News + Initiatives Blog

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

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,

  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

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

The temporary public art installation ‘Wading Bridge’ by New York-based artist Mary Mattingly will not be reinstalled in the Raccoon River in Water Works Park. The temporary public art installation, a dock off the riverbank that was partially submerged so people could walk in the water, had to be pulled to land last week in

The public is invited to dip their feet in the Raccoon River as part of a public art installation by New York-based artist Mary Mattingly. The art installation, titled “Wading Bridge,” is a dock off the riverbank that lets people walk not only over the water – but in the water – as the center

07 | 13 | 15French artist JR

French artist JR (born 22 February 1983) works anonymously, but the giant images he pastes on buildings, streets, and bridges around the world are meant to put faces on often-ignored slices of society, from victims of crime to the elderly. He has described himself as a “photograffeur”, he flyposts large black-and-white photographic images in public

Recently in Vancouver, British Columbia a skateboard competition transformed a park into a public art installation. Reigning Canadian champion Alex Sorgente was joined by dozens of featured for an annual skate park jam, Design direction for the temporary public art project was provided by graffiti artists Virus and Ben Tour, supported by talent from the

More than 100,000 people saw Jay Vigon‘s design when they came to the Western Gateway Park to enjoy the Festival. The bus was unveiled to the public on Friday morning, June 26, then on view throughout the day and evening. On Saturday, all ages were able to ride the bus for free guided tours of

Des Moines, IA — The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation’s ProjectSPACES initiative, in partnership with the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART), will unveil the latest public art bus wrap at the 2015 Des Moines Arts Festival. The bus wrap is the second of four planned public art bus wraps featuring artists’ one-of-a-kind

Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation