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Des Moines Arts Festival® announces the return of the Billboard Project


(Des Moines, IA) – The Des Moines Arts Festival® presented by Nationwide has announced the return of a popular interactive mural known as the Billboard Project. The project has not occurred at the award-winning Festival since 2014 and is made possible in 2023 thanks to support from Athene. The Des Moines Arts Festival will be June 23 – 25 in Western Gateway Park, Downtown Des Moines.
The Billboard Project is a giant interactive art experience where Festival guests contribute to the creation of a large mural over the three days of the Festival. The process begins with poster-sized versions of the art piece evenly divided on a graph and enlarged onto panels using the grid method of transferring one small image into a larger image. At the Festival, guests entering the art activity area will receive one small square image of the original painting, a blank 7” by 7” prepared Masonite panel, and the opportunity to transfer their interpretation of the small square onto the larger panel. When finished, the Masonite panels are affixed into a billboard-sized frame while the community watches the completed project come together piece by piece.
Following the completion of the mural at the Festival, the panels will be transported to Athene’s headquarters in West Des Moines to be put on permanent display.
The selected piece is The Circus by Georges Seurat (1891). The painting was Seurat’s last, he died later that year. The original is located at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France. Past iterations of the Billboard Project include The Hour of Tea (before 1916) by Frederick Carl Frieseke, Irises (1889) and The Starry Night (1889) by Vincent van Gogh, and A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (1884) by Georges Seurat.  

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