News + Initiatives Blog


Des Moines, IA — The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation announces that the artist Larassa Kabel has been commissioned to create a one-of-a-kind design which will be wrapped around a large transit bus. The project is part of the Foundation’s Project Spaces initiative, which places compelling, temporary works of art in highly accessible and

Three women pose with Keith Haring sculpture.

May 4 is artist Keith Haring’s birthday—he would have been 58 years old. Recently, while strolling in downtown Des Moines, I took a snapshot of three women in front of the Keith Haring sculpture. This iconic sculpture is a reminder of the strong desire Harding had to make his artwork available to as wide an audience as

Design template, City of Des Moines Public Works

DSM, IA: The City of Des Moines Public Works Department has launched a contest to design a storm water manhole cover that will used throughout the City. The manhole cover will incorporate artwork in the Center that raises awareness about water quality in the City of Des Moines.   Why Are We Adding Art to

Zaha Hadid was a pioneer in the field of architecture, becoming the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize (the Nobel Prize of her field) in 2004.

Internationally acclaimed architect, Dame Zaha Hadid was the first woman to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) Gold Medal in recognition of her work. Her designs have been commissioned around the world, including Hong Kong, Germany and Azerbaijan. Zaha Hadid died yesterday following a heart attack in a Miami hospital, where she was being treated for

Brâncuși photographed in his workshop. The artist bequeathed part of his collection to the French state on condition that his workshop be rebuilt as it was on the day he died. This reconstruction of his studio, adjacent to the Pompidou Centre in Paris, is open to the public.

One of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century, Constantin Brâncuși, was born on this day, February 19, 1876, in Romania. He died in Paris in 1957. On of Brâncuși’s most famous public art projects is the sculptural ensemble at Târgu Jiu, where he spent much of his childhood. Finished in 1938, it is an homage

The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation is proud to welcome its leadership for 2016. The officers were re-elected for 2016: Katherine M. Murphy, retired Vice President, Community Affairs Officer of Wells Fargo Government and Community Relations in Des Moines is the Foundation’s President. Tim R. Hickman, AIA, LEED® AP, Principal of substance ARCHITECTURE in

The Bay Lights, the Bay Bridge light sculpture that dazzled residents and visitors of the Bay Area for two years after its unveiling in March 2013, returned on 30 January 2016. It will lift the gaze and spirits of California residents and visitors for at least 10 years.

How is a historic bridge transformed into a dazzling work of art? Forbes called this public art project, “a powerful example of what’s possible when you dream (very) big, and can successfully inspire engagement among all key stakeholders.” In 2013, Leo Villareal installed more than 25,000 LED lights on the Bay Bridge. The installation was meant to

"Filter Bubble" is a collaboration with  Sarah Abu Abdallah (Providence), Sophia Al Maria (Doha), Abdullah Al-Mutairi (New York), Rachael Allen (London), Yollotl Alvarado (Mexico City), ARCA & Jesse Kanda (London), Darja Bajagić (New York), Alessandro Bava (London), James Bridle (London), Andrea Crespo (New York), Manolis Daskalakis-Lemos (Athens), Alex Dolan (New York), Valia Fetisov (Moscow), Louisa Gagliardi (Zürich), Deanna Havas (New York), Max Hawkins (nomad), Bernhard Hegglin (Zürich), Ho Rui An (Singapur), Emmanuel Iduma (New York), Nicholas Korody (Los Angeles), Isabel Legate (New York), Luca Lum & Marcus Yee (Singapur), Nicholas Maurer (Sydney), Felix Melia (London), Mitchell Messina (Kapstadt), Ryan Murphy (New York), Wyatt Niehaus (New York), Adriana Ramić (New York), Tabita Rezaire (Johannesburg), Bunny Rogers (Stockholm), Ben Rosenthal (Zürich), Bogosi Sekhukhuni (Johannesburg), Takeshi Shiomitsu (London), Crista Siglin & Isaac Wilder (Kansas City), Jasper Spicero (New York), Jesse Stecklow (Los Angeles), Hito Steyerl (Berlin), Elisabeth Sutherland (Accra), Philipp Timischl (Wien), Alexander Jackson Wyatt (Sydney), Urban Zellweger (Zürich), Zou Zhao (New York), Bruno Zhu (Amsterdam), Damon Zucconi (New York).

Max Hawkins (American, born Des Moines 1990) is participating in the 89plus collaborative project “The Filter Bubble”, on view through 14 February 2016 in LUMA, Zürich, Switzerland. The project designates the way Internet users are increasingly directed to a personalized information landscape through an algorithmic editing of web content. ‘Filter Bubble’ translated three years of research into an

Hans-Ulrich Obrist has conducted 2,400 hours of interviews with creative people: “salons of the twenty-first century.”  Pictured is his book cover: Hans-Ulrich Obrist, "Conversations, Vol. 1," Manuella Editions, Paris, ISBN : 978-2-917217-00-9.

  The art that Hans-Ulrich Obrist is most passionate about doesn’t hang on walls and often doesn’t have a permanent emanation. It can take the form of a dance or a game or a science experiment, and often leaves nothing behind but memories and an exhibition catalog. (Obrist has published more than two hundred catalogues.) He

Lieu Nguyen Huong Duong was born in Tra Vinh, Vietnam in 1975, He brings landscapes to life in a uniquely vivid way. Painting from memory, he freely dots vibrant layers of color until they match what he sees in his mind’s eye. Though he usually works on canvas, in Cherry Blossom, Lieu uses iPad Air 2, the Procreate app, and Pencil by FiftyThree to portray a blossoming tree.

Apple’s “Start Something New” campaign aims to show the world how creativity is possible on an iPhone. The company commissioned eleven artists to create artwork using only an iPhone and various third-party apps. The work ranges from impressionistic to realistic, with a variety of different scenes and inspirations. Here are a few examples:       For

Van Holmgren, a Des Moines artist and volunteer for City Sounds: the Des Moines Public Piano Project paints a grand piano in 2014. (Photo: The Des Moines Register)

Des Moines, Ia: City Sounds: The Des Moines Public Piano Project invites central Iowa based artists to submit an application to become one of the 2016 Piano artists. Details on the artist program and application process can be found via the project’s website.  Applications are due no later than 19 February 2016 and should only be

Ellsworth Kelly's "Sculpture for a Large Wall" (1956-57) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Nov. 20, 2004.

For the artist Ellsworth Kelly, perfection had little to do with geometry. What he wanted was joy. He found it through a keen perception of things he saw.     “As a young American in Paris in 1949 — four years out of the Army and one year out of a Boston art school —

Jessica Terrill, of Substance Architecture in Des Moines, was honored 15 October 2015 with the inaugural Young Architect award from the American Institute of Architects, Iowa Chapter. The award honors “exceptional leadership and significant contributions to the profession” from someone in the first 10 years of their career. She earned a master’s degree in architecture

A unique public art experience in Des Moines, Iowa: The majority of the redesign of Des Moines’ Cowles Commons (formerly Nollen Plaza) by New York landscape architect, Ken Smith, was completed this past summer. The final feature of the project is a public art installation by Jim Campbell. Campbell is a renowned light artist, who

How do other places in the US and abroad made their alleys come alive? Jenny Kempson and Mary Fialko, under the instruction of Nancy Rottle at the University of Washington Green Futures Lab, spent a semester studying alleys and distilling their learning into a handbook. A handbook: Activating Alleys for a Lively City helps people

Jordan Weber‘s monumental mural is dramatically illuminated (below) at night. This dazzling artwork is located just east of 4th Street and bordering Locust Street in downtown Des Moines, Iowa — across from Cowles Commons. The Des Moines Register art critic Michael Morain reported on August 3, 2015 that Weber, known for politically and socially charged

In honor of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic visits to Iowa as well as that of his father Xi Zhongxun in 1980, the World Food Prize Foundation is requesting proposals and qualifications from artists resident in Iowa or with an Iowa connection to create an

“Sky Ladder,” a pyrotechnic artwork by Cai Guoqiang. Born in 1957 in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China, Cai moved to Shanghai in 1981 to study theater design at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. After spending nearly a decade in Tokyo (1986-95) he moved to New York City where he currently lives and works. At the close

Jordan J. Weber (American, born 1984) is currently painting a new mural in downtown Des Moines at Locust and 4th Street, just north of Cowles Commons.

Des Moines, IA: American Enterprise Group is showcasing its newly renovated mid-century modern building and extensive contemporary art collection with a public open house. The event is scheduled for Sunday, August 9 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The building and art park is located in downtown Des Moines at 601 Sixth Avenue. Art docents

Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation