dsm Unveiling
Learn the artistry behind these curious items in the new issue of dsm magazine, available free at our unveiling party later today.


It's a fun tradition, one we're happy to maintain: a party for our readers where we unveil our new issue and chat with friends about all that's new and exciting in Greater Des Moines. Tonight's the night: We'll be in Clive from 5 to 7 p.m. to unveil the September/October issue at Mercy Medical Center's new Comfort Women's Health Center, located at 1601 N.W. 114th St., No. 151. Learn more about the clinic and benefactor Frank Comfort in this article from our dsm archives. Our hosts there are eager for you to see their facilities. As always, you'll find refreshments and friends to share them. We hope to see you there. 

Designer Tyson Leyendecker and his stunning remodeled & new homes
Meet Tyson via video and 4 of his most recent design projects. From a Farm-Industrial barn-like new custom home to a remodeled 1920s Craftsman hallway bathroom, Tyson loves to collaborate with homeowners to make dream homes come true! ... Read more »

Faith, Jazz Events

Prayer comes in many forms and colors in Des Moines, home to a rich variety of faiths and religious customs. Photo: Bob Blanchard.


Two very different events will soon showcase local arts and culture at the Des Moines Social Club:

The second annual Des Moines Jazz Festival is Friday and Saturday, Sept. 1 and 2, featuring vocalist Sasha Masakowski, right. Tickets range from $10 to $25. Get tickets, the schedule, and info on the seven participating soloists and bands with one click here.

In a quieter mode, learn more about local religions through the photography of Bob Blanchard, whose images of local religious practices will be displayed Sept.1-30 at the Social Club’s Viaduct Gallery. A reception with the artist will open the exhibit from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday. Copies of the book "A Spectrum of Faith" will be for sale at the opening event and at the gallery shop during September. Learn more about the photo and research project that led to the book in this story from the dsm archives.

All Upholstery On Sale!
If you've been thinking about new living room furniture - now's the best time of the year! All By Design's upholstery is on sale now. ... Read more»

By Design presents dsmDining —

This is sure to please your palate: Pan-seared sea trout with pea vichyssoise and bits of daikon. Other dishes are equally delicious.


By Wini Moranville

About two dishes into a 10-course tasting menu hosted for local food media by Marlene’s at Sevastapol Station, one of my dining companions exclaimed, “This guy’s the real deal.”

She was talking about the restaurant’s new chef, Jacob Demars, who recently landed in Des Moines after cooking in restaurants in Denver followed by stints in Michelin-starred kitchens in Chicago.

Indeed, each course brought artfully presented, exquisite and surprising food: Ahi tuna with watermelon, blueberry-beer foam and shaved toasted hazelnuts. Pan-seared sea trout with pea vichyssoise and bits of daikon cooked in mushroom sauce. An intermezzo of applewood cappuccino with egg foam and pecorino cheese.

This is the kind of highly detailed, precise and imaginative food that many chefs aspire to create, but not as many actually pull off. Done well, it can be the gustatory equivalent of a great symphony; poorly executed, it’s more akin to a middle school band warming up.

Indeed, as my friend said, this guy is the real deal. Each dish hit the right note, bringing us beautiful food that delighted in continually thrilling and unexpected ways. Although the tasting menu is not a regular feature, many of the dishes we tried are on the menu as first courses or main dishes. Personal favorites include the aforementioned ahi tuna (a first-course plate for $7) and seared scallops with cauliflower puree, couscous and curried poblano (a main dish at $22).

In a recent interview, Demars told dsmWeekly that his goal was to “bring the type of food that Des Moines hasn’t seen here yet.” The passion and artistry are certainly present; whether Demars will raise the overall dining standards in the head-turning ways that other chefs in Des Moines have done will depend on whether Marlene’s can complete the dining experience with an equally ambitious front of the house. With a crew of three (including owner Kim Carstens) overseeing the six diners at this one-of-a-kind event, it was difficult to get a sense of the caliber of service we can expect on any given night.

Marlene’s is at 1938 S.E. Sixth St.; 515-288-0898;


Local filmmaker Jack Meggers is one of two artists participating in the second year of Ballet Des Moines' artist-in-residence program.


Ballet Des Moines has selected two local artists for the second year of its artist-in-residence program:

Sarah Jae, a visual artist, dancer and choreographer from Des Moines, seeks to engage the community in her effort, creating bite-sized moments of contemporary choreographed dance, proving both the personal expression and accessibility the art of ballet can provide.

Jack Meggers, a Des Moines filmmaker and recently announced 2017 Iowa Arts Council Fellow, will use film to capture the grace and complexity embodied by the company's professional dancers.

“We didn’t set out with the intention of choosing two artists,” said Laurel Knox, executive director of Ballet Des Moines. “However, seeing two artists approach cinematographic projects at such differing angles while embodying our values of magic, professionalism, talent and community engagement left us in awe."

The artists will work with Ballet Des Moines through the fall performance of "Triple Bill: Redefined," Oct. 20-22 at Hoyt Sherman Place. A one-night exhibition will be slated for the week prior to the performance to showcase the artists-in-residence completed projects.

New Exhibit

A detail from the pastel "Lily Pond No. 3" by Diane Kunzler, one of 15 artists featured in the exhibit "Connections: Words and Images."


A free, public reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, will open a new exhibit of artwork accompanied by text at Salisbury House and Garden's gallery, The Garage.

For the exhibit, called "Connections: Words and Images," the15 participating artists were asked to provide literary references that relate to their artwork in a meaningful way. In some cases, the words may help explain or support the art on display; in others, the words may have influenced the art. After Friday's reception, the display will be accessible with paid tours of Salisbury House through Oct. 15.

Hunger Relief Project

Volunteers last year packaged 4 million meals during Meals from the Heartland's annual Hunger Fight.


For the past nine years, thousands of volunteers have come together each summer for Meals from the Heartland’s Annual Hunger Fight – an event in which millions of meals are packaged for those around the world who face hunger every day. Last year, approximately 10,000 volunteers packaged over 4 million meals during the drive. The goal this year is to pack the 100 millionth meal since the program began.

You can be part of the action this week at Hy-Vee Hall in the Iowa Events Center. Two-hour packaging shifts are available between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday, and between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday. To participate, donate or learn more, click here.

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