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From Business Publications Corporation Inc., 100 4th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309. Copyright BPC Inc. 2013.


All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use without permission of editorial or graphic content in any manner is strictly prohibited.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

newandnotableNEW & NOTABLE
Written by Laura Billingsly
New Gallery Exhibits
Sandra Perlow, "Not Even," mixed media and acrylic oil stick.
Summer is bursting with new exhibits at local art galleries: 
  • A new group show at Moberg Gallery called "4 Solos" kicks off with an opening reception July 12 5-8 p.m. Works from Lynn Basa, Stephanie Brunia, Sandra Perlow and Jordan Weber will be on display through Aug. 31. In the meantime, step into a world influenced by surrealism during Travis Rice's exhibit at Moberg, which runs through July 6. Rice describes his series of paintings, drawings and installations as "taking the notion of landscape and distorting it into my own invented reality."
  • John Preston, "At Wall's Edge," oil on canvas.
    Olson-Larsen Galleries in historic Valley Junction opened its popular Annual Landscape Show earlier this month. The show, which runs through July 20, includes paintings and photographs by David Gordinier, Rod Massey, David Ottenstein and John Preston.
  • Steven Vail Fine Arts presents "Vicious Circles," an exhibit of multiple artists exploring the circle form. Contemporary artists from around the world lend their creations to the exhibit, which can be viewed at the East Village gallery 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday or by appointment. The show runs through Nov. 1
Bravo Record

Bravo Greater Des Moines last week announced that it will grant a record-setting $3 million to 58 Central Iowa arts, cultural and heritage organizations, a 37 percent increase over last year. The biggest grants include $500,000 to Des Moines Performing Arts; $440,000 to Blank Park Zoo Foundation; $283,590 to the Science Center of Iowa; $252,250 to the Des Moines Art Center and $245,000 to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.


Volume one of Spoilage.
Back for Seconds

The second volume of Spoilage, a local quarterly literary magazine, is expected to be released in mid-July. Named for the publishing term referring to the remnants left after printing is complete, Spoilage publishes original and previously unpublished works of prose, poetry and cartooning by authors living in or originally from Greater Des Moines.

In the spring, 1,000 copies of volume one were distributed at locally owned businesses. The magazine, the brainchild of Nate Brown and Jay Kozel, is funded through a combination of individual donations and business underwriting contributions. A recent Kickstarter campaign raised more than $5,000. Spoilage accepts submissions on an ongoing basis. For volume three, first consideration will be given to submissions received on or before Aug. 15.

Rollins Mansion will host torchlight shows during the Shakesperience Festival of the Classic Arts.
Shakespeare and More

In honor of its fifth anniversary, Iowa Shakespeare Experience is expanding, adding more shows, venues and collaborations. The festival, now named the Shakesperience Festival of the Classic Arts, is teaming up with Ballet Des Moines and the Des Moines Civic Music Association's Belin Quartet to present a free production of "Starry Starry Night: Ballet, Belin and the Bard" July 13 at Simon Estes Amphitheater. Also at Simon Estes is the free mainstage production, "The Passion of Othello," July 19-21. For both shows, picnickers can arrive at 6 p.m. to enjoy dinner on the lawn; the show starts at 8 p.m.

Two other events at different venues require admission fees. On July 14, Jordan House will host a family-friendly ice cream social and present "Shakespeare Shorts: Othello" as a late-afternoon matinee. The rose garden at Rollins Mansion is the setting for torchlight picnic shows of "ShakeScenes and Sonnets" July 11 and 12, with gates opening at 6 p.m. and curtain at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10-$15 per person for each show. For more information about the festival, click here. For ticketed events and VIP seating, visit


New Teen Theater Group
Members of Adolescent Anarchy look over scripts.

Who says teens shouldn't be in charge? Local high school students head up the new theater group Adolescent Anarchy at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. Every aspect of the group's productions will be overseen by the members, with mentoring from Playhouse staff. The success of a recent Kickstarter campaign--the group raised more than $4,000--will fund the first show, "Lord of the Flies," which will be performed Aug. 23-24 and 30-31. The group also says it hopes to raise additional funds so the program can continue in the future.


Jeff Chelesvig
Winning Streak

The folks at Des Moines Performing Arts (DMPA) are pretty happy that "Kinky Boots" won six Tony Awards, including best musical, earlier this month. Why? The organization invested in the show, as well as in a revival of "Pippin," which picked up four Tonys. DMPA invests in Broadway productions as a member of the Independent Presenters Network, a nationwide group of independent theaters. In the past, DMPA has invested in "La Cage Aux Folles," "Legally Blonde," "9 to 5" and " Monty Python's Spamalot," among others. Jeff Chelesvig, DMPA's president and CEO, is the only Tony voter in Iowa and attended the awards ceremony in New York on the organization's behalf.


Hip to be Square


Written by Chad Michael Cox  

Roy Cacek, "To Claude," acrylic on canvas.


Des Moines artist Roy Cacek views squares as "the most efficient of shapes. I think there would just be a lot of excess background with other shapes."

Cacek, who will show and sell his works at this year's Des Moines Arts Festival June 28-30, traces his attraction to squares to several memorable trips he took after receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree from Drake University. On those journeys, he witnessed how artists were using tile mosaics and was fascinated by their work. He brought the concept home to Iowa, but instead of tile, Cacek used paint and a grid system. "Coming out of graduate school, I was doing more figurative stuff with an overlay of two-dimensional symbols and letters, things like that," he says. "Then, I started doing some stuff based on the grid, which evolved into what I'm doing now."

Cacek is one of 10 juried artists from Central Iowa selected to participate in the Arts Festival. "I haven't done a lot of shows the past few years, but now that I'm diving back into it again, I'm getting more involved in select local and regional shows," he says.

Cacek's works range in size from 24 by 24 inches up to 40 by 60 inches, but Cacek believes larger canvases are more effective because they maximize what he calls the "balance between abstract and representation." Much like a photo lens, the viewer is encouraged to zoom in and zoom out on Cacek's work. At close range, "To Claude" (pictured) is a series of brush strokes and unrelated colors, but when the viewer steps back, those same colors blend together and emerge as water lilies.

"A lot of my stuff is based on photographs I've taken-people, places and things like that," he says. "I've got all of my images on a hard drive. When I'm looking for new ideas, I'll go through those images again and try to find things visually that strike me in terms of colors, or composition, or things that are personal to me."

Once he selects an image--headlights cresting an urban street, a golden landscape or a downtown high-rise, for instance--Cacek begins painting in the unfinished basement of his Beaverdale home. "Right now it's a big mess; there's a lot of stacked-up canvases." Those canvases will be on display in booth GN55C at the Arts Festival.

To view examples of Cacek's works, visit

Prairie Meadows officials present DMPA with a grant.

Cowles Commons

Des Moines Performing Arts (DMPA) has received a $350,000 grant from Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino to support the capital campaign for the renovation of Nollen Plaza, which has been renamed Cowles Commons. In recognition of the grant, DMPA will name the Des Moines Civic Center's East Lobby for Prairie Meadows.

wheretobeWHERE TO BE
Alpha State Agents will perform at the finale of Jazz in July.

Jazz in July

Sample different forms of jazz, from Dixieland to salsa, at this year's Jazz in July, a series of 15 free concerts in parks and other venues across the metro area. The Metro Arts Alliance program starts July 3 with the Turner Center Jazz Orchestra performing before the Des Moines Symphony's Yankee Doodle Pops concert and ends with an expanded finale July 27 at West Glen Town Center. The finale starts at 5 p.m. with a junior jazz band, then Dave Rezek's Alpha State Agents take the stage at 7 p.m. The Freddy Gazzo Band plays at 9 p.m. before the after party at Blue Moon. The event also includes an art fair and food vendors.

In conjunction with the finale, Metro Arts will hold its quarterly Dining for the Arts event: "Jazz, Juleps and Jambalaya." For $20, you can sample jambalaya from local restaurants and vote in a cook-off. You'll also go home with a gift bag of coupons for West Glen retailers. Metro Arts encourages you to sport your best floppy hats and bow ties. Purchase tickets here.


Artists in the Workforce

Nearly 2.1 million artists work in 11 
occupations--including acting, dance, visual art, music and photography--in the United States, according to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). An online tool breaks out artists by occupation, demographics and location using numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau's Equal Employment Opportunity Tables. For instance, in Iowa the largest number of artists work as designers, while the smallest number are employed as actors. Out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Iowa ranks No. 20 in the number of photographers working in the state. 

Overall, artists compose 1.35 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Yet artists "have an outsized role as entrepreneurs and innovators who contribute to the vitality of the communities where they live and work," according to Joan Shigekawa, acting NEA chairman. Explore the data by state and find links to more information here.

dontforgetDON'T FORGET!

If you're involved with an arts organization or are a visual, performing or literary artist, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at The deadline for the next issue is July 10. Also, get the word out about your upcoming event by listing it on our online community calendar. Go to and follow the instructions. You also can go to our website to find out how to submit party pictures from your organization for dsm's rsvp section.

About the Writers
Laura Billingsley is a West Des Moines freelance writer and editor. She writes about travel, food, business and technology, and her favorite stories have an Iowa connection. Chad Michael Cox is an author and freelance writer proudly associated with local arts and cultural organizations. He currently serves as chairman of the board of the Des Moines Social Club. To learn more, go to

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