February 18, 2014
Byron Burford, "Girl with Pepsi Signs" (1967), screenprint.

New and Classic

By Kellye Crocker


In an interesting juxtaposition, two galleries are hosting artists at vastly different phases of their careers. Olson-Larsen Galleries exhibits three late Iowa masters whose work appears in major museums, while the Anderson Gallery at Drake University shows student work so new that the paint might not be dry.

If you can visit only one this week, "make" it "The Great Make" at the Anderson because the show closes at 5 p.m. Friday with an artists' conversation. Since Feb. 7, Drake painting and drawing students have collaborated on an evolving, reactive, spontaneous work across three locations in Drake's Harmon Fine Arts Center, 2505 Carpenter Ave. "What you see today may not be here tomorrow," explains an announcement for the show. "It may be altered, consumed, dismantled or enlarged . . ."

Meanwhile, Olson-Larsen Galleries in West Des Moines' Valley Junction spotlights an array of works (including several never publicly exhibited) by three Iowa icons. "Prints, Drawings and Paintings" features the works of  Byron Burford, a figurative artist who studied with Grant Wood; Jules Kirschenbaum, a longtime Drake professor who often worked with large-scale still lifes; and Cornelis Ruhtenberg, known for her portraits, figures and still lifes. The exhibit runs through April 5.


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Sound Celebration  

Forget "Dead Moines." The city's FPP (fun per person) quotient has exploded in recent years, thanks in part to nonprofits like the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC). Show your support at the fifth annual Backstage Ball fundraiser Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at The Kirkwood. Jay Byers, Greater Des Moines Partnership CEO and lead singer for Dead Yellow Canaries, serves as emcee, and Party Gras Classic Jazz Band adds a Cajun kick. Plus, there's a silent auction, hors d'oeuvres, drinks and the presentation of five community music awards. The winners:
  • Arthur Slusark (Hurd Award for Community Support), a Meredith Corp. executive and avid music lover, for endorsing the 80/35 music festival from the beginning.
  • Angela Rouch (Volunteer of the Year), for years of behind-the-scenes work, including "breathing new life into Gross Domestic Product and Little Big Fest."
  • Andrew Smith (Fan of the Year), nominated by several bands and fellow fans.
  • Iowa Concert Photographers, a volunteer group, for changing the perception of the local music scene and preserving its history.
  • Bonita and Keith Crowe, owners of The GrapeVine in Clive, which books more than 70 acts a year.
Tickets are $75 and available here.
Home Treasures
We asked three design pros, "What's your favorite home accessory in your store right now?"
  • Copper platter by Minnesota artist Patrick Shannon ($360 at Artis Home Gallerie). "It is a 20-inch round piece that can be used as a charger, with a stand or hung on the wall with a bracket," owner Pat Artis says. "There are many colors in it, ranging from deep aqua to fuchsia to gold. It goes with any décor and is a one-of-a-kind art piece."

  • Jute table lamp by Regina Andrew ($447 at Trieste). "Lighting is such an important part of any room," says Ashley Keppler, store manager and interior designer. "Jute gives a natural feel to a room and, combined with the unique shape, it really is a beautiful piece. We love pieces that can be functional and pleasing to the eye!"

  • Teak root sculptures by Interlude ($89 each, at accents + interiors design studio). "I love things that are textural and unique, and anything natural is so hot right now," says Courtney Morris, interior designer. "These pieces have a sculptural quality that makes them pieces of art. They're perfect for adding a bit of raw beauty and warmth to a space."
Record Year
The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines received a record-breaking $55 million in charitable donations last year, up from $51 million in 2012. It closed 2013 with more than $321 million in net assets, which Community Foundation President Kristi Knous said helps ensure that current and future community needs will be met.

Continuing its mission to connect donors with causes they care about and provide leadership on important community issues, the foundation created 202 charitable funds in 2013, bringing the total to 1,270. It gave more than $21 million in grants, including eight Leadership Grants totaling $435,000 to local nonprofits through the Better Together Fund.

Foundation leaders credit the increase in donations to several factors, including generous donors committed to improving the quality of life in Central Iowa, strong relationships with professional financial advisers, the Endow Iowa tax credit and a broad scope of giving opportunities. The foundation's year-end report also noted that 2013 portfolio returns reached as high as 13.5 percent.
Keep the Romance Alive
Sbrocco will host a chocolate-inspired dinner Feb. 25.
By Wini Moranville

Uh-oh. Are you in the doghouse because you didn't snag Valentine's Day reservations at your favorite romantic restaurant? Did you end up eating at Ted's Coney Island (as friends of mine did one past Feb. 14 after being turned away from venue after venue)?

Here's a way to dig yourself out of the hole: Score reservations for a special dinner at Sbrocco Feb. 25 that features February's favorite flavor: chocolate. The four-course cocoa extravaganza kicks off with a seared scallop with white chocolate beurre blanc and apple-arugula salad. Next comes a chocolate-braised beef short rib with spicy Daikon slaw, followed by a coffee- and cocoa-encrusted pork loin with chocolate-port reduction. For dessert, savor a chocolate torte with ganache and whipped cream. Each course is paired with its own expertly chosen wine, from the highly acclaimed L'Ecole No. 41 Columbia Valley chenin blanc with the starter to a Bogle petit sirah port with the torte.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $65 per person ($120 for two). Sbrocco is at 208 Court Ave.; call 282-3663 for information and reservations.

Kellye Crocker

Kellye Crocker lives in Clive and writes fiction for teens and nonfiction for adults. A former Des Moines Register senior reporter and current dsm contributing writer, she's also written for Parents, Better Homes and Gardens and Glamour, among other national publications. Connect with her on Twitter: @kelcrocker.
Wini Moranville

Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.

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