"Clear Day," a woodcut by Jean Gumpper, is one of 55 artists represented in Olson-Larsen’s 40th anniversary show.


Olson-Larsen Galleries opens its 40th anniversary show with a reception this Friday, April 12, from 5 to 9 p.m., coinciding with Valley Junction's Spring Gallery Night.

The Olson-Larsen exhibition, running through May 24, will feature work by each of the 55 artists the gallery represents. Of special interest, the gallery notes, is "a wall of memories to take you back in time." Also, an installation by 2018 Iowa Arts Council Fellow Julia Franklin will be featured in Olson-Larsen's alternative exhibition space, OL Guild, one block east of the main gallery at 201 Fourth St. in West Des Moines. (Read more about Franklin in this story from dsm.)

We always look forward to Valley Junction’s Gallery Nights, strolling among the galleries that are open until 9 p.m. A number of nearby shops and restaurants also stay open late for the event.

Consideration of family pets is an important part of home remodeling or building a new home. In this collection of Silent Rivers project photos, homeowners’ pets joined the fun, including an adorable six-toed kitten and saltwater fish in a giant built-in tank! ...
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By Design presents dsmDining —

Who wouldn’t want to take a Taco Tour of Greater Des Moines? You can, May 5 or June 29 Cinco de Mayo. 


By Wini Moranville

Here’s a roundup of some consumable fun in the weeks ahead:

April 11: Pints for Parkinson’s Kick-Off Party
This Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m., Iowa Tap Room will host the second annual Pints for Parkinson’s Kick-Off Party in its Marquette Room. Free appetizers and beer will be offered, along with the chance to purchase a Pints for Parkinson’s Passport. Valid through Aug. 31, the passport offers buy-one/get-one-free deals on pints of beer at 28 local bar/restaurants and three breweries, including Centro, Django, Splash, all Jethro’s locations, and the beer-centric Full Court Press restaurants. All net proceeds from the passports go to the Iowa Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association. Can’t make it to the kickoff? You can purchase a pass at the ADPA Iowa website

April 18: Music to My … Glass?
Anyone who has ever fallen in love with a cheap Chianti in Tuscany might eventually come to understand once home that context was everything: the food, the table companions, the surroundings, and even a certain slant of light may all have played Cupid to help you fall in love with what may have actually been plonk.

Add music to the list of the non-wine things that can affect our perception of how wine tastes. On Thursday evening, April 18, you can join winemaker Clark Smith at Park Street Kitchen to learn how to make the most out of every bottle by surrounding yourself with the right music. Held in conjunction with Winefest Des Moines, the event includes heavy appetizers and wine before the event, and dessert afterward. Tickets and more information are available via Tikly.

April 27: Des Moines VeganFest
The Economist predicts that "2019 will be the year veganism goes mainstream." One way to find out if the lifestyle is for you is to attend Des Moines VeganFest 2019, hosted by VegLife Des Moines. Held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the atrium at Capital Square and at Cowles Common (400 Locust St.), the event will include speakers, workshops, cooking demos, yoga and face-painting, as well as 15-plus vegan food vendors and more than 35 non-food vendors selling gifts, books and services. Find more information at VegLife Des Moines.  

May 5 and June 29: Explore Des Moines Taco Culture
Wow! Des Moines Tours is hosting a taco tour on May 5 (which, not coincidentally, happens to be Cinco de Mayo). Taco tourists will travel by a private executive van to four destinations, tasting regional variations of tacos along the way. The tour starts and finishes in Valley Junction, site of a Cinco de Mayo festival. Tickets and more information can be found here. Note that as of this morning, only a handful of tickets to the May 5 event were still available. A second Taco Tour, on June 29, has been added.

Mary and I first met in 2003 when I designed her great room the first time. Although she loved that design, as years went by a new remodel of the first floor started the ball rolling on new furniture too. We went from Shabby Chic to a timeless transitional look. ...
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Jazz pianist Gary Negbaur performs a unique brunch program at the Des Moines Social Club this Sunday.


A rich variety of musical talent is coming to town through the Civic Music Association's 2019-20 season, announced this week. It opens in October with the Sphinx Virtuosi, a dynamic professional chamber orchestra of 18 black and Latinx soloists, all winners of the annual Sphinx Competition in Detroit, who come together each fall as cultural ambassadors. Click here for more about this group and the rest of the performers scheduled in the coming season, plus ticket information.

Can't wait until October? The string quartet Sybarite5 brings an eclectic repertoire to close out Civic Music's current concert season May 3 at Hoyt Sherman Place. Details are here. Civic Music returns to Hoyt Sherman July 20, when it presents New York-based trumpeter and singer Bria Skonberg and Los Angeles-based pianist Connie Han as headliners for the CMA Jazz Festival. The fest starts in the afternoon with free concerts on the lawn before moving inside for the ticketed headline performance. Peter Stevenson, Civic Music's executive director, says the fest is a "capstone of sorts" to the revived Jazz in July. That event includes three free outdoor evening concerts on July 11, 19, and 25 on Hoyt Sherman's lawn.

But what about world-class jazz right now? OK, we're excited about jazz singer/pianist Gary Negbaur, who performs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 14, with brunch at the Basement, in the Des Moines Social Club. The $28 admission price includes the aforementioned buffet-style brunch by Chef Artis T's Catering, as well as a bloody mary bar. Tickets and more info are available here.

Negbaur is steeped in the New Orleans piano tradition with innovative arrangements of standards plus soulful originals. He has played the Superdome in New Orleans, Birdland in New York City, South by Southwest in Austin — and in Paris at the legendary Le Bilboquet.

Lisa Ling of CNN will speak at the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series Thursday at Drake University.


CNN reporter, host and producer Lisa Ling will deliver the 40th installment of the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series at Drake University Thursday, April 11, at 7 p.m. in the Knapp Center, 2525 Forest Ave. Admission is free; no tickets are required.

Currently executive producer and host of CNN’s "This is Life," Ling journeys to the far corners of America, with a focus on uncovering important issues. She previously served as executive producer and host of Oprah Winfrey Network’s "Our America," field correspondent for "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and contributor to ABC News' "Nightline" and National Geographic's "Explorer." She also co-authored several books, including "Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood" and "Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home."

Books are only the beginning of the library experience, which includes computers and even at art gallery at the Central Library.



It's time for some fun and fundraising with the Des Moines Public Library Foundation.
  • Today and tomorrow (April 9 and 10) the foundation is raising funds through the first national Library Giving Day campaign. Library supporters are encouraged to make gifts online at
  • Friday, April 12, the foundation's popular Trivia Smackdown is back for a fifth year, backstage at Noce, from 7 to 9 p.m. Teams of two to six players pay $150 for their shot at glory, from best team names to status as trivia titans. Details are here.

Library Giving Day was launched this year by the Seattle Public Library Foundation as a reminder that libraries are a cornerstone for their communities, offering access to books, periodicals, digital media and programs that promote lifelong learning, connect patrons to technology, and advance knowledge. "The Library Foundation and our donors support 87% of the free library programming offered to our community," says Steve Jayne, board president of the Des Moines Public Library Foundation. "For Des Moines to grow and thrive, our libraries need to serve as information hubs, community centers and innovation spaces for the 1.5 million annual visitors."

Embodying midcentury design, Drake’s Meredith Hall is the site for "Defining Modern: Masters of Mid-Century Furniture & Design."


Design is the topic of the day Saturday, April 13, with a back-to-back pair of programs on architecture and furniture, presented by the Iowa Architectural Foundation, in collaboration with Knoll, Saxton and Drake University. The event, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., will be in Drake's Meredith Hall (designed by famed architect Mies van der Rohe in 1965). Tickets are $25, or $10 for students, available here. The programs are:

Masters of Mid-Century Furniture and Design: Yvonne Baker, who is with KnollStudio, will share insights into the master architects and craftspeople involved in the Bauhaus design movement in Germany, who brought international Modernist concepts and influence to the U.S., including Florence and Hans Knoll, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, and Mies van der Rohe. 

Modern by Design: Drake University's Campus: Maura Lyons, a professor of art history at Drake, will present an overview of the historical context and midcentury buildings of Drake's campus, designed by Mies van der Rohe, Eliel and Eero Saarinen and Harry and Ben Weese.
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