2013 Summer Arts & Entertainment Guide- Art5/22/2013
Art is big business, yet no one ever talks about the “art industry.” That’s probably because artists like to believe their calling is anti-industrial, that they are the caretakers of beauty and nature in the post-modern world. Besides, industrialists often write artists off as mere children who never grow up. Picasso even agreed with them. Both sides make their points in summer. Like school kids, the art world closes shop and heads to the beaches or the mountains during the hot season — except in Des Moines.
Summer here is prime time for the fine arts. Maestro Robert Larsen built a renowned opera company into an international darling by programming during Iowa summer. That way he attracted talent that would otherwise be engaged with more worldly companies. Des Moines is also home to a summer arts festival that has grown faster than corn in July. Together, Des Moines Metro Opera and the Des Moines Art Festival are arguably the biggest events of the year in Iowa arts.
They have also inspired the rest of central Iowa’s cultural community to schedule big summer events — Iowa Sculpture Festival presents its ninth annual fair while Art Fest Midwest provides a more local version of Des Moines Art Festival. Des Moines Art Center’s (DMAC) big summer event this year is “Phyllidia Barlow: Scree.” Three large sculptures and a number of other works show how this Jordi artist turned minimalism upside down. Barlow will also be curator for an exhibition of DMAC treasures.
Elsewhere, summer dances in lighter air. Landscape still reigns at Olson-Larsen. American Pop at the Figge, skateboard art at Heritage Gallery and Native American bicycle art at the Iowa Memorial Union. At Moberg Gaallery, Travis Rice distorts and reconstructs landscapes that can become virtual playgrounds. At Steven Vail Gallery, 13 internationally renowned artists reveal personal takes on the circle. Fluxx Gallery takes its show on the road, moving into a mobile gallery with various docking points.
(*APT* indicates a special Art Pimp tout)
May 25 — “Death by Aria.” Des Moines Metro Opera’s Apprentice Artist Program kicks the season off in the lobby of the Blank Performing Arts Center with this free evening of introductions and arias, 6:30 p.m.
May 30 — “Singing On Tap.” The Des Moines Chapter will host an evening of singing, frivolity and libation at the Blue Moon Dueling Piano Bar in West Glen.
June 1 — Apprentice Program. Des Moines Art Center hosts scenes from all corners of the repertoire.
June 7, 15, 26, 29 and July 3, 6, 13 — Apprentice Programs in Lekberg Hall, 1:30 p.m.
June 8 — “Threads and Trills Costume Show and Luncheon.” A sneak peek at the costumes from the upcoming season’s operas while enjoying arias and duets sung by principal artists from each show. Lunch is included with the purchase of a $40 ticket, 12 p.m., Embassy Club West.
June 13 — “Peanut Butter and Puccini Family Opera Adventure.” A family opera adventure includes a tour of the theater, from backstage to the costume shop, from the props department to the catwalk, a special performance of a kid-friendly opera and a peanut butter sack lunch, 11 a.m., $10.
July 14 — “Stars of Tomorrow Concert.” Des Moines Metro Opera’s Apprentice Artists perform arias and ensembles, Sheslow Auditorium, 7 p.m., $10 -$25. *APT*
“Roméo et Juliette” by Charles-Francois Gounod (June 21, 28 and July 6, 11 at 7:30 p.m. and June 23 and July 14 at 2 p.m.)
Never was there such a tale of woe as this of Juliette and her Romeo, with libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. Rising star and recent Sullivan Career Grant winner Jason Slayden woos star-crossed Sara Gartland, a San Francisco Opera regular.
“Peter Grimes, Opus 33” by Benjamin Britten (June 22, July 2, 5, 13 at 7:30 and June 30 at 2 p.m.) Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Britten’s birth and his significance in the life of Des Moines Metro Opera, this tale of bad reputations returns. Roger Honeywell sings the lead.
“Elektra” by Richard Strauss (June 29, July 9, 12 at 7:30 and July 7 at 2 p.m.)
Sophocles’ tale of adultery, revenge and madness. DMMO crowd favorite Brenda Harris extends a long run of title roles around the continent.
June 15-16 — Iowa Sculpture Festival. The 9th annual event brings big bronze and steel art to Maytag Park in Newton for a hands-on experiences meeting artists, picnicking, swimming and watching comedians, magicians, balloon animal makers, etc., $1 and $2. http://iowasculpturefestival.org
June 21 – July 14 — Des Moines Metro Opera 40th anniversary summer festival. Simpson College, Indianola. Single tickets $42-$78. www.desmoinesmetroopera.org. *APT*
June 28 – 30 — Des Moines Arts Festival. A festival grand enough to inspire copycats, critics and loyalists, plus national rankings. Last year the three-day event brought 185 national artists of all media, and 24 emerging local artists, to the Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines. Plus, there’s enough food and music to turn shopping into a mega-event and source of civic pride. Free. www.desmoinesartsfestival.org.
June 27 – 28 — ArtFest Midwest. Piggybacking on the big shoulders of DMAF, the eighth annual “Other Art Show,” boasts lots of demonstrations (glassblowing, pastel portraits, lamp work jewelry, pottery, etc.) plus free parking and regional chauvinism. More than 210 artists will be showing, with approximately 40 percent from Iowa and 90 percent from the Midwest. The fest is now calling itself the “largest fine art show in Iowa.” Free. Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. http://stookeyshows.com.
Art Dive, 1417 Walnut St., www.artdive.com
Des Moines original alternative gallery plans to surprise you.
Rotating shows by gallery artists and guest artists at mobile sites around the metro.
2AU, 200 Fifth St., West Des Moines
Beach boys of Ipanema and mermaids of Tahiti mix it up with Tanzanian gems this summer.
Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry St., www.desmoinesocialclub.org
Circus, wrestling, tai chi, akido, theater, belly dancing and other acts of sociability make the club an alternative to alternative in town. As headquarters transition to the old firehouse, the club’s website is the only reliable guide.
Finder’s Creepers, 515 18th St. www.finderscreepers.com
When “Coffin Rust” and “Dark Vomit” comprise two of a gallery website’s most updated pages, what can be said to add or detract?
Kavanaugh Gallery, 131 5th St.West Des Moines, 279-8682, http://www.kavanaughgallery.com
Specializing in purchase estate collections, there’s no telling what you might find here.
Susan Noland Studio Gallery, 902 42nd St.
The psychological properties of gems are front and center in this master goldsmith’s repertoire.
BNI Architecture, 317 Sixth Ave, Des Moines, 50309
May 30 – Aug. 30, reception May 30 6-8 p.m. — “The Three Graces.” Annick Ibsen shows monumental clay pieces with a Cubist interpretation of Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia that would surely startle Rafael or Botticelli.
Olson-Larsen Galleries, 203 Fifth, West Des Moines, www.olsonlarsen.com
June 14 – July 20 — Landscape Show. New works by the gallery’s big picture stars David Ottenstein, Dave Gordinier, Rod Massey and John Preston.
July 26 – Aug. 30 — New Works. Paula Schuette Kraemer, Joel Elgin, Johanna Mueller, Richard Black and Amy Worthen. *APT*
Moberg Art Gallery, 2921 Ingersoll Ave., www.moberggallery.com
May 24 – July 6 — “Accumulation.” Travis Rice’s personal distortions and reconstructions of landscape dazzle children of all ages. *APT*
July 12 – Aug. 31 — Four Solos. New stuff by Lynn Basa, Stephanie Brunia, Sandra Perlow and Jordan Weber promises to entertain and provoke. *APT*
Steven Vail Fine Arts, 500 E. Locust St., www.stevenvailfinearts.com
Through Nov. 1 — “Vicious Circles.” Eclectic visions of the circle from Tara Donovan, James Siena, John Armleder, Antony Gormley, John F. Simon, Deborah Kass, Carlos Cruz-Diez, John Tremblay, Ross Bleckner, Terry Winters, Sam Gilliam, Judy Pfaff and Dzine. *APT*
Octagon Center for the Arts, 427 Douglas Ave., Ames, www.octagonarts.org
Through July 13 — Iowa Watercolor Society Exhibit. Each year 30 paintings are selected from the juried exhibition and these paintings travel to Iowa galleries for one year.
June 7 – Aug. 4 — “DOT: A Journey in Transportation Exhibit.”
Heritage Art Gallery, 111 Court Ave., www.polkcountyheritagegallery.org
Through June 2 — “III” A Medley of Sculpture, Light and Canvas. Featuring new works by Cat Rocketship, Jon Pearson and Dan Welk.
June 3 – 13, reception June 7, 6-9 p.m. — Shove It – Skateboard Show. Art on wheels should be full of twists and precarious landings. *APT*
June 24 – Sept. 5 — Iowa Exhibited. The 28th annual exhibition of work by artists across the state, professional and amateur.
Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave., www.desmoinesartcenter.org
Ongoing — Summer classes. Day camps and family workshops. Call 271-0306.
Through Sept. 8 — “L’Estampe Originale: Painters, Printers, Paris” Chronicling the avant garde printmaking revolution that took place in Paris between 1890 and early 1900’s.
June 21 – Sept. 22 — “Phyllidia Barlow: Scree.” Focused on an investigation into materiality, form and process in the wake of the Minimalist and Post-Minimalist art movements, this great Jordi artist brings large sculptures and works on paper. She also acts as curator for an exhibition of pieces from the DMAC’s permanent collection. *APT*
Aug. 2 – Oct. 13 — Iowa Artists 2013: “Midwest Pressed – Tim Dooley and Aaron Wilson.” Working mainly with screen prints, Dooley and Wilson focus on themed bodies of work that highlight both the unique and serial nature of printmaking.
Ankeny Art Center, 1520 S.W. Ordnance Road, www.ankenyartcenter.com
June 4 – July 26 — “Generations.” Works of John and Jason Brommel.
June 4 – July 26 — “Monster Manual.” Works of D. Ryan Allen
Brunnier Museum of Art, University Museums, 290 Scheman Bldg., Ames, www.museums.iastate.edu
Through July 3 — “Salon to Modern Gallery: Paintings from the Permanent Collection”
“French Art Nouveau: From the Permanent Collection”
“The Age of Brilliance: Cut Glass from the Permanent Collection” *APT*
“Novelty was the Norm: Novelties from the Iowa Quester Glass Collection”
“Woven Together: Art and Design in Native American Textiles, Ceramics and Baskets”
“Real and Imagined Aspects of the State Capitol: Prints by Amy Worthen.”
The Vesterheim, 523 W. Water St., Decorah, www.vesterheim.org
Through Nov. 10 — “The Sami Reindeer People of Alaska.” Honoring the Sami families who came from Norway in the 1890s to teach reindeer husbandry to native peoples in Alaska.
June 11 – July 27 — “National Exhibition of Folk-Art in the Norwegian Tradition.” Exhibition of knife making, rosemaling, weaving and woodworking by the very best contemporary American artists working in the Norwegian tradition will be on view again next year during Nordic Fest, the last full weekend in July.
Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, www.grinnell.edu/faulconergallery
Through June 30 — “Animals Among Us.” These takes on how we define, structure and connect with the animal realm inform our understanding of ourselves as humans. *APT*
Through Sept. 13 — “From a Distance.” Photographer Lorna Bieber builds monumental installations from the vast array of images that activate contemporary culture.
July 19 – Sept. 8 — “Margaret Whiting: Environmental Concerns.” Purposing science books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, law books and maps as materials for artwork about current environmental issues.
July 19 – Sept. 8 — “Wild Horses.” Scott Robert Hudson’s project was inspired by a back-country encounter with wild horses in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. *APT*
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, 410 Third Ave. S.E., Cedar Rapids, www.crma.org
Through Sept. 15 — “Bertha Jacques – Eye on the World.” Cedar Rapidian printmaker’s extensive world travels in early 20th century are featured.
June 15 – Sept. 29 — “From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick.” Art of children’s literature is celebrated.
MacNider Art Museum, 303 Second St. S.E., Mason City, http://www.macniderart.org
Through June 15 — “A Photographic Retrospective by Mark Levinson.”
Through July 13 — “Cerro Gordon Photo Show.”
July 12 – Aug. 31 — “Art and the Animal.”
University of Iowa Museum of Art, 1375 Highway One W., Iowa City, http://uima.uiowa.edu
Through July 28 — “Anishnaabensag Biimskowebshkigewag.” In the Memorial Union, native kids ride bikes with stunning customization. *APT*
Figge Art Museum, 225 W. Second St., Davenport, www.figgeartmuseum.org/
Through Sept. 6 — “American POP! Selections from the Colorado University Art Museum Collection.” American consumer culture from the 1960s stars. *APT*
Through June 16 — “Marking Territory: Cartographic Treasures of the Mississippi River and the World Beyond.” CV
Jim Duncan is a freelance writer who has penned nine different columns for Cityview and its sister publications beginning in 1987.