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Art Adventures: Discovering Art in Local Parks


DES MOINES, Iowa (May 28, 2020) –In celebration of Art Week (June 19-26), Polk County Conservation, the Great Outdoors Foundation, Mainframe Studios and the organizers of Art Week are teaming up to offer a self-guided art treasure hunt to help you explore various parks and trails in our community. Find the art feature in each area using provided clues and document your success via social media.

Launching on May 28, the Art Adventures map, found on the Great Outdoors Foundation website, can be printed or used digitally. With 10 different locations in 10 different parks, this is bound to keep users active throughout the month of June.  In addition, Mainframe Artist Ryan Topete is painting ten commissioned wood art panels. These roughly ten-inch square panels will be hidden in natural landscapes throughout the county. Clues for panel locations will be released every few days from June 1 – 19, and then it’s a race to see who finds the art first. Finders keepers!

 “During COVID-19, we have rediscovered how increasingly important connecting to nature is for our well-being,” says Hannah Inman, Chief Executive Officer of the Great Outdoors Foundation. “We are excited to be able to add adventure in a safe and fun way for the community. This will be a great way to get outside and explore new parks, while discovering the amazing art each of our communities has.”

Throughout the month of June, with 10 panels hidden and 10 pre-existing art pieces to find, partnerships have been key to success. With art elements hidden in Altoona, Polk City, West Des Moines, Clive, Johnston, Urbandale, Windsor Heights, Grimes, Pleasant Hill and Ankeny, Art Adventures urges users to explore a new community and/or park they haven’t seen yet, while practicing safe social distancing guidelines, as instructed by the CDC.

 “Our staff are continuing to work hard and offer safe and enriching ways to explore the outdoors. Polk County’s 15,000 acres of natural lands and parks, and our over 100 miles of paved and natural trails, are a great way to get out and rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul.” Says Richard Leopold, Polk County Conservation Director.

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“Art and nature have historically offered positive ways to reconnect and heal during times of need,” says Siobhan Spain, Director of Mainframe Studios. “Mainframe is delighted to take part in this community endeavor that gets people exploring creative ways of interacting in this new world we have.”

The details of the scavenger hunt can be found on Polk County Conservation’s Facebook Events page and the Great Outdoors Foundation’s website. The Art Adventures map will be live on May 28th. Clues to find the hidden panels, by Ryan Topete, will begin at 10 a.m. on June 1, on the Events page and website listed above.  

To engage in appropriate behavior, do not use parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms, follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to visiting parks or trails, be prepared for limited access to public restrooms or water fountains, share the trails and warn other trail users of your presence as you pass and of course, observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6’ from other persons at all times.


About Great Outdoors Foundation

The Great Outdoors Foundation is a non-profit that provides funding for outdoors recreation and conservation projects in Central Iowa. The Great Outdoors Foundation is Central Iowa’s pathway to sustainable, healthy environments.  We are a regional conservation leader and catalyst for high impact, environmental projects. We convene partners with a shared vision, drive collaboration and raise awareness and funds. Driven by our clear purpose, we challenge ourselves to seek and take on partner projects offering exceptional and long-term impact requiring a regional approach and creative funding.


About Polk County Conservation

Polk County Conservation Board was created by the voters of Polk County in 1956 to acquire, develop, and maintain areas devoted to conservation and public recreation. Polk County Conservation’s mission is to provide the citizens of Polk County with quality outdoor recreation, conservation education, and long-term protection of Polk County’s natural heritage.


About Mainframe

Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Mainframe Studios is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing permanent, affordable workspaces for artists of all disciplines. We are transforming Central Iowa’s art scene by creating a financially self-sustaining economic and cultural driver, serving as a national model that stands the test of time.


About Art Week

The Art Week Team is a group of art enthusiasts in the Des Moines area who are dedicated to seeing broader participation and support of the local art scene. Art Week 2020 is the Sixth annual event and is promoted by Art Beacon Des Moines and Visionary Services, Inc. By joining collectively to promote events, encourage venues to host events and encouraging artists to participate in Art Week, we create a full calendar of events to celebrate the local art scene.

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