Art Week offers opportunities to create as well as to appreciate artwork, including painting for an exhibit in the Des Moines Social Club.


More than 60 art-based events—from galleries and painting to performances and films—fill the lineup for the fourth annual Art Week Des Moines, Monday through Sunday, June 18-24. Led by volunteers, Art Week encourages the community to host events in a ramp-up to the Des Moines Arts Festival June 22-24.

For information about Art Week, click here. For details about this year's Art Week events (as many as a dozen in a single day!), click here.

Warm industrial style & clever storage in a Brown Camp Loft
Living in a converted warehouse requires smart design and functionality, especially when your urban home includes a teenager. See how Silent Rivers delivered on the request to infuse warm style and cleverly hidden storage throughout this downtown loft. ... Read more »

Olson-Larsen Galleries presents dsmArts —

Former baseball pro Ryan Broussard hits a home run as a street-smart tough guy in "Prowess," through June 17 at Stoner Theater.


Reviewed by Michael Morain

When a fluorescent light blinks on and a low rumble pumps in during the show "Prowess," at Stoner Theater, the scaffold upon which four actors stand and sway really does look like an L train. And the city they ride through really does look like Chicago—at least, the bleak and violent version that President Trump described in his inaugural address. The show starts, in fact, with an audio clip of his inescapable voice.

But instead of simply rolling over and giving up, the four strangers in Pyramid Theatre’s fiercely relevant story by Ike Holter shake their fist and resist (or these days: #resist) the hopeless status quo. They form a vigilante posse of raggedy superheroes to clobber a gang the Chicago police are unable or unwilling to take down themselves.

Sure, the premise sounds a little goofy. But with Ken-Matt Martin’s direction, the dramedy charges ahead like the L train, without ever tipping off the rails. The overall tone is dark even if the characters’ Fight Club training sessions (directed by Karla Kash) occasionally shift into funny hip-hop dance routines (choreographed by Martin and Josiah Davis and embellished with skinny-white-guy antics by actor Louis McWilliams). One character accurately calls it "mighty morphin’ Fosse Posse."

For this productionjust the second after the script’s Chicago premiereMartin has recruited three of his friends from Brown University’s prestigious graduate theater program. Besides McWilliams, the show benefits from the street-smart swagger of Ryan Broussard (who used to play baseball for the Los Angeles Angels) and the New York- and Mumbai-based actor Aman Soni, portraying a Banksy-like graffiti artist who tends to appear on balconies like a mischievous Cheshire Cat. (D’Vaughn Agu designed the spare industrial set.)

Rounding out the cast is the fearless Victoria O’Bryant, a Drake University senior who stepped in as a replacement and learned her lines in just two weeks. After a few out-of-sync moments with Broussard at the start of last Thursday’s preview, she more than held her own with her more-experienced castmates. Like the others, her character protects a tender heart with a tough shell.

By the end, the moral boundaries of the posse’s exercise in DIY justice are murky. But the upshot is clear: This show falls right in line with the company’s other recent successes, including several Cloris Awards and a 2018 Standing Ovation Award from Bravo Greater Des Moines. It demonstrates what American theater looks like right this minute and, one can hope, where it’s moving in the future.

"Prowess" starts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Des Moines Civic Center’s Stoner Theater. $26.50;

By Design presents dsmDining —

Clever barbecue tongs lock onto their grillable targets with a snappy one-hand operation.


By Wini Moranville

What tops this year’s list of "it" wedding gifts? Certainly, beautiful dishes, linens and flatware will charm the happy couple, especially women. "Brides always pick something lovely and meaningful, such as platters, cake plates and cake domes that tap into their individualistic styles," says Teresa Adams-Tomka, owner of Kitchen Collage, the city’s ultimate source for impeccably curated kitchenware and dinnerware.

But if you’re looking for something the groom will appreciate, consider a set of Rösle Tongs ($35). "Guys love these,"  Adams-Tomka says.

Note that these aren’t just any old tongs: They’re calibrated to open only when facing down, and they’ll only lock shut when facing up (most tongs require both hands to lock the open and closed positions). That’s right: You can single-handedly grab the tongs, open them up and flip steaks on the grill, without having to set down your beer.

No wonder guys love them. "It’s kind of a neat party trick," Adam-Tomka says.

If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated, she points to a great chef’s knife as a gratifying option. "I have some clients who will only ever buy a great chef’s knife for the couple whenever they’re invited to the wedding." She suggests an 8-inch Wüstoff chef’s knife (or a 6-inch knife if the larger knife seems a bit intimidating for newer cooks); both cost $99.

Kitchen Collage is at 430 E. Locust St.; 515-270-8202;

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.

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Get the inside scoop on Jett & Monkey's, a fun source of pet supplies, on the Sip and Stroll tour of East Village sites owned by women.


Women who own businesses in the East Village area will discuss their entrepreneurial adventures during Sip and Stroll, a walking tour of the neighborhood from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 14. Register today to reserve your spot, at Tickets are $25 here. Check-in and free parking will be at the Iowa Economic Development Authority, 200 E. Grand Ave.

This is the second year of this event, which is produced by the Iowa affiliate of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Shops on the tour this year are: Wanderlust, Leona Ruby, the Continental, Jett & Monkey's Dog Shoppe and Scenic Route Bakery.

Jean Gumpper's "Thunder River" is a 20- by 30-inch work in woodcut and pochoir (a stencil technique to enhance prints).


An annual landscape show featuring four artists is just one of three events coming up at Olson-Larsen Galleries in Valley Junction. It opens Friday, June 15, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m., and continues through July 21.

The landscape artists are northeast Iowa charcoal illustrator Barbara Fedeler, Colorado woodcut printer Jean Gumpper, Minneapolis photographer Stuart Klipper and fanciful Nebraska painter Jenny Kruger.

One block east of the main gallery, at Olson-Larsen's alternative exhibition space, OL Guild at 201 Fourth St., French photographer Tatiana Giacinti will present a pop-up gallery of images of palms and other trees greenhouse environment of real plants. Giacinti will be present Friday, when the exhibit opens, and next Monday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

On Thursday, June 21, Jennifer Leatherby will present "Bruised Birds, Empty Nests," an installation about reproductive freedom, oppression, and women’s health with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. in OL Guild. "I incorporate found and everyday objects for installation and sculpture in addition to using sound, performance, painting and sewing," Leatherby says of her work.

It isn't all fun and games. There's some serious dining to be done at House of Mercy's annual Game Show Gala.


The Game Show Gala at the Iowa Events Center Thursday, June 14, is an entertaining annual fundraiser for House of Mercy, one of Iowa’s most comprehensive providers of vital services for persons with substance use disorders, especially parenting women with children.

The event pits teams onstage in familiar TV game show formats from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Event Center's Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (Vets Auditorium).

The teams are already competing, vying for the fundraising lead right up to the end the gala. Supporters can give today to advance a favorite team. Tickets—$150 (half-price for YPs)—are available here.

Established in 2010, the Game Show Gala has provided more than $1.2 million for House of Mercy. In fiscal  2017, House of Mercy served 3,724 clients through recovery, halfway housing, permanent housing, adolescent group living, substance abuse and mental health treatment.

"Did my heart love till now?" These crazy kids will be foreswearin' at Salisbury House tomorrow through Sunday.


We listed it last week but it bears repeating: Shakespeare's star-crossed young lovers will cast their longing glances across the terrace and lawn of Salisbury House this week, as  Iowa Stage Theatre Co. presents "Romeo and Juliet" Wednesday through Sunday, June 13–17. The show is a production of the popular June series Shakespeare on the Lawn.

The grounds open to each evening's audience at 6 p.m. with performances from 7:30 to 10 p.m. You can bring blankets to sit on or use folding chairs provided by Salisbury House. Vendors will have food, snacks and beverages for sale.
Tickets are $30 (discounted for children, students and members). For tickets and additional information, click here.

Delbert McClinton performs in Des Moines next month.


With his distinctive gravel-chewing voice, blues-rocker Delbert McClinton comes to Hoyt Sherman Place on Friday, July 20. For other fun opportunities, explore a pair of easy-to-use online calendars. We at dsm magazine and the Business Record maintain this calendar with handy filters so you can see just the types of events you're searching for. For even more categories, check Catch Des Moines.

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