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Des Moines Arts Festival Reveals Much Anticipated Highlights for the 20th Celebration

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Des Moines Arts Festival® Reveals Much Anticipated Highlights for the 20th Celebration

Featured Artist, Poster, Performing Acts and G. David Hurd Innovator in the Arts Award Recipient Announced at Preview Celebration

Des Moines, IA May 30, 2017 — Stephen King, executive director of Des Moines Arts Festival®, announced a robust list of anticipated details for the 2017 Festival to a crowd of art enthusiasts, patrons and community leaders at last week’s Preview Celebration at the Des Moines Art Center.

In addition to the wonderful paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, mixed media pieces and more, guests will be able to “go where it takes you” with the following highlights:

  • Chris Vance was announced as the 2017 Featured Artist. His work, “The Dream,” has not only been commissioned for this year’s commemorative poster, but the Des Moines based artist known for his murals will also paint the piece on the side of the Ford & Garland Auto Radio Inc (1304 Locust St, Des Moines).
  • Chaden Halfhill of Silent Rivers Design+Build was awarded with the G. David Hurd Innovator in the Arts award for years of service as an artist, educator, volunteer and community leader.
  • The 2017 performing acts were announced:
  • eVenti Verticali’s WANTED: You have to see this spectacular vertical dance act sponsored by a leading retirement services company, Athene USA, to believe it. The Italian production company’s visual comedy show features video projections behind two artists suspended by rope while they play “cops and robbers” on a vertical stage. Follow this link to discover the group’s unusual type of aerial theater: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8AC1lRZ9bk.
  • Secret Walls: The “Fight Club” of the art scene, inspired by Marvel comics and graffiti and presented by Wells Fargo. In this urban art competition artists go head-to-head for 90 minutes on a giant blank white wall and use only markers, paint and spray paint to create their piece. The winner is voted upon by two judges and a crowd vote using a decibel reader. To say it’s a one-of-a-kind experience is an understatement.
  • Physical comedian Bill Robison will use his rubber-like face, elastic body and limitless energy for a can’t-miss, zany, unpredictable and hilarious comedy act.
  • Los Angeles juggler Fantastick Patrick will offer a show full of juggling swords, fire, balls and clubs; musical numbers; plate spinning; and a 10-foot unicycle finale for the whole family.
  • New this year, the 2017 emerging artists will hold workshops presented by Principal℠ to coincide with the Artist Demonstrations presented by John Deere.

“One of the exciting aspects of the Des Moines Arts Festival is our ability to continue to offer guests new experiences year after year. eVenti Verticali’s WANTED, sponsored by Athene USA and Secret Walls, presented by Wells Fargo, are additional ways we can celebrate the arts and expose central Iowans to various kinds of artistic and cultural experiences. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, those experiences are completely free of charge,” said King.

For a full schedule of events for this year’s festival, visit the Des Moines Arts Festival website.

At the end of the Preview Celebration, guests posed by a 2017 Buick Envision to announce the “Buick GMC Arts Festival Sweepstakes” by Select Buick GMC Dealers. Anyone can enter to win a custom art piece by 2017 Featured Artist Chris Vance by visiting buickgmcartsfestivalsweepstakes.com.


About the Des Moines Arts Festival® The Gold Grand Pinnacle Award-winning Des Moines Arts Festival® is a free annual three-day arts and culture festival the last weekend in June surrounding the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park and is presented by The Des Moines Register. The Festival would also not be possible without the support of Bravo Greater Des Moines, Principal℠, MidAmerican Energy, and Prairie Meadows. DMAF invites you to “go where it takes you…” by engaging with 180 invited professional visual artists, emerging Iowa artists, the cutting-edge Interrobang Film Festival, live music, performing arts, interactive arts activities, award-winning community outreach programs, live artist workshops and demonstrations, artisan food, and beverages for every taste.
For more information please visit us online at www.desmoinesartsfestival.org or socialize with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DesMoinesArtsFestival, twitter at @DMArtsFestival and Instagram at desmoinesartsfestival. #GoWhereItTakesYou #DMAF #DMAF20

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