OCTOBER  11, 2016

Edgy? You like edgy? Eerily beautiful, this artfully crafted bit of roadkill reflects a bold series of pieces by Lee Emma Running, featured at Olson-Larsen Galleries.

If you haven't been to Gallery Night in Valley Junction for a while, this Friday's (Oct. 14) event promises to be a good one. We're especially looking forward to the opening of a new show at Olson-Larsen Galleries that features the work of two intriguing artists: Brent Holland and Lee Emma Running.
Holland, an associate professor at Iowa State University who became known for his compelling self-portraits, has in recent years turned his attention to multidimensional paintings and drawings combining digital and traditional media. Holland's artwork also will be showcased as part of the "Art on DART" project. The art-wrapped bus, parked on Maple Street between Fourth and Fifth streets in Valley Junction, will be unveiled at 5:30 p.m. and remain on display until 9 p.m.
Running, an assistant professor of art at Grinnell College, will exhibit work from a recent project that "combines the skeletons of road kill and gold leaf in a startling and beautiful way," says Susan Watts, owner of Olson-Larsen. She adds that Running "consistency challenges herself and her audiences with her work."
No doubt about that. Here's how Running explains how she creates the pieces: "Year round, the highways are littered with roadkill. In the early spring I walk creek beds and ditches to retrieve their bones. ... I polish the bones to a porcelain shine and then engrave an image of a lacy network onto their surface. With a jeweler's tool, I carve the bones and remove the marrow from their core. Once hollow and clean, I gild the internal chamber with 24-karat gold."
Running also is creating a temporary installation at an empty building near Olson-Larsen as part of Gallery Night.
The opening reception is 5-9 p.m. Valley Junction's other galleries and shops also will be open for Gallery Night.
Project in Progress: SR to the Rescue! 1989 House Updates Begin Starting with two bathrooms in our client's home, we're bringing an updated color palette and design into several areas of this two-story Des Moines home. ... Read More
Elaborate and dynamic choreography makes Shaping Sound memorable.


Here for one night with at least a week's worth of movement, "Shaping Sound: Dance Reimagined" features a touring company with four dancers from the TV series "So You Think You Can Dance," including 2015 winner Gaby Diaz.

Experience the collaboration of these dance visionaries as they mash up music genres and dance styles at the Des Moines Civic Center Thursday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m.

Get tickets for $25 here, at the Civic Center ticket office or at 515.246.2300.

Shaping Sound was established in Los Angeles in 2012 with a focus on contemporary dance and choreography. The company's diverse artists describe themselves as "visual musicians," whose dance gives shape and form to sound.   
This delightful blend of herbs and spices is a mother-in-law joke with good taste.


By Wini Moranville

With her "Cooking with Alessandra" courses, Alessandra Meschini has brought cooks into her cocina kitchen at 333 E. Grand Ave. since 2010. Now, cooks can bring a little of Alessandra into their own kitchens.
Meschini teamed with Rory Brown at Allspice Culinarium in the East Village to package Ammazza Suocera, a robust and aromatic Italian herb-spice blend. The name literally means "kill the mother-in-law." Meschini is quick to explain that it's  meant as a good-natured joke and a nod to the blend's heat level.
"The blend is a typical seasoning in south-central Italy," says Meschini, adding that the region produces other "mother-in-law" spice blends. Another one, for instance, translates as "make the mother-in-law sleep;" it's a blend of soothing sweet spices that hopefully will make the mother-in-law doze off when a young couple wants to be alone.
Ammazza Suocera blends sea salt, garlic, crushed cayenne pepper, parsley, basil, Mediterranean oregano and marjoram. Meschini says she uses it "everywhere" -- on focaccia as well as in meatballs, sauces and in recipes such as chicken cacciatore.
Since buying this blend, I've found myself using it often, especially in pasta tosses as well as on eggs and vegetables. Not only does the blend add a zip of flavor, but it's eye-catching as well. It adds a finishing touch of both color and texture to a dish.
Find Ammazza Suocera at Allspice (400 E. Locust St.; 515-868-0808) for $3.45 (1/4 cup) or $5.50 (1/2 cup). Find out about Meschini's "Cooking with Alessandra" classes at cookingwithalessandra.com.   
In rhythms and voices, the women of Las Migas give Flamenco their stamp of approval.

Flamenco rhythms will fill the Temple Theater tomorrow--Wednesday, Oct. 12-- when the Spanish quartet Las Migas takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. The group blends Flamenco and Mediterranean styles.

The women come from four cities that span not only the geography of Spain but also its cultural diversity--
Barcelona, Seville, Cordoba and Lerida. They share a passion for Flamenco, evident in the rhythms of the guitarists, the dancing violin lines and the raw power of the vocals.

Tickets are available here and at the Civic Center ticket office. Now touring Canada and the United States, the group heads next for Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.  
Working in ceramic with black glaze, Alexander Archipenko created "Reclining Torso" in 1921. 2015 Estate of Alexander Archipenko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A traveling retrospective of more than 60 sculptures and other works by Ukrainian-born sculptor Alexander Archipenko is featured at the Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College.
"Archipenko: A Modern Legacy" includes works from major museum and private collections as well as never-before-exhibited examples from Archipenko's archives. The exhibition spans the artist's entire career, from Kiev to New York City, where Archipenko established a 40-year creative legacy before his death in 1964.
"Archipenko is inspired by Picasso and Cubism, so people may recognize and see references throughout this comprehensive survey of Archipenko's work," says Daniel Strong, associate director of Faulconer Gallery.
Faulconer Gallery will host a series of events related to the exhibit. For details and related talks, click here. The exhibit runs through Dec. 11.
The always-colorful David Baruthio and Wini Moranville offer a taste of France.


Once per season, dsm food writer Wini Moranville teams up with Baru 66 chef David Baruthio for a night celebrating La Cuisine de Tous Les Jours--the everyday cooking of France. While the menu is grounded in the style of French home cooking that inspired Moranville to write "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," Baruthio puts his own modern French spins on the classics.

The dinner, on Wednesday, Oct. 26, costs $39 per person and features the cooking of Bordeaux and the Southwest of France. Here's a look at the menu. Baru 66 is at 6587 University Ave.; 515-277-6627. 

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