June 29, 2015

SHOWSTOPPER at Des Moines Art Festival

 Jay Vigon's art is the second of four original  artists' designs to be wrapped around a large DART transit bus.

Jay Vigon’s art is the second of four original artists’ designs to be wrapped around a large DART transit bus.

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 public art in the downtown core!

The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation is grateful for Jay Vigon’s artistic vision and helping launch the second artist’s design to wrap an entire DART bus! Thank you DART, Des Moines Art Festival, and volunteers for partnering with us on this venture! With our ongoing Project Spaces initiative, the Public Art Foundation places compelling, temporary works of art in highly accessible and visible public space—and in this case, around a large transit bus! We hope that this bus will be a source of joy and inspiration to all!

Support public art and ride the DART bus!

Remember to share your photographs of this bus: #ArtOnDART

June 25, 2015

Public art bus wrap unveiling at Des Moines Arts Festival

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 designs. Artist Jay Vigon’s design will be unveiled at this year’s Festival.

Public Art Bus Wrap Unveiling
Date: Friday, June 26, 2015
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Location: 12th Street between Grand Avenue and Locust Street in downtown Des Moines

“In the spirit of the Public Art Foundation’s mission, we are a catalyst for the active engagement of audiences with public art!” remarked M. Jessica Rowe, Director of the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation. “A ProjectSPACES program, this project is a great example of our temporary public art initiatives. We embrace our role as an engaged community partner with DART to help nurture the City’s wider strategies for economic, social and cultural development — our aim is to enrich the lives in our community by advancing the best of public art.”
“The public art bus will travel to nearly every community in Greater Des Moines,” said Kirstin Baer-Harding, DART marketing director. “DART’s presence within these communities lends a perfect opportunity to join with the Public Art Foundation and bring public art into areas you wouldn’t normally find it.”

The bus wrap is the latest in a series of projects, supported through the Public Art Foundation’s ProjectSPACES initiative, and follows temporary art installations at the Iowa State Fair. Through ProjectSPACES, the Public Art Foundation places compelling, temporary works of art in highly accessible and visible public spaces.

Public Art Bus Tours Scheduled for Saturday, June 27, 2015
New to the Arts Festival this year, attendees are invited to ride the public art bus for a tour of public art in the downtown Des Moines area. The bus will pick up and drop off at the corner of 12th and High, just north of the Festival. Bus tours will begin on the hour from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The tour is free and will last approximately 40 minutes.

ABOUT ARTIST JAY VIGON

The artist Jay Vigon is known nationally and internationally for his distinctively bold graphics to logo design, music packaging and fashion advertising. His clients include American film director George Lucas, the media company Warner Bros. Entertainment, Gotcha Sportswear and the University of California in Irvine. Vigon’s pioneering style led him into broadcast graphics for television commercials with such clients as AT&T, Diet Coke and Toyota. He also directed Mercedes Benz, Estee Lauder, Seiko watches and Kaiser Permanente, as well as the Cesar Chavez documentary.

ABOUT GREATER DES MOINES PUBLIC ART FOUNDATION

The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation, established in 2004, recognizes that art belongs not just in galleries and museums, but in streetscapes, parks, buildings and infrastructures of a thriving community. Dedicated to envisioning, developing, advancing and promoting public art projects, the Public Art Foundation collaborates with local entities and artists to engage, inspire and enrich the lives of residents and visitors to the community. The goal is to increase awareness of our community as a world-class destination for public art. For more information about the Public Art Foundation, visit www.dsmpublicartfoundation.org.

ABOUT DART

The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority is the public transportation provider that serves Polk County. DART operates a family of transportation services that makes getting around the Greater Des Moines area easier and more convenient. For more information about DART services, schedules, route changes or directions to the nearest DART stop, visit the website at www.ridedart.com or call 515-283-8100. The MyDART Tools, Trip Planner and RideTime Transit app are now available at www.ridedart.com.

RIDE DART TO THE UNVEILING

Attendees of the unveiling are encouraged to ride the D-Line Downtown Shuttle to the event. The D-Line loops through downtown on Grand Avenue and Locust Street and picks up passengers at any of the designated stops along the route. The D-Line is free to ride and departs from stops approximately every 10 minutes. Due to road closures, the route will detour the day of the unveiling. Route will turn south to Locust at 10th Street and return to regular route.

D-Line Downtown Shuttle Detoured Route: Effective 6/24/2015 through 6/28/2015

D-Line Downtown Shuttle Detoured Route: Effective 6/24/2015 through 6/28/2015

June 11, 2015

Making the impossible possible

Thin glass bars cleverly crafted to move like wings make up Studio Drift’s latest body of poetic work for the 2015 Venice Art Biennale.

This kinetic sculpture is created from the Amsterdam-based duo: Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Naura. Their delicate and ethereal designs, along with their fascination with movement and light, has quickly becoming their signature—see their Rijksmuseum installation "Shylight" or dandelion-inspired spectacular from "Fragile Futures." The common thread being that epic dialogue between opposites —a high tech dance, if you will—between nature and technology, fantasy and reality.

This kinetic sculpture is created from the Amsterdam-based duo: Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Naura. Their delicate and ethereal designs, along with their fascination with movement and light, has quickly becoming their signature—see their Rijksmuseum installation “Shylight” or dandelion-inspired spectacular from “Fragile Futures.” The common thread being that epic dialogue between opposites —a high tech dance, if you will—between nature and technology, fantasy and reality.

Titled In 20 Steps, the Amsterdam-based artist-designers have channeled the ‘human desire to be able to fly, despite the force of gravity, and the poetry of persistence in the face of adversity,’ into one beautiful form.

June 11, 2015

Percent for Art Program: Toward a Beautiful Future

Today, “Percent for Art” represents for many U.S. cities the most important public art fund since the Great Depression. Just look at Kansas City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, or Chicago (the Chicago Public Art Collection includes more than 700 works of art in over 150 municipal facilities around the city, such as police stations, libraries, and CTA stations.)

From about 1900 to 1910, cities of 2,500 or more were cropping up throughout the U.S. Initially, most of these cities were focused on industry and commerce. More than 3000 Village Improvement and City Beautiful Associations (i.e., Des Moines, IA) were established in these growing cities to foster more beautiful, sustainable, and safer neighborhoods.

Des Moines Municipal Building (City Hall) was designed by a group of four architectural firms, 1911

Des Moines Municipal Building (City Hall) was designed by a group of four architectural firms, 1911

In the 1930s, the United States of America was struck by the Great Depression. Then president Franklin Roosevelt set up the Works Progress Administration, a government agency which helped relieve the economic depression by employing unskilled workers in public works. The Federal Art Project was one of its programs in which unemployed artists including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Diego Rivera were recruited to produce murals, paintings, sculptures and posters for public buildings.

During the course of the project, apart from producing a whole new collection of American art, more than a hundred community art centers and galleries were established throughout the country, which helped develop a new audience for art. Even after the termination of the program at the outbreak of World War II, its influence has lasted to the present day.

Despite the long history of incorporating sculptures, skillfully crafted ornaments and paintings in architecture, it was not until the early 20th century that the awareness of ‘public art’ as an important genre instead of mere decoration subordinate to architecture was aroused.

France was the first country to implement the ‘percent for art’ policy in the 1930s. The policy states that for all construction projects of public buildings, universities or schools, 1% of the total project fee should be used on the installation of artworks. Other countries which implemented a percent for art program include Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Italy, Sweden, and Canada.

U.S. PUBLIC ART POLICY & LEGISLATION TIMELINE
1900 – 1910 – 3,000 Village Improvement/City Beautiful associations are established
1935 – 1943 – During the depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Program
employs more than 6,000 artists who create more than 2,000 murals, 17,000 sculptures and 100,000
paintings which adorn many federal buildings/sites.
1959 – Philadelphia passes the first one percent for art ordinance in the United States
1965 – National Endowment for the Arts is established
1972 – The Government Services Administration (GSA) Art in Architecture program is established, requiring one half of one percent on select Federal buildings
2001 – 2003 – CITY OF DES MOINES’ PUBLIC ART COMMISSION
2004Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation was founded as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization through an agreement between the City of Des Moines and the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.
2015 – There are now well over 350 municipal public art programs in the United States

Des Moines, Iowa has followed in stride with this national movement. The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation (GDMPAF) advances the best of public art, through public and private collaborations, by integrating art within common space — on the street, in a park, in the infrastructure of a building.

Public art is one very visible component of the arts and cultural make-up of our city. In Des Moines it fulfills a variety of aims:
1) providing aesthetic betterments in the form of urban beautifications (Cowles Commons),

The Cowles Commons design team is led by Ken Smith (pictured above with illustration of monumental sculpture "Crusoe Umbrella" by Claes Oldenburg) of Ken Smith Landscape Architect, a landscape architect committed to creating landscapes as a way of improving the quality of urban life. Jim Campbell is a visual artist who collaborated on the Cowles Commons design. His custom electronic sculptures have made him a leading figure in the use of computer technology and video as an art form.

The Cowles Commons design team is led by Ken Smith (pictured above with illustration of monumental sculpture “Crusoe Umbrella” by Claes Oldenburg) of Ken Smith Landscape Architect, a landscape architect committed to creating landscapes as a way of improving the quality of urban life. Jim Campbell is a visual artist who collaborated on the Cowles Commons design. His custom electronic sculptures have made him a leading figure in the use of computer technology and video as an art form.

2) contributing to city making in the form of iconic buildings (Des Moines Arts Center),

View of 2nd building addition to the Des Moines Art Center with sculpture "Animal Pyramid" by Bruce Nauman.

View of 2nd building addition to the Des Moines Art Center with sculpture “Animal Pyramid” by Bruce Nauman.

3) developing sites for cultural tourism (State Capitol Grounds, Pappajohn Sculpture Park) to place-making (HubSpot and Jun Kaneko’s “Dangos” and glass mural),

Commissioned by GDMPAF, the artist Jun Kaneko's "Five Dangos" is integrated into the HubSpot Plaza along the Principal Riverwalk. Photo by Paul Crosby

Commissioned by GDMPAF, the artist Jun Kaneko’s “Five Dangos” is integrated into the HubSpot Plaza along the Principal Riverwalk. Photo by Paul Crosby

4) promoting community development and civic engagement (Temple Chess and Poetry Garden by Siah Armajani), and

Detail of  artist Siah Armajani's "Temple Chess and Poetry Garden" was commissioned by GDMPAF. Photo courtesy of substance Architecture, Des Moines, IA

Detail of artist Siah Armajani’s “Temple Chess and Poetry Garden” was commissioned by GDMPAF. Photo courtesy of substance Architecture, Des Moines, IA

5) prompting part of broader urban revitalization efforts.

The goal of the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation is to attract the best talent, worldwide, to generate ideas and innovative designs that will meet the needs of the City’s communities, and respond to the natural and constructed history of the site.

May 13, 2015

New DourOne’s Wall in Paris

Fabio Lopez aka DourOne is a spanish multidisciplinary artist from Madrid. His self-taught style reflects on his experiences in the world, which captures real-life moments that stand out for their beauty. His works are often defined as figurative illustration, classical, and surreal. DOURONE’s mission hasn’t changed: “Traveling and being an artist when he grows up”

Dourone1

Dourone3

Dourone4

Dourone2

Rue des Récollets is beginning to be the spot of predilection of the Spanish artist Dourone in Paris.
For the third consecutive year, the artist has painted this wall, right in front of the exit of the Jardin de Villemain in Paris 10. The artwork is entitled “Seducción Demente” (Insane Seduction or Mind Seduction) and was carried out with sprays.

May 6, 2015

Crusoe Umbrella Repainted

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s 1979 monumental sculpture is one of the artists first public art projects. The work of art was commissioned in 1978 by the Des Moines Performing Arts (then called, Civic Center of Greater Des Moines), with a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and donations from local sources. It was installed and inaugurated in late November 1979.

The sculpture stands on the plaza, much like an island in the city surroundings with a large pool of water--redesigned to be a wadding pool--along one side. The umbrella form was inspired by the legendary fictional hero Robinson Crusoe, who s hand-made umbrella was the first object made by the castaway and one of the few he took away with him when he was rescued.

The sculpture stands on the plaza, much like an island in the city surroundings with a large pool of water–redesigned to be a wadding pool–along one side. The umbrella form was inspired by the legendary fictional hero Robinson Crusoe, who s hand-made umbrella was the first object made by the castaway and one of the few he took away with him when he was rescued.

Today the umbrella is being prepared for repainting, as the newly redesigned plaza, Cowles Commons officially opens this (2015) summer.

Oldenburg & van Bruggen's "Crusoe Umbrella" primed for repainting.

Oldenburg & van Bruggen’s “Crusoe Umbrella” primed for repainting.

May 5, 2015

Social Injustice Spurs Jordan Weber’s Art

Manifest Justice brings together artists inspired by questions of social justice. Featured are more than 220 works by an estimated 150 artists from all over the United States and beyond. Submissions came from conceptual artists, painters, poster artists, sculptors, graphic designers and performers. The organizer is Yosi Sergant, an American publicist known for his commissioning and management of the “Hope” poster created during the 2008 presidential election by Shepard Fairey.

Manifest Justice is a combination art exhibit and pop-up space, and is located in the old Baldwin Theater in Baldwin Hills/Los Angeles, CA (part of a defunct local chain of African American-owned cinemas). Manifest Justice explores questions of power and inequity.

Jordan J Weber , artist

Jordan J Weber , artist

Featured are vintage political placards, civil rights photography and dozens of works by contemporary artists — such as a gutted police car from Ferguson, which, on Wednesday afternoon, was being transformed into a garden of sorts at the “Manifest Justice” space by Des Moines artist Jordan J. Weber.

For for information on Jordan J Weber.

Artist Jordan J. Weber & American Actor Danny Glover at Manifest Justice Exhibition.

Artist Jordan J. Weber & American Actor Danny Glover at Manifest Justice Exhibition.

March 21, 2015

Anish Kapoor’s installation stands out in India’s Biennale

Anish Kapoor's endless black whirlpool has been spiraling like an angry vortex in the floor of the Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi, India since December 2014.

Anish Kapoor’s endless black whirlpool has been spiraling like an angry vortex in the floor of the Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi, India since December 2014.


Anish Kapoor’s Descension, a water vortex made by the famous artist Anish Kapoor, is an installation that is exclusive to Kochi Biennale as the artist has used a portion of Aspinwall to create an artificial vortex filled with water and diesel, confronting the visitor with a perpetual force that pulls him to the unknowable interior.
Kapoor (born in 1954 in Mumbai, India) lives and works in London, UK; he is one of 94 artists from 30 countries participating in the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 in India, which ends March 29, 2015.

Kapoor (born in 1954 in Mumbai, India) lives and works in London, UK; he is one of 94 artists from 30 countries participating in the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 in India, which ends March 29, 2015.

Kapoor talks about his art in this interview recorded at the Biennale.

March 11, 2015

Doris Salcedo’s Powerful Retrospective at the MCA Chicago Through May 24

Despite strong reviews and a presence in leading museum collections, Doris Salcedo’s work has not had much exposure in the United States until now.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is presenting the first retrospective of the work of renowned sculptor Doris Salcedo (Colombian, b. 1958). Salcedo—who lives and works in Bogotá—gained prominence in the 1990s for her fusion of postminimalist forms with sociopolitical concerns. The exhibition features all major bodies of work from the artist’s thirty-year career—most of which have never been shown together before.

Doris Salcedo, "Noviembre 6 y 7," 2000. Installation at Palace of Justice, Bogotá, Colombia. Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York. © Doris Salcedo.

Doris Salcedo, “Noviembre 6 y 7,” 2000. Installation at Palace of Justice, Bogotá, Colombia. Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York. © Doris Salcedo.

Doris Salcedo knows well art’s inability to effect social change. Her sculptures and installations, as powerful as they are, will not change the course of history in her native Colombia, end wars, or stop the drain of everyday violence. In the artist’s view, they are merely mute objects, with no agency in and of themselves. Their power, however, lies in their silence, and in the affective space between object and viewer, drawing out a feeling of collective loss and shared humanity, while pointing to humanity’s greatest tragedies: war, mass displacement, and genocide.

For more information: Doris Salcedo

March 5, 2015

Des Moines, IA is 1 of 12 Finalist Cities for $1-Million Public Art Challenge

5 March 2015: Bloomberg Philanthropies announced that Des Moines, Iowa is one of 12 cities in the running to receive up to $1-million in funding for public art projects that address civic topics. Des Moines was among the 237 U.S. cities that applied from 45 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

The Public Art Challenge is a new program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that engage communities, enhance creativity, and enrich the vibrancy of cities. Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for innovative temporary public art projects that address a civic issue, and demonstrate close collaboration between artists or arts organizations and city government.

“At a time when imaginative ideas are redefining every industry, cities increasingly realize how important it is to embrace and encourage creativity,” said Michael R. Bloomberg. “There was a great response to the challenge we issued, and we hope these projects spur new excitement about the ways public art can strengthen neighborhoods, inspire residents and fuel local economies.”

Des Moines’s proposal called Listening to Water calls attention to Local River Ecology and Urban Water Trails. The City of Des Moines proposes to create art projects along its public waterways to engage the community in dialogue about local river ecology. Partnering with the GREATER DES MOINES PUBLIC ART FOUNDATION, these art projects will aim to explore urban water trails, watershed planning and river space.

Submissions were evaluated on their potential viability as dynamic public art projects, capacity to establish or strengthen public-private partnerships, inclusion of strong audience engagement strategies, and commitment to evaluating outcomes and impact on the host city.

Cities of all sizes applied: nearly 50% of the 237 submissions were from cities with populations between 30,000 and 100,000, 38% had populations between 100,000 and 500,000, and 13% of the applicant cities had over 500,000 residents. A variety of artistic disciplines were represented amongst the applications: 61% of the proposed public art projects involved visual art, 19% combined multiple disciplines, 17% featured digital media, and 3% were performing art projects.

The Public Art Challenge grant will cover development, execution and project related expenditures but will not fund 100% of project costs.

The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters. At least three winning cities will be selected in May to execute their projects over a maximum of 24 months.

More information about the Public Art Challenge, including links to images and maps can be found here.