Post(s) tagged with "announcement"

Introducing Jennifer Mitchard

Announcement by Rachel

February 4, 2013

Jennifer Mitchard is an artist, photographer, graphic designer, and writer, living and working in downtown Des Moines. She is the co-owner of JeTim Art Photography ( and a designer at RAYGUN ( She studied Art and Writing in Central Iowa and Northern California. Find her work at

Mitchard started writing with Art Beacon this past October. She reviewed Amy Putney Koenig’s “Shapeshifter” at Thee EYE. Then she took us through the Art 316 Open House. In December, she  interviewed Sarah Napier about her bright, and hallucinogenic installation of drawings at Mars Cafe. Welcome Mitchard to Art Beacon! Thank you for your words, photos and time! Thank you for helping expose local art in Des Moines.

Are you interested in contributing to Art Beacon? Read the submission guidelines here.


Experimental zine suitcase needs zines!

Art Friends (After Dark)

8 PM THIS SATURDAY: January 26, 2013 


The zine suitcase is a portable distribution center.

Announcement from Rachel

January 22, 2013

This week welcomes the first organized community event from Art Beacon in collaboration with the Des Moines Social Club and Mars Cafe. On Saturday, January 26th, bring your drawing supplies to Mars Cafe and engage in hours of drawing with fellow art loving, good-looking people. We’ve promised a ZINE PRODUCTION WORKSHOP. This means we will make zines! You can draw, scan and print a small run of something created on the spot. Learn to make a zine from a single piece of paper. Help fill up the new zine suitcase distribution center with a whole lot of independently printed matter. This collective effort is an experiment. Help decide the future and fate of the zine collective by participating. Currently, the suitcase holds three sizes of zines:


Zines will be distributed by trade or donation. Proceeds will fund future zine experiments and material costs. This is the event poster:


Facebook Event

Any way, hope you can make it. See ya Saturday.


Flick” Your Pic: Premiere of a Des Moines Filmmaker’s Dream

Flick, Varsity Theater

Premieres July 14, 2012

Director L.K.Hickman hosts film premiere July 14 at Varsity Theatre

Announcement by Alissa

July 13th, 2012

Rumor has it that The Varsity Theater has not hosted a midnight movie since the early days of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, but that is about to change.  On July 14th, following an opening reception around the corner at Mars Café, the screen will once again light up at midnight for the premiere of local filmmaker Lauren Hickman’s latest film, “Flick”.

Produced by Axis Manifest and also through the valiant voluntary efforts of Des Moines natives and businesses, “Flick” is a grass roots “from the heart production”, shot entirely on location in Des Moines.

The narrative revolves around a cigarette lighter, which holds the ability to see inside the minds and hearts of those in possession of it.  Based on an idea passed to Hickman at age 17 by local artist and mentor, Roy Fisher, the film follows a tormented young artist and the characters he encounters and entangles with through a night of transformation and resurrection.  The story developed and materialized over years of travel, countless interactions, and the effort with friends Grant Monohon and Nicole Rae.  After years of writing and rewriting, Hickman created a final screenplay based on resources and settings in Des Moines, tailoring the script to the East Village and to the apartments and convenience stores in which she shot.

 The soundtrack, described by the director as “maddening and wonderful”, also heavily features Des Moines artists.  Local musicians such as Jordan Mayland and his projects Keepers of the Carpet and Thermal Detonators offered up their works. Wreckage of the Modern City covered Sixto Rodriguez’s 1960’s classic “Sugar Man”, and Cleo’s Apartment did a rendition of Portishead’s “Glory Box” for the film.

Hickman says, “I’m very happy with the final result.  Although a low budget piece, it’s beautiful. Truly sparkling with the hearts that made this whole thing manifest.

July 14, 2012, 10 PM

OPENING RECEPTION:  Mars Café, 2318 University Avenue, 10 PM

MIDNIGHT SCREENING:  Varsity Theatre, Running Time 44 minutes

*Film includes adult content such as language and implied substance abuse; viewer discretion advised.      


Introducing Chad Michael Cox

Announcement by Rachel

Chad Michael Cox is an award winning author whose work has appeared in numerous publications including: Modern Dickens Project, Sleet Magazine, Splash of Red, and Prick of the Spindle. He is also a photographer, storyteller, and curator proudly associated with, and supporting, local arts and culture organizations in Des Moines, Iowa. His work explores universal languages, focusing on stories we share as a global community, finding beauty within the chaos of our world. To learn more about his work please browse his website at or contact him via email at

Please welcome new contributor Chad Michael Cox! When I met with Chad to talk about the Green Show, he expressed interest in writing about his experiences with local art. In Chad’s reviews, we’ve visited Buffalo Bonker’s new show at Cuatro, toured the Annual Landscape Show at the Olson-Larsen Galleries and celebrated the long career of airbrush master, Shawn Palek. His writing is personal to his interaction with the work and curiously investigates what is being shown. Read Chad’s reviews here. 

Are you interested in contributing to Art Beacon? Please read submission guidelines here.


Register for Project Spaces, DEADLINE EXTENDED

Call for Entry recommended Rachel


*Artstop will extend the online registration and matching process for ProjectSpaces through June 15. Registered artists should continue to connect with potential venues through the online registration site. Organizers are also working to match artists with venues; however, artists who have not secured a venue after June 15 cannot be guaranteed a place in ProjectSpaces.

CONTACT: Artist inquires should be directed to

The deadline for you to sign up for Project Spaces in near. Register here. It takes about five minutes to setup your profile and registration is free. All you need is a bio, a statement about your work and a few decent photos. You do not need to know what you’ll install for the event at this time.

What is Project Spaces?

Developed in conjunction with ArtStop, Project Spaces invites any artist to install their work in a business, organization, or accessible space over a three week period in September. After you register with Project Spaces, approved venues will either invite you to install in their space or you can ask a venue directly to host your work. (Information for venues.)

Does someone win?

YES! Winners of Project Spaces will be determined by a People’s Choice Award in addition to juried prizes. 

Project Spaces is like ArtPrize.

The idea behind Project Spaces was inspired by an event called ArtPrize held annually in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event famously awards the largest cash prize in the world for an art competition. ArtPrize is an international city wide installation of art and social experiment. Winners of the large cash prize are selected by popular vote.

Consider this:

For Project Spaces 2012, hopefully we don’t repeat too many of the unfortunate installations featured on ArtPrize Worst. What if Project Spaces meant covering Des Moines with site specific installations? Site specific meaning, art responding to the space installed through scale and material. One of the most difficult spaces from last years Project Spaces trial event was Capital Square. Two artists displayed work in the impossibly huge atrium. The space dwarfed and over shadowed the artworks.

Multiple installations from last year lacked a visual function in the spaces they were installed. If artworks are installed with site specific considerations, the idea of installing art all over Des Moines would transform into a quality and thoughtful experience. The art should need the space.  

When planning your installation, consider these wise words concerning site specificity from Richard Serra:

The specificity of site-oriented works means that they are conceived for, dependent on and inseparable from their location. Scale, size and placement of sculptural elements result from an analysis of the particular environmental components of a given context. The preliminary analysis of a given site takes into consideration not only formal but social and political charactersistics of the site. Site-specfic works invariably manifest a value judgement about the larger social and polical context of which they are apart. Based on their interdependence of work and site, site-specfic works address the content and context of their site critically. Site-specific solutions demonsrate the possibility of seeing the simultaneity of newly developed relationships between sculpture and contest. A new behavioral and perceptual orientation to a site demands a new critical adjustment to one’s experience of the space. Site-spefic works primarily engender a dialogue with their surroundings. Site-specific works emphasize the comparion between two separate languages that can therefore use the language of one to criticize the language of the other. To quote Bertrand Russell on the problem: ‘Every language has a structure about which one can say nothing in that language. There must be another language, dealing with the structure of the first and processing a new structure about which one cannot say anything except in a third language - and so forth.’

-Richard Serra from The Yale Lecture, Art in Theory 1900 - 1990


Register for Project Spaces. 


Pleased to announce new contributor, Alissa Sheldon

Announcement by Rachel

Alissa Sheldon is an elementary educator with a background in broadcast production and advertising.  Her love of art began at a very young age, when she would visit her father’s office at American Republic Insurance and admire the company’s vast collection of contemporary art while being regaled with stories of the curator’s dealings with the likes of Andy Warhol and Alexander Calder.  After spending 16 years away from Des Moines in Minneapolis, Chicago, and San Francisco, she was thrilled to return to the city to discover a vibrant art scene in full swing.  A few of her favorite artists include Andy Goldsworthy, Paul Klee, Olafur Eliasson, Gerhard Richter, and Richard Avedon.

Over the past few weeks, Alissa has given spotlight to multiple art shows and events in Des Moines. She gave us a peek into the private opening at the new B Modern showroom and studio. She interviewed Steven Vail and curator Breianna Cochran about Exposition Henry Moore now on view at Steven Vail Fine Arts. Most recently she covered the new Frank Hansen show, Growing Up Hansen, at Moberg and wrote an insightful review on the Sandra Gustafson retrospective which will close this week at the Lift. Read reviews by Alissa here.

Personally, I am very excited to have Alissa join Art Beacon and thankful for her contributions thus far. As an official contributor, Alissa will be regularly reviewing art exhibitions and helping promote future art shows, events and deadlines. 

Are you interested in contributing to Art Beacon? All contributions to Art Beacon are voluntary. Please read submission guidelines here.


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Art Beacon hosts critical discussions on contemporary art in Des Moines, Iowa. We review new art exhibitions, interview artists, and share art from around the world. Art Beacon maintains the most comprehensive art event calendar in Iowa.