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Support Artists During Economic Uncertainty

Greater Des Moines (DSM) Mural

March 19, 2020

Art is a source of color, inspiration and positivity. You can see public art from the safety of your car or escape into a painting from the comfort of your home, but have you ever stopped to think about how that’s possible?

Everyone knows that facing economic uncertainty is front and center on one level or another, and many people are implementing social distancing in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19. However, most people are unaware of the steps visual artists take to promote our careers and, as a result, the types of challenges we are facing during these unprecedented times.

Subsidizing Artwork

Imagining MORE ARTWORK is a wonderful start, but subsidizing it is of vital importance. As the impact of COVID-19 is hitting every sector of the economy, the arts are not immune. Supporting visual artists during times of economic uncertainty allows us to combat reduced opportunities to promote our work. With CDC recommendations causing festivals and events to be cancelled, artists are suddenly finding our schedules vacant and sales evaporating. Any art acquisitions you are able to make will dramatically offset the economic impact of COVID-19 on our lives. It’s really fairly simple. From buying existing work to commissioning something unique, you may be the key to enabling artists to continue pursuing our dreams and impacting our everyday lives.

Despite this economic downturn it is imperative to continue to support artists as we rely on sales to pay our mortgages, cover healthcare and buy groceries. Imagine your support literally putting food on the table for the family of a local artist.

When it comes to the arts there isn’t a government relief package on the table and sales are increasingly harder to find. We have the ability to use artwork to change aspects of a seemingly gloomy outlook to a positive one, but only if it exists. Make an active effort to look for artists to buy or commission artwork.

Set an example, SUPPORT the ARTS!

Connect with Visual Artists, Galleries + More

By working directly with artists and galleries, it is possible to impact the arts in a very positive way while improving peoples’ lives. Please take the time to buy or commission artwork, share artists’ posts on social media, or push this post to friends and family in an effort to support visual artists.

The following list (sorted alphabetically) offers access to some of the many outlets available in Greater Des Moines (DSM). Please note that any omissions from this list were unintentional.

Local Artwork Outlets

Note: Ben Schuh has relationships with some of organizations listed above. However, any inclusion was not chosen based on those relationships, but rather the basis for Ben’s career experience inspiring this blog entry. Ben is an artist of Mainframe Studios, past exhibitor of the Des Moines Arts Festival, has worked on mural projects with Liz Lidgett, and worked with the Iowa Arts Council.

The Des Moines Arts Festival and Mainframe Studios websites, in particular, are key resources to connect with artists:


You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.

Find these tips useful? Find more business tools and information by visiting the Business Resources page.


Ben Schuh

Ben Schuh is a Des Moines artist and muralist that graduated from Grand View (Dec 2004). As an 8x exhibitor of the Des Moines Arts Festival, he has placed paintings with collectors across the country, as well as in Canada and Europe. High profile projects include: #CheersFromDesMoines, #TimelessBeaverdale and #DesMoinesMural. Author Photo Credit: John Sepanic