Home Design Awards, Pizza Pros, Levi Robb
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January 19, 2021  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
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Voting for the dsm Home Design Readers' Choice Awards closes this Friday, Jan. 22, meaning there are still a few days for you to flip through some of Greater Des Moines' best home projects and pick your favorites. Entrants with the most likes will be Readers' Choice winners and listed in the March/April issue as well as acknowledged during our March 9 Home Design Awards virtual event.

Projects are grouped into four categories—exteriors, interiors, homes and details—with numerous subcategories. To participate, go through each page, find the projects you like, then click the "thumbs up" button. Happy voting!
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This pizza, with zucchini, sausage and leeks, is one of the recipes that will be demonstrated at the Wallace Center of Iowa's virtual class.


Writer: Karla Walsh

Craving a trip to Italy? You’re not alone. That's exactly why Katie Porter, chef and food programs manager at the Wallace Centers of Iowa, is hosting a two-night virtual pizza-making class on Jan. 27 and 28.

For $20 per night—far cheaper than a plane ticket to Italy—you can learn how to whip up homemade pizza crust and two different topping combos: butternut squash, sage goat cheese and pickled onions; and herb-roasted zucchini, Italian sausage and braised leeks.

“I promise it’s fun and not too demanding to make pizzas at home," Porter says. "You’ll learn how to get a nice crispy crust and a great chew with a few techniques for the dough, and I’ll talk about how few ingredients you really need to make a delicious pie. It’s always fun to introduce new ways to eat vegetables!”

As part of the class, you’ll receive online instruction that you can stream in your own kitchen, plus a shopping list prior to the class so you can prep for success.

If those dates or the theme aren’t a fit, tickets are now available for the Wallace Centers’ Feb. 11 Valentine's Day class in partnership with Mangalitsa Estates, a high-end pork producer in Clearfield, Iowa. Or keep an eye on the Wallace Centers' Facebook page to join future Zoom-based online classes. Porter plans to host one per week for seven weeks straight starting March 25.
    Levi Robb is shown applying printing ink and automotive grease to an abandoned semitrailer in a salvage yard near Morning Sun in eastern Iowa. It’s part of his process for creating his junkyard monoprints.


    This story is a part of our January/February issue, which was released last week. Head to our website to see the issue's stories.

    Writer: Michael Morain

    The cars at Jerry Carney & Sons have seen better days. Windows are shattered or missing. Wheels are long gone. Stacks of flattened sedans and pickups, some piled a dozen high, cover 45 acres on the south side of Ames.

    Most people call this place a junkyard, but Levi Robb sees it differently.

    “This is a goldmine,” he says. “It’s just about changing your perspective. It’s about how you look at stuff.”

    The Des Moines artist and architect is drawn to what he calls the “beautiful chaos” here among the Toyota and Buick carcasses that have been cast aside and forgotten, left to rust and turn into inadvertent sculpture.

    “I think about all the history here,” he says. “Each one of these has its own story.”

    Robb, who recently received an Iowa Artist Fellowship from the Iowa Arts Council, likes to capture those stories by making prints. With a roller, he coats parts of old vehicles with a mixture of ink and motor oil and then presses them with paper. The resulting prints show layers of texture and the rainbow sheen of an oil slick. The vehicles are part of the artwork, too, retaining his handiwork like graffiti or a smudgy tattoo.

    “I’ve always been attracted to that raw gritty aesthetic,” he says. “I grew up playing in a junkyard.”

    Read the rest of this story here. You can also listen to our recent dsm CultureCast podcast with Robb here.
    Superstar Gladys Knight will perform May 23 at Hoyt Sherman Place.


    If you’re like those of us at dsm—and we suspect you are—you’re eager to get out again to experience theater and concerts, galas and parties, festivals and markets. So we asked local arts, cultural and charitable organizations what their event plans are for this year, whether virtual or in-person.

    All events listed in the article are subject to change. The pandemic may cause some to be postponed, canceled, moved to a virtual format or altered in some other way, so please check before going. But we all totally know that drill by now, right? Pivoting is indeed our new normal.

    As soon as it’s safe, we hope to see you in our concert halls, theaters, party venues and other places around town in 2021, enjoying the arts, meeting up with friends, and supporting our community.

    Find the full calendar here.

    Tiffany Johnson, artistic director and founding member of Pyramid Theatre, is the featured speaker at the 2021 Women Helping Women event.


    Angela Connolly, Polk County supervisor, and Tiffany Johnson, artistic director and founding member of Pyramid Theatre, will be the featured guests at Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center's 2021 Women Helping Women. Scheduled for May 21, the event will be hybrid—both in-person, at the Embassy Suites downtown, and virtual.

    The organization hopes to raise $210,000. Funds will support mental health counseling, education, training and other services for women, children and families who are uninsured or underinsured. Connolly will be honored for her longtime support of mental health access. Johnson will give the keynote speech, focusing on how storytelling can shine a light on mental health.

    The event is organized by a group of 30 volunteers, headed by three co-chairs: Carol Bodensteiner, public relations professional and author; Renee Hardman, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa; and Emily Kessinger, director of Capital Crossroads. To reserve your spot or contribute, click here.
    Jeff Fleming, director of the Art Center, and his wife, Carrie, will host a virtual happy hour for members next week. Photo: Des Moines Art Center.


    Add another reason for becoming a Des Moines Art Center member: On Wednesday, Jan. 27, Director Jeff Fleming and his wife, Carrie Marshburn-Fleming, will host a virtual happy hour and give patrons a tour of the artwork in their home. The event is for Art Center members only.

    The Flemings will sip their favorite cocktails as they talk about several of the most cherished works in their personal collection. There was a similar event last June, and the Art Center says new artwork will be featured. You can register here.

    There are other benefits to becoming an Art Center member as well, including access to various groups; 20% off studio classes, camps, and workshops; and discounts in the gift shop. Your membership also helps the Art Center keep admission free for all visitors. Memberships start at $50. Find out more here.

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