Celebrate Arts, Culture and Museum Milestone

Eastern Iowa native Grant Wood (1891-1942) painted “The Birthplace of Herbert Hoover” in 1931. It’s in the permanent collection at the Des Moines Art Center and part of its new anniversary exhibition.

The Des Moines Art Center kicks off its 75th anniversary with a new exhibit called “Art Center: 75 Years of Iowa Art,” curated by Laura Burkhalter and Mia Laufer. It opens Friday with a free reception featuring complimentary hors d’oeuvres and refreshments by Tangerine at the Art Center.

The exhibit features some 100 works by about 60 artists who have lived and worked in Iowa from the early 20th century to today. They range from historic icons, like Grant Wood, to lauded contemporary artists such as Anna Gaskell, Mitchell Squire, Larassa Kabel and Phillip Chen.

“What I wanted was to celebrate the Art Center, of course, but more importantly to celebrate the community in which we live,” director Jeff Fleming said in a recent dsm story.

The exhibit also features newly commissioned works, including a piece by Meskwaki painter Duane Slick, along with four performance-based works by artist and educator Firat Erdim during the show’s run through May 7.

Looking ahead: The Art Center announced Tuesday that Kelly Baum, a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, will become the art center’s next director in May, following Fleming’s retirement.

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