Photos: Carter Oswood
As college students, we have discovered that nothing in life comes free. Yet, there are some deals that are an exception. The Des Moines Art Center, for example.
Founded in 1916, the Art Center has grown with help from generous contributors and an interested city. With three buildings housing its collection (one built by I.M. Pei who designed the pyramid outside the Louvre), the Art Center has over 4,600 permanent pieces. Yet, this does not include its frequently changing exhibitions.
Just beyond the Art Center, is the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, a downtown garden stretching over four acres covered with 21 sculptures. Since 2009, it has been a popular sight with sculptures such as Nomade, the man made of white letters, capturing the public’s eye.
The Art Center also has outreach programs for troubled youth. By working with students from a variety of programs, the Center gives tours and lessons to students that encourage creativity, problem solving and anger management. In addition, every fourth grader in six nearby districts goes on a tour of the Center.
However, this is not the Art Center’s favorite accomplishment.
“One of the most unusual aspects of the Art Center, and one staff is most proud of, is the fact that we have free admission,” said Christine Doolittle, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “Other than just a handful of fund-raising events throughout the year, the Art Center is always free, so visitors can stop in frequently for short times or the entire day.”
Doolittle mentioned an additional attraction -— film festivals. Shown throughout the year, these focus on movies that are of artistic importance, but are difficult to find.
On Friday, Sept. 28, the Center will be hosting its Manhattan Short Film Festival with ten short films from various countries. Students will have an opportunity to see these rare films and vote on their favorite.
A final opportunity is the Center’s affiliate Art Noir. This group focuses on young adults and hosts events such as happy hours with artists and behind the scene tours. On Oct. 19, Art Noir will host its Pollock Ball commemorating Jackson Pollock. It is $30 for the public and $25 for members.
If interested in attending the Pollock Ball or the Manhattan Short Film Festival, go to the corresponding websites. Listed below are the hours of the Des Moines Art Center.