A- A+

Des Moines Arts Festival® Jury Process Begins Wednesday, Jan. 6

January 6, 2016

The 2016 Des Moines Arts Festival® may be months away but planning for the event is well underway. On Wednesday, Jan. 6 the Des Moines Arts Festival will begin the three-day jury process in Des Moines. Five members of the local and national arts community will serve as jurors to select 165 artists from the nearly 1,000 applicants who will be invited to exhibit their work in the Juried Art Fair on June 24-26, 2016, in Downtown Des Moines' (DSM’s) Western Gateway Park.  

Matthew Hemminghaus, Kathranne Knight, Lynda Ladwig, Christine Riccelli, and David Safris will view more than 5,800 images during the three-day jury. The jury process involves a preview, along with scoring artists through multiple rounds. The jury uses a 1-7 electronic scoring system for the first round. After the first round, artists are "voted" through by the jury with a show of hands to the next round. The rounds continue in the same way until the final show for 2016 is composed.  

“We consider our artist selection to be open and fair, and we want to be transparent in our process. We consider the jury process a collaborative effort where majority rules. This process has enabled our art festival to be the best in the country,” said Stephen King, Des Moines Arts Festival Executive Director.  

Applications were received in a variety of mediums from artists in 46 states and six countries that include the United States, England, Argentina, Canada, Belgium, and Israel. In addition to the professional visual artists, the jury will select those artists to be invited to exhibit as part of the Emerging Iowa Artist program. The Emerging Iowa Artist (EIA) program, presented by Principal Financial Group®, offers a unique opportunity for visual artists who are Iowa residents and currently enrolled in an institution of higher education to showcase their talents at one of the nation's most decorated arts festivals.

The Festival invites applying artists to preview their images, as part of the projected ZAPPlication system on Wednesday January 6 at the Partnership Conference Center in the offices of the Greater Des Moines Partnership located at 700 Locust Street, Suite 100 in Downtown DSM. Applying artists along with members of the public are invited to a welcome reception starting at 5:30 p.m. with the jury preview beginning promptly at 6 p.m. and concluding by 9 p.m. 

The jury process will be updated throughout the three days on the Festival's Facebook Page:  Facebook.com/DesMoinesArtsFestival, Instagram: desmoinesartsfestival and Twitter: @DMArtsFestival.

Selected artists for next year’s Festival will be officially announced at a special event called REVEAL on January 20.  REVEAL is a dinner party hosted on the floor of Wells Fargo Arena that features the first look at this year’s artists selected to exhibit. Guests will enjoy dinner and libations, along with a special video program about the monumental jury process and a live-painting event by Des Moines artist, Ben Schuh. Tickets for this new experience are available online at desmoinesartsfestival.org/REVEAL. 

About the Jury

Matthew Hemminghaus received a BFA with a focus on painting from the University of Illinois Campaign/Urbana. For many years he worked in L.A. as an art handler for several museums as well as a private art handling company. In 2004, he partnered with his brothers to buy a farm in northeast Missouri. Blending his love of art with his new love of living off the land, he paired the two to create his “Still Life With Chicken” series of photographic works. He participated in several outdoor art fairs throughout the Midwest, and enjoyed his shift in gears from life in the big city to artist in rural Missouri. Matthew says the response to his photographs has been overwhelming, and that they affirm the choices he’s made throughout his career.  

Kathranne Knight received an MFA from The Yale University School of Art and a BA from The University of Texas at Austin. She has been artist-in-residence at Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation and the Connemara Conservancy Foundation in Dallas. Her work has been shown in The Danforth Museum of Art, Mass MoCA, The Des Moines Art Center, and in exhibitions at Carroll and Sons Gallery, (Boston), Geoffrey Young Gallery, (Gt. Barrington, MA) Muriel Guepin Gallery, (New York), and many others. Knight received the Iowa Artist Fellowship in 2014.

Lynda Ladwig is a utilitarian potter and her studio is located in Lafayette, Colorado.  She received her Bachelors of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado in 1978 and has been the owner of OPA Studio, an architectural design studio since 1984. She exhibits across the United States, most recently at the Smithsonian Craft Show and the Philadelphia Art Museum Craft Show and her work has been featured in Ceramics Monthly and American Craft Magazine

Christine Riccelli is the editor of dsm magazine, which regularly covers the Greater Des Moines arts and culture scene, among other topics. Prior to joining dsm in 2008, she was a freelance journalist, writing about the arts and other subjects for a variety of publications. She also worked as a reporter and an editor at several newspapers, including The Des Moines Register and The Kansas City Star.

David Safris is the President and co-owner of Visionary Services, Inc. (VSi).  Since graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from Iowa State University in 1989, David has been at the leading edge of the personal computer and Internet technology evolution. Through working with a wide variety of companies, he has formed a solid understanding of the technology opportunities available and the impact technology investments can have on both small and large companies. Throughout the last 15 years, David has been collecting Pop Art and Urban Art from around the world and displaying it at the Visionary office.  The collection includes works by Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Swoon and a number of other current urban artists. The collection has been used for the past two years to put on the Urban Visionaries art show in Des Moines, Iowa.

About the Des Moines Arts Festival®

The Gold Grand Pinnacle Award-winning Des Moines Arts Festival® is a free annual three-day arts and culture Festival the last weekend in June. The Festival invites you to ‘go where it takes you…” by engaging with 180 invited professional visual artists, emerging Iowa artists, the cutting-edge Interrobang Film Festival, live music, performing arts, interactive arts activities, award-winning community outreach programs, live artist demonstrations, artisan food and beverages for every taste. For more information please visit us online at desmoinesartsfestival.org or socialize with us on Facebook at facebook.com/DesMoinesArtsFestival, twitter at @DMArtsFestival and Instagram at desmoinesartsfestival.  #GoWhereItTakesYou  #DMAF2016