Des Moines Arts Festival welcomes back 160 artisans

The 2021 Des Moines Arts Festival opened today after being canceled last year due to the Pandemic. Thousands of central Iowans flocked to the downtown Western Gateway on opening day Friday.“It’s the most normal thing I’ve done since the whole (COVID-19) thing. It really is doing a show like this and it feels really good to be back,” said Seattle artist Andrew Carson.Carson was busy setting up is his unusual kinetic sculptures along Grand Avenue. He’s a veteran of this arts festival and missed not being in town last year. So did Austin, Texas artist Greg Davis.Davis is a first-time artist at the show. He came in from Austin to sell his photographs. It’s his first time at the show.“You talk to a lot of the artists out here. We appreciated the pause. Not only were we allowed to create some work, but we took a pause. So now we are coming back. We are all excited to be here. We are excited to share the new works,” he said. Organizers invited back the 160 artists who planned to be here last year. They are spread out a bit more due to COVID-19. And judging by the Friday crowd, it all appears very normal.”Just so excited to be here. I’ve had people walk up today and pinch me is this real, is this real, laughs, said Arts Festival director Stephen King. Just down the street, the ArtFest Midwest is setting up for its weekend show. It was also canceled last year and this year it’s moved from the state fairgrounds to Hy-Vee Hall downtown. Another 160 mostly local artists say they’re eager to get back to business.“They depend on these shows to be in contact with the community and their customers. So we are thrilled to be back,” said ArtFest Midwest director Bri Steirer.

The 2021 Des Moines Arts Festival opened today after being canceled last year due to the Pandemic. Thousands of central Iowans flocked to the downtown Western Gateway on opening day Friday.

“It’s the most normal thing I’ve done since the whole (COVID-19) thing. It really is doing a show like this and it feels really good to be back,” said Seattle artist Andrew Carson.

Carson was busy setting up is his unusual kinetic sculptures along Grand Avenue. He’s a veteran of this arts festival and missed not being in town last year. So did Austin, Texas artist Greg Davis.

Davis is a first-time artist at the show. He came in from Austin to sell his photographs. It’s his first time at the show.

“You talk to a lot of the artists out here. We appreciated the pause. Not only were we allowed to create some work, but we took a pause. So now we are coming back. We are all excited to be here. We are excited to share the new works,” he said.

Organizers invited back the 160 artists who planned to be here last year. They are spread out a bit more due to COVID-19. And judging by the Friday crowd, it all appears very normal.

”Just so excited to be here. I’ve had people walk up today and pinch me is this real, is this real, laughs, said Arts Festival director Stephen King.

Just down the street, the ArtFest Midwest is setting up for its weekend show. It was also canceled last year and this year it’s moved from the state fairgrounds to Hy-Vee Hall downtown. Another 160 mostly local artists say they’re eager to get back to business.

“They depend on these shows to be in contact with the community and their customers. So we are thrilled to be back,” said ArtFest Midwest director Bri Steirer.

Previous post A new Van Gogh work discovered hidden in a book
Next post James Corden breaks silence on ‘racist’ show segment, vows to make amends