Small city, big art

June 21, 2012 —

DMArtsFestival
Looking for some visual excitement this weekend? You can get your fill with two annual art festivals in Des Moines: the Des Moines Arts Festival and ArtFest Midwest. Added bonus: ArtFest exhibitors will include DMU’s very own Gary Hoff, D.O., FACOI, FACC, associate professor and chair of medical humanities and bioethics. In addition to his significant medical knowledge and expertise, Dr. Hoff is accomplished in many media, from pen and ink drawings to still life painting and portraiture. A number of his oil paintings, in fact, are displayed on campus.

Both festivals are free and feature live entertainment and food in additional to art by hundreds of creative people from across the country. Organizers have made it easy to enjoy both, with free shuttles to and from both.

The Des Moines Arts Festival is located downtown near the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, while Artfest Midwest takes place on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in the air-conditioned Varied Industries Building. Both offer an extraordinary array of art, from painting to pottery to photography to street theatre. There is definitely something for everyone!

For a full schedule of the Des Moines Arts Festival’s events, click here; for Artfest Midwest, click on its link above.


With a deep love for her hometown, Nicole Branstad is pro-Des Moines and is constantly touting its many events and attractions. When she isn’t out exploring the city she likes to spend time with her husband Marcus and their son Everett. She enjoys hosting lavish dinner parties, collecting wine and buying fresh flowers at the downtown farmer’s market. Nicole works in the marketing & communications department as the online marketing-enrollment coordinator.