Des Moines
Des Moines

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Winning Artist Announced for Project

The more than two million people going through the Des Moines International Airport annually will experience something new this fall.  After a three-month selection process, Metro Arts Alliance, in partnership with The Des Moines International Airport and Des Moines Arts Festival®, announced that artist Bounnak Thammavong has been selected for the Metro Arts Public Art Project. This special project commemorates the 40th anniversary of the organization in October 2015.

“We’re so impressed by Bounnak’s wonderful design concept, and how he has thoughtfully and artfully addressed all of the project goals (use of recycled materials, public participation at the Arts Festival, and connection to Airport)”, says Kim Poam Logan, Executive Director of Metro Arts Alliance.  

Thammavong is a regional artist who emigrated from Laos and now lives and works in Swisher, Iowa. His artwork is conceptually inspired by nature and literature viewed through the lens of his Asian-American heritage. His specialties include hand-painted portraits and large-scale public art; where the processes and media of his work vary from highly traditional to industrially modern.

Thammavong’s current work includes the use of 3D CAD design and 3D rapid prototyping as a major portion of the conceptual process. His art is on display in public exhibitions throughout the Midwest.

“I’m honored to be selected for this important project”, stated Thammavong. “My background began in teaching, before I moved on to engineering as a trade. The teacher in me is extremely excited to work with members of the community at The Arts Festival.”

What’s next?

June 26-28:  
The public is invited to contribute to the large-scale installation by making their own unique pieces at the Des Moines Arts Festival

Artwork will be permanently sited at Des Moines International Airport

October 16
Official ribbon cutting at The Airport

A documentary about the Metro Arts Public Art Project (#mapublicartproject) is being produced by Register Media. To see footage of the artist selection process and the finalists’ presentations, go to  

Rachel Busemetro arts