Fresh Air and Festivities

A little rain didn’t stop my brother and I from heading down to the Des Moines Arts Festival yesterday to enjoy some time together and check out all the artists that can do things that I cannot (but wish I could).

This is the one event (aside from the Iowa State Fair) that I try to attend each year. I love seeing returning artists and their new work as well as seeing the newbies and emerging artists.

Here are some of the artists and work that I really enjoyed seeing (and wish I could own one day).

Emerging Artists

This is an awesome program that allows students to showcase their work and talents without the financial burden. It’s always amazing to see companies supporting their community and its students. It also allows people like me know of local artists and support them as well.

While there were lots of great emerging artists, the one that caught my eye was Kindra Noel. I LOVED all of her work, especially the Traveler’s painting. If it hadn’t already been sold, I can guarantee you I would have bought it.

I also really liked Mimi Solum and her world’s tiniest books. I also like Intangible Medley and Everything and Nothing (Book).

Mixed Media

I am always drawn to mixed media artists. It’s interesting to me to see how artists can put things that seemingly wouldn’t or shouldn’t go together and make it seem like it was always meant to be.

I wish I could have a whole house filled with collections from Dolan Geiman. All of his work is amazing, but I really like his mixed media collections, especially this one.

Gena Ollendieck was another artist that had some really wonderful, creative mixed media pieces. A sucker for anything that opens and closes, I loved all her leather books. Her framed work was also really intriguing with all types of materials used.

Depending on the price, I try to get something each year at the festival. It doesn’t always pan out, but this year was a success as I brought home a one-of-a-kind David Burton piece. Another mixed media artist and first time at the Des Moines Arts Festival, he brought out the kid in me and I couldn’t stop looking at every piece he had on display.

Here’s the one I purchased. Love it!

Dewey Jones was another artist that I wish I had enough money (and space) to purchase a piece or two from. My favorites were Expressif and Sunday Drive. I didn’t see any of her city prints at the festival (which is probably a good thing), but I would definitely consider a Des Moines or Minneapolis print.

Painting & Photography

Scott Olson’s work is something that I hope to own in the near future. I love the clean lines and simplicity of his work. The Orange Poppies, Bobber and Dogwoods pieces would be on the top of my list.

Xavier Nuez photographs the ruined streets and alleys that people intentionally avoid and makes them into something you can’t help but be attracted to. Very cool work.

Other Notable Artists I Liked

Block prints by Kregyingst.com

Printmaking by Jim Brown

Photography by Patrick Whalen

Painting and for his display – Joachim Knill

For all you artists and creatives out there, thank you for doing what you do so that I can enjoy it. Hopefully you readers enjoyed this post and the artwork from these mentioned artists.

P.S. – I also learned that the Des Moines Arts Festival actually used to be called Art in the Park and was held at the Des Moines Arts Center until 1998. While it says that on their website, it was much more enlightening learning about this from a stranger we met on the bench.


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