Art Center Restaurant

Des Moines Art Center
Des Moines Art Center.jpg
Established 1948

Finally got a chance to check out the new restaurant at the Des Moines Art Center operated by the chef from Baru 66 – it remains a lovely place to dine, even on a cold winter Sunday. The food was good although I wasn’t bowled over.  The best entree was a special – a thick juicy hamburger topped with greens, a fried egg and prosciutto (I think.) My “artisan lettuce salad” had lots of fresh greens, with walnuts, croutons and yes, prosciutto (detect a theme?) which was good but it was underdressed and not much value for $11. My tomato bisque (for $3) was not as creamy, hot or substantially portioned as I’d hoped but good flavor and chopped texture. We also tried the La Quercia Melt , a toasted sandwich with prosciutto (La Quercia is the name of the award-winning, Iowa-produced prosciutto), brie, sweet mustard   and the presentation was pretty stark – small sandwich on white plate for $13 – but my niece seemed to enjoy.

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Fun Summer Flicks (free on the lawn) of the Des Moines Art Center

Des Moines Art Center.jpg
Established 1948

Feels like spring for a change today in Des Moines. Keep It Coming! With warmer weather approaching, here’s an update on the Des Moines Art Center’s “Summer on the Hill” free film series, which has some good flicks the first Thursdays from June through September (except in July when they’re a week later due to the July 4th holiday):

My Dog Skip – June 6

The Philadelphia Story – July 11

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – August 1

Vertigo – September 5.

Also up this summer are First Friday gatherings – with live music, light bites, cast bar, form 5-8 p.m. in the Art Center’s lovely courtyard from 5-8 p.m. (only exception is July – which will be held on July 12, aka the second Friday.)

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Don’t miss the Des Moines Art Center’s “Transparencies” show of glass artwork

Jim Dingilian fills liquor bottles with smoke and then, using custom-made tools, scrapes away the soot to create astonishingly detailed scenes. “Missing Sentinels among Halted Construction” is from 2012. (McKenzie Fine Art/Special to the Register)

When I lived in, and later visited, upstate New York, I used to enjoy going to the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y. which became increasingly sophisticated in its exhibits over the years.  We got a glimpse of some cutting-edge glass artwork yesterday, near my present home, at the Des Moines Art Center.  We  thoroughly enjoyed an exhibit of work by 10 artists from around the world who do some remarkable things with glass – and I’m not even talking about Dale Chiluly here (whom some think is overexposed but I still like his work.)

Among our favorites from the show is the work (above) by Jim Dingilian (U.S.)  who somehow manages to create paintings inside of old liquor bottles – apparently filling the bottle with smoke and then somehow removing portions of the smoke stains to  create very intricate images of old cars and couches and landscapes. I still don’t quite get how he does it. Judith Schaechter, another American, does eery but gorgeous Medieval-type stained glass windows (see below) with characters that look like they walked out of a Tim Burton movie. How fun would it be to go to a church with her windows! (Don’t think that will happen anytime soon.)

There’s also (see further below) a mesmerizing  installation by Ray Hwang (from Korea) in a darkened room that almost defies easy description – but I’ll give it a go. It combines light, video and the image of a chandelier created by thousands of crystal beads upon a plexiglass panel  – to create the sensation of a chandelier that gradually lights up during   a rain storm. Okay, I didn’t do it justice. You have to see it.

Judith Schaechter creates stained glass using centuries-old techniques from medieval churches. But the stories her windows tell, as in “Mad Meg” from 2010, are the products of her own imagination. (Judith Schaechter/Special to the Register)

The DSM Register also has a good  slide show and story about the exhibit. See: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20130218/LIFE/302180015/Eye-candy-Art-Center-showcases-glass-art-from-around-world

The Transparencies show was small so we spent another hour or so wandering around the rest of the museum, admiring old favorites (by Edward Hopper, John Singer Sargent, Anselm Kiefer, Grant Wood) and catching some new views – including an interesting installation by Ai Weiwei, the dissident Chinese artist/activist, and a crazy video of a McDonald’s during a flood, slowly filling up with water (complete with poor Ronald bobbing in the waves), as well as work I’d never seen before  by Alex Katz, Cindy Sherman and others.

Although it’s difficult to photograph, Ran Hwang’s 2010 “Garden of Water” shimmers with light from a video, projected onto Plexiglas panels pinned with thousands of crystal beads. (Leila Heller Gallery/Special to the Register)

TRANSPARENCIES
Contemporary Art & A History of Glass

February 22 — May 22, 2013
Anna K. Meredith Gallery


Above: Monir Farmanfarmaian (Iranian, born 1924)
Convertible Series, Group 10, 2011

Transparencies brings together a group of international contemporary artists whose work explores glass as both medium and as subject matter. Each creates contemporary art that connects with the history of glasswork, from luxury objects such as chandeliers and mirrors to household items like drinking vessels and light bulbs. Many forms of glass are represented, from delicate, hand-worked mirrors to industrial sheets of Plexiglas, as well as works that despite appearances, are not made of glass at all. The artists selected for Transparencies come from around the world, and vary widely in their art-making practices. Some have always worked with glass, both actually and conceptually, while others have only explored it occasionally. Combining sculpture, video, and installation with traditional forms of artisan techniques such as stained glass and blown glass, Transparencies explores the role of glass in today’s contemporary art world as well as our everyday lives.

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Anecdote to a drab winter’s day in Des Moines: The Des Moines Art Center

We’ve had several days of grey damp dreary weather – so yesterday I tried to chase the blahs away by visiting the Des Moines Art Center with two friends.  It was quiet on a Sunday afternoon and peaceful. Admission is free – which always amazes me given the $18 to $25 fees charged to get into big city (albeit bigger) museums. I try to drop in a few bucks donation regardless.

The Art Center’s  new exhibit – large modern installations by German artist Anselm Reyle – didn’t do much for me but worth a look. And I always enjoy wandering around the galleries – for the art and the architecture. The IM Pei wing’s giant windows offered a dramatic view of a snow squall blowing across the Andrew Goldsworthy Cairn sculptures and Greenwood Park’s frozen rose garden which will soon, I hope, be full of blossoms.

Before visiting the Reyle exhibit it does help to read the art center’ s blurb about him:  (I must look up the word: perspicacity)

Anselm Reyle is a taxidermist. He breathes life into the exhausted or dormant visual motifs of Modernism and reenergizes these familiar forms to make them new. Reyle frequently utilizes clichéd modernist shapes, artificial colors, and non-traditional materials such as Mylar foil and straw bales to extend the prevailing aesthetics of painting and sculpture. In the process, he constructs a bond between art and popular culture, while simultaneously questioning the authorship of the artist and forging a distinct bond between the production of art objects and the marketplace. (

Reyle updates the history of modern art by borrowing its visual elements that have become overused or even considered tasteless in contemporary dialogues. These elements range from stripes to gestural drips of paint to fractured abstractions. Each format in Reyle’s arsenal recalls a predecessor and reflects his interest in the codes of taste that determine our attitudes and thoughts. Although an enlivenment or reconsideration of the past is a cornerstone of post-modern thought, Reyle’s approach retains vestiges of the modern era through his emphasis on the personal experience afforded by abstraction. This archeological memory, its subsequent manipulation, and the resulting shift in perspicacity formulate Reyle’s contributions to the art of our time.

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