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Des Moines Art Center welcomes new assistant curator


DES MOINES, IA (June 2017) – The Des Moines Art Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Jared Ledesma as its new assistant curator. Ledesma’s first exhibition at the Art Center, “I, too, am America,” opens this fall, and will feature political and activist art from the 1930s to 2000.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Ledesma worked in the painting and sculpture curatorial department at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) for more than six years; at the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, California; and at the former Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco. While at SFMOMA, Ledesma worked extensively with the museum’s permanent collection and on special exhibitions, including the award winning “The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso,” and the “Parisian Avant-Garde” (2011), “Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California” (2014-15), “Portraits and Other Likenesses from SFMOMA” (2015), “Matisse/Diebenkorn” (2016-17) and, most recently, “Paul Klee and Rex Ray” (2017). Ledesma’s art historical training is in 20th-century Modern art, and in Queer art history. His graduate work focused on the contemporary artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, on whom Ledesma has lectured extensively. Ledesma holds both a BA and MA in art history from San Francisco State University.

Ledesma says of his move to Des Moines: “I’ve known about the Des Moines Art Center for quite some time due to its excellent reputation, and I’m excited to be here. I am in the process of exploring the permanent collection, which keeps surprising me with many amazing works of art. On a less formal note, after living in Des Moines for a little more than three months, I can say that it’s a fantastic cosmopolitan city that has plenty to offer. And the people I’ve met so far have been very warm and welcoming, which has made living far from home much easier. I look forward to working with the Art Center’s extraordinary staff, and to meeting members of my new community.”

According to Director Jeff Fleming, “We are thrilled that Jared Ledesma has joined the Art Center’s curatorial team. He will add depth and new approaches to our investigations into the art of our time.” Ledesma was hired as assistant curator after Curator of Prints and Drawings Amy N. Worthen retired from the Art Center after 43 years of service.

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