Impermanent Collection

The new Transient Gallery aims to showcase challenging, museum-quality art in an intimate, noncommercial space. Housed at Nestcraft Studio in West Des Moines, the gallery is currently featuring new work (pictured, below) by Ames artist and architect Peter P. Goché. His “Field Notes,” using ink, wood and found objects, is available for viewing for five to six weeks by private appointment only. Email Des Moines artist Mat Greiner ( to arrange a viewing.

Greiner, an Iowa native who earned a degree in art from Drake University in 1997 and most recently lived on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, founded Transient after returning to Des Moines this past July. The city has an energetic grassroots arts community, as well as many top-tier institutions, Greiner says. “But for its population size, there’s kind of a thinness in the middle ground”—that is, exciting, substantive, professional work, he says.

By keeping costs low and focusing on an “artist-centric” (rather than commercial) experience, Greiner hopes Transient will help fill that gap. “When you start to get money involved, it’s inevitable that you have to worry about ‘Will this sell?’ ” he says. Artists who exhibit at Transient don’t have to worry about grant rules, marketplace trends or commercial appeal, he says. “It frees up the experience for the artist,” Greiner says.

Grainer plans at least six annual exhibits by new and midcareer artists at Transient. 


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