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Des Moines Arts Festival® announces 2022 Jury


Jury selected artists for the 2022 Des Moines Arts Festival

(Des Moines, IA) – Today a panel of five jurors completed their process of reviewing and selecting artists for the 25th Anniversary Des Moines Arts Festival® presented by Nationwide to be held June 24 – 26, 2022. The artists were selected through a rigorous process led by two peer jurors Nicario Jimenez and Sue Mersman and jurors Ann Priftis, Lee Running and Kaleb Stevens. Juror bios are below.

Over the course of three days, the Jury reviewed applications, in a variety of mediums, from a pool of nearly 800 artists from across the country and will invite 185 of those applicants to the June Festival. The Jury used a 1-7 scoring system for the first round, followed by rounds of voting, eventually narrowing down and composing the final show. The results of the Jury will be announced on March 3rd at REVEAL and then will be made public afterward.

In addition to the professional visual artists, the Jury compiled a list of Iowa artists to exhibit as part of the Emerging Iowa Artist program. Since 2003, the Emerging Iowa Artist program offers a unique opportunity for visual artists who are Iowa residents and currently enrolled in an institution of higher education to showcase their talents at one of the nation’s most decorated arts festivals.

What: Des Moines Arts Festival Jury
When: Tuesday, Feb. 8 – Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022
Where: Speed Lyceum Room, Grand View University Student Center

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About the Jury

Nicario Jimenez Nicario’s compositions depict religious, historical and everyday events. His hands move quickly and with confidence to fashion people, animals, and mythical figurines as he creates poignant scenes from a doughy mixture of boiled potato and gypsum powder. For his sculpting process, Nicario’s only tool is a small piece of wood resembling an enlarged toothpick.

Born in a peasant community in the high Peruvian Andes, Nicario Jimenez studied sculpture at the Centro de Capacitacion Artesanal de Huamanga and attended the Universidad Nacional San Cristobal de Huamanga in Ayacucho, Peru. His one-person exhibitions include the San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Museum of Man in San Diego, California, the North Dakota
Museum of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design.

His work was selected by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. for its “Seeds of Change” Exhibit and was subsequently purchased by the Smithsonian for its permanent collection.

Sue Mersman Sue is a self-taught marquetry artist from Wetmore, KS.

Ann Priftis Ann Priftis serves as Art Advisor and Contemporary Art Acquisitions Manager for the Krause Collection, a private, blue chip contemporary art collection headquartered in downtown Des Moines. Former posts include Principal and Senior Business Development Manager of Amazon Art and later Merch by Amazon in Seattle; Director of Over the Influence Gallery in Los Angeles; Director of GINA Gallery in NYC and Tel Aviv; Head of Art for the Faberge Big Egg Hunt in NYC; and Head of Contemporary Art Dept. Weschler’s Auction House, DC. In 2005, Ann established Clark Priftis Art (CP/Art), a comprehensive art advisory firm specializing in USPAP-compliant appraisals, corporate collection management, blue chip art acquisition and artist estate/business advisory. She brings 25 years of fine art knowledge to her current role, holding a BA in Art History from the University of Maryland and a Certificate in Fine and Decorative Arts Appraisal from George Washington University. Ann is a Personal Property-Fine Arts appraiser through the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) whose former advising and appraisal clients include American University, PB Capital, White and Case LLP, Morgan Stanley, etc. Ann serves on the Board of Trustees for Westover School in CT and on the Advisory Board of Art for Redemption in CO; She lives in Clive, IA with her partner Jon, son Harlan, daughter Nia and dog Bruce.

Lee Running Recognized for her arresting sculptures, Lee Emma Running’s work wrestles with our relationship to the natural world. Her objects made of roadkill animal bones, kiln cast glass, and precious metals were the center of a solo exhibition, Verge at PACE in Council Bluffs IA in 2021/22. Her window installations using native plants are permanent fixtures at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
in Bernheim Kentucky and the Edgar Fine Arts Center at Upper Iowa University. She was a 2017 Iowa Arts Council Fellow, and her work has been featured in recent exhibitions at the Morris Graves Museum, Eureka CA, Western Carolina Museum of Fine Art, Cullowhee NC, and The Front, New Orleans, LA. She has been an artist in residence at Ucross, Santa Fe Art Institute, Jentel, and the Penland School of Crafts.
All of her sculptures, installations, and drawings are deeply connected to place. Kaleb Stevens Kaleb is a community-focused design student and arts professional using creativity to activate space and amplify diverse voices in support of equitable social frameworks. He co-creates
spaces for self-expression and works with artists to find creative means of making communities more resilient. As a cultural producer, he seeks to amplify the voices of Black people and others belonging to underrepresented cultures through targeted design activations, installations, and initiatives.

About the Des Moines Arts Festival. The Des Moines Arts Festival® is committed to strengthening a vibrant and creative community. Dedicated to the principles of collaboration and creative expression, Des Moines Arts Festival inspires engagement with the arts, fosters and celebrates inclusion, values professionalism and quality, and champions new and emerging ideas.

The Des Moines Arts Festival produces an annual outdoor festival celebrating arts and culture, provides programming and support to artists and arts organizations, advocates for a “arts first” leadership model, and inspires individuals to find their creative voice.

The mission of the Des Moines Arts Festival is to Impact Lives through the Arts.

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