Des Moines
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weekly art forecasts from Central Iowa

Who’s exhibiting and opportunities for artists

Posts tagged Alissa Sheldon
The Moberg Four Solos Show is:


💥 for the bold, energetic wood prints of Aaron Wilson and Tim Dooley
💀 for the melancholy portraiture of Gary Kelley
🌌 for the vast expanses of Derrick Breidenthal’s landscapes
🔋 for the funky, chunky found object collages of TJ Moberg
and 🙌🏻 for my overall emoji opinion of the show.

Elegance in the Ordinary

Tilly Woodward at Olson-Larsen

April 12 - June 1, 2013


NEST SPOON Oil on archival mat board 11 x 9

Review by Alissa Sheldon

April 29, 2013

April 12, Spring Gallery Night in Valley Junction, found another well-hosted opening at Olson-Larsen Galleries.  The Snacks were playing, the wine was pouring, and the crudités were abundant.  The show, featuring new work from Scott Charles Ross, Sarah Grant, and Tilly Woodward was clearly a success.  As the crowd wandered through the pleasantly meandering gallery, a quiet bottleneck began to form at the first curve.  Here was the work of Tilly Woodward, and it was stopping people in their tracks.

There is something quietly meditative about the work of Woodward.  She takes subjects that the typical viewer may be inclined to dismiss and makes them treasured icons of simpler times - times free of multitasking, text messaging, and racing from one don’t-miss activity to the next.  Everyday subjects – a fish, a spoon, a bird’s nest – are taken out of the hustle and bustle of context and placed elegantly against a vast black field.  In doing so, Woodward calms the eye and gives the viewer an opportunity to focus on the intricacy of each item.  It is easy to fall into a peaceful contemplation of what our eyes and minds often take for granted.


EGGS X2, RUBBER BAND BALL Oil on archival mat board 11 x 9

Woodward cites the Northern Renaissance as an influence, and indeed her treatment of a baseball or a cicada exudes the same reverence as portraits of kings and queens did centuries ago.  The mundane is elevated to nobility.  Of course, Woodward’s use of oil aids in this effect, and she is incredibly adept with the medium.

The petite scale of her work adds to this feeling as well.  That the subjects themselves occupy such a small space gives the impression of gazing at a treasure inside a jewel box, and viewers may be surprised to find themselves seriously considering the symbolic relation of a rubber band ball to an egg.

Whether it is Woodward’s intent or not, perhaps the world needs more of these opportunities to pause, reflect, and just plain breathe.  For the gift of that moment, the crowd at Olson-Larsen thanks her.


Moberg celebrates 10 years with large group show

Moberg Gallery 10 Year Anniversary Exhibition

October 12 - November, 24 2012

Installation shot of the anniversary show. 

Review by Alissa

October 23, 2012

Woe unto you if you needed a parking space along Ingersoll this past First Friday.  There wasn’t one to be had, and if you followed the swarm of people, you found that it led you right to Moberg Gallery, where Des Moines’ self-proclaimed “Corporate Art/Public Art/Residential Art” mecca was celebrating ten years of operation.  The event was a festive one, with artists and patrons alike enjoying the ubiquitous free wine and flowing conversation.  To say the least, the soirée was a success, but this reviewer always prefers to head back to the gallery the morning after, when all is calm and the art can be approached quietly and considered thoughtfully. 

As usual, Moberg puts on a visually pleasing exhibit, with a myriad of large-scale pieces dominating the gallery.  On this particular occasion, around 45 artists represented by Moberg have contributed to the show.  There will be some who grumble that they do not find this collection is shocking or thought-provoking.  However, there is something to be said for a gallery that has been open, family run, and commercially viable for a decade.  And let’s be honest, for as many people as there are who are looking for risk-taking work, there are just as many who are seeking something they find beautiful and well-created to hang above the mantle or in the lobby.


TJ Moberg's “Double Fault”

So while there may be few true surprises, the show is nicely curated, with some fun interplay between pieces and styles – my favorite being Frank Hansen’s “Pink Foot Lay Down with Boob” juxtaposed against a more subtle nude by Catherine Dreiss. The gallery has found an organic way to display the divergent styles of the artists included, and the viewing experience flows well.


John Phillip Davis’s “Come to My Lonely”

Among the more memorable pieces shown are “Double Fault” by TJ Moberg, a large bullseye composed of tennis balls; the mixed media piece “Garden in the Sky” by John Siblik; the enormous “Come to My Lonely” by John Phillip Davis; and the tiny graphite-on-paper jewel, “Moon and Trees #1” by Bill Teeple.

The show, up through Saturday, November 24, is worth a walk-through at the Ingersoll gallery.  Moberg plans to open a Chicago location on December 1, 2012 at 2707 W. Lawrence in Lincoln Square.