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Art Week Poster Reveal

June 5, 2018, Story by Francess Dunbar


          If you have been diligently reading the Art Week Instagram, you may have seen a few of Mia Farrell’s beautiful drawings of artistic sites in Des Moines. The 2018 Art Week poster combines these snippets to create a full if unscaled view of Des Moines’ most iconic locations, each infused with art in its own way. From familiar places like the Des Moines Art Center to more unconventional spots like the Anderson Ericson cow sculptures, the poster offers a comprehensive look at the vibrant arts community in Des Moines in 2018.

           A lifelong Des Moines resident, Farrell’s piece was influenced by a drawing of downtown by Iowa artist Carolyn Blattel-Britton that hung in her home while she was growing up. “I have spent hours studying it, amazed at all the details,” she said. “I was in love with the smiling trees and rocks, all the characters and searching for places I knew. My mom even pointed out that the artist included a tiny drawing of my dad inside the bar he used to own. I cannot believe the time and care that Carolyn put into this piece. It has been an adventurous challenge making my own creative community drawing.” Though it was originally conceived of as a map, the scale of the project and lack of scale of the drawings transformed it into more of an abbreviated skyline.


Downtown Des Moines by Carolyn Blattel-Britton

           Farrell was also inspired by the strong and accessible local art community in Des Moines, which Art Week seeks to highlight and strengthen. “Folks may never have considered the Anderson Erickson Cows as “art” before but they are sculptures created by real artists… Art is vision brought to life and this whole city is filled with it!” said Farrell. “Working at the Art Center, the fact that we have free admission every day to our galleries and to our lectures and events, is unbelievably important to me. Art has a gross stigma that it for the elite, that is speaks of wealth and privilege and Art Week says “shut up about that!”. Anyone can participate in Art Week, there are no fees or reject-able submissions. You don’t need experience or degrees or a social media following. If you have ideas and are willing to work hard, Art Week promises to let everyone know, to come and see what you are doing.”


Detail of Downtown Des Moines by Carolyn Blattel-Britton with Farrell’s dad standing in the door.


See the poster pasted underneath the 9th Street bridge next to the Des Moines Social Club. Visit to to create your itinerary for Art Week 2018.

Week of August 12

B I G  H A I R  B A L L 

The 2015 Big Hair Ball is Saturday night at the Des Moines Art Center.  A celebration of hair as a form of artistic expression, the evening includes live music and a runway show.  Tickets are still available.

E V E N T S :

WED, AUG 12, 7 PM - Drink and Draw - Clothed Models, Capes Kafe

THUR, AUG 13, 7 PM - Second Thursday Open Mic, Ritual Cafe

THUR, AUG 13, 8 PM - Open Circus, Des Moines Social Club

FRI, AUG 14, 9 AM - Iowa Arts Advocacy Caucus, State Historical Building  *Advance Registration Required

FRI, AUG 14, 7 PM - Not So Perfect Landscapes, Crane Artists Lofts

SAT, AUG 15, 6:30 PM - Meditation Coloring, Palek Studios

SAT, AUG 15, 8 PM - Big Hair Ball, Des Moines Art Center

SUN, AUG 16, 2 PM - Advanced Figure Drawing Class, Des Moines Social Club

TUES, AUG 18, 7 PM - Des Moines Poetry Slam, Java Joe’s

D E A D L I N E S :

NewBo Art Fest - Call for Artist DEADLINE August 15

Poste Print Festival - Call for Entries due September 1