MAY 10, 2016

Glenn Brown's "Necrophiliac Springtime," (2014, oil on panel) is from a private collection, shared courtsey of Gagosian Gallery.
Celebrated British artist Glenn Brown's first solo exhibit of its kind in the United States will open at the Des Moines Art Center on May 21. Prior to the opening, Brown will be here to discuss his art in a presentation May 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the center's Levitt Auditorium. For reservations and details, visit the Art Center's website.

A national coup for Des Moines, the exhibition surveys the scope of Brown's work and will include 34 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, spanning his career. The versatile artist is most famous for using Photoshop to digitally re-imagine paintings by past masters, altering colors and forms, then painting his perception of the image.

The exhibit, "Glenn Brown," is organized by Jeff Fleming, director of the Des Moines Art Center, who will join Brown in the May 19 presentation.
A lifetime of creating amazing homes, including a strawbale home in New Mexico and a 1913 Des Moines renovation, are reasons to celebrate new designer Molly Spain. ... Read More
A tray of delectable buttermilk biscuit sliders is a great way to make new friends, if you're Chef Jammie Monaghan.
By Wini Moranville

Last week, I had the honor of judging the Ooey, Gooey, Saucy and Savory Pork Challenge, hosted by the Iowa Pork Producers for patrons of Winefest, the food and wine blowout held each June.

Jammie Monaghan won with his delectable buttermilk biscuit sliders, which were filled with pecan-shell-smoked pork leg, fried onions and a spiced rhubarb jam. (The latter hailed from his mother's pantry.)

So just who is this Jammie Monaghan? He's been quietly working around town for decades; he started his career washing dishes at Gino's and has held such positions as chef de cuisine at Embassy Club and executive sous chef at Mondo's. He's also had stints in the kitchens of Splash and, most recently, Malo.

"Everyone in the industry knows me," Monaghan agrees, "but I'm not really a front-page guy."

That's likely to change soon: Chris Diebel recently hired him to be the executive chef at Diebel's upcoming restaurant, Bubba--Southern Comforts, which will open in late July in the former Raccoon River Brewing Co. site at Tenth and Walnut streets.

If you want a taste of Monaghan's cooking before Bubba opens, you'd do well to head to the Iowa Pork Producer's Lawn Party (June 10, from 2 to 5 p.m.) during Winefest. There, you can sample Monaghan's winning pecan-shell-smoked sliders while enjoying Iowa-made wine and beer along with eats from local food trucks. Find out more at

Wini Moranville covers food and dining for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food - DSM Wini Moranville. 
Fred Hubbell, Sheila Kinman, Justin Mandelbaum, Doug Reichardt and Randy Reichardt at the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines' event Thursday.
Over the years, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines' Celebration Luncheon and Report to the Community has become one of the year's not-to-miss events. This year was no exception. More than 500 people packed Des Moines Marriott Downtown last Thursday to network, socialize and learn how philanthropy affected the city in 2015.

That impact is substantial: The foundation made more than $26 million in grants last year, funding a wide variety of charitable causes. What's more, 180 new charitable funds were established, bringing the total number of funds to more than 1,500 and assets under administration to $400 million. Beyond the numbers, though, are the people, including those who are involved in Viva East Bank. The organization was recognized for its efforts to revitalize Des Moines' east side neighborhoods.

There was plenty of fun, too. Chris Conetzkey, editor of our sister publication the Business Record, Meredith Corp. CEO Steve Lacy and Des Moines Register President David Chivers played "Cash Cab" for a chance to "win" money by answering foundation-related trivia questions. Check out the video here.
If you love rhythm, drums are hard to beat. And taiko drummers are extraordinary.
The diversity of California is front-and-center at the Des Moines Civic Center this weekend with Japanese drumming from San Jose on Saturday followed by the legendary Beach Boys on Sunday.

We can't help imagining that in his younger days, the amazingly inventive Brian Wilson might have found some way to unite these sounds. But it's separate shows for us this week:

* At 1 p.m. Saturday (May 14), experience the rhythmic power and harmonic depth of taiko, a traditional Japanese drum. The Asian-American ensemble San Jose Taiko strives to create new dimensions in music and movement onstage, embellishing this historical art form with the beat of world rhythms, including African, Brazilian and jazz. Get tickets ($10) and info here.

* Act now (or better, yesterday) if you want to snatch some of the last Beach Boys tickets -- and bring binoculars. Other than a few random singles, the available $70 seats are waaay in back. But the sound will get there and the mood is contagious. So put on your dress sandals and enjoy the show. The music starts at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (May 15), squeezing 50 years into two hours. Start here
For one week, Des Moines is a celluloid city, as a festival screens more than 60 films.

The 13th Wild Rose Independent Film Festival opens May 12 and runs through May 19. More than 60 films are lined up for screenings, including a feature film starring magician Lance Burton and local director Brent Roske's film "Courting Des Moines" about the Iowa caucus process. Screenings are at the Fleur Cinema & Cafe, 4545 Fleur Drive.

The breadth of films is impressive, from animation to documentaries. We've had fun just looking over the full list at Prices vary, from as little as $5 for some films to up to $75 for a multiday pass. You can see the options and buy tickets online here

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