Dazzle your senses at the Des Moines Arts Festival

DMArtsFestOne of central Iowa’s best events is taking place beginning tomorrow through Sunday: The Des Moines Arts Festival will take over downtown’s Western Gateway Park with its usual (and unusual) showing of more than 200 visual artists from around the country, live music, film, the performing arts and interactive arts-related activities. And oh, my, the visual art on display is marvelous, beautiful, thought-provoking, creative and diverse, from painting to photography to mixed media to sculpture and a lot more.

This year’s theme encourages guests to “go where it takes you,” reflecting the event’s multifaceted experiences and arts. In addition to its visual delights, you can enjoy free music and entertainment, including headliners Los Lobos, a fabulous rock/Tex-Mex/country/blues/Mexican folk group (Friday night), and soul singer/musician Aaron Neville. The Interrobang Film Festival offers screenings of a wide variety of flicks, from shorts to dramas to documentaries.

Don’t miss one of my favorite aspects of the festival, the Emerging Iowa Artists. These talented young people, all enrolled in an institution of higher education, seize this opportunity to share their works on the prestigious “stage” the Des Moines Arts Festival has become since it began in 1958 as Art in the Park. These up-and-coming artists will include Rebecca Skow, a personal favorite who produces wonderful works in and around her Iowa City studio, Redhead Photography and Ceramics. I met her at the festival last year and am delighted she’s making her return, and I’m excited to see all the other great art on display, too.

Treat yourself to a sensory feast this weekend at the Arts Festival. If you want to feast further, you could start your Saturday at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market on and around Court Avenue and then head to the Festival. Don’t miss these great reasons to get out this weekend!

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