Tag Archives: Des Moines artists

“I do” + art

In atypical traditionalist fashion, I knew I wanted to take part in the custom of spousal-wedding-gift-giving when Joe and I were married two years ago. A watch seems like the typical token of sentiment for the occasion, but I wanted my gift to have a little more individual meaning. When I saw this piece by Jeff “Buffalo” Bonker, I knew investing in original art that we could share in our home would be a great way to celebrate our commitment:

It felt like a fit for a bunch of reasons, like the fact that Joe is an ardent Cubs fan, that our house was once owned by Sec Taylor, the famed Des Moines Register sports editor after whom Principal Park was originally named (it’s still Sec Taylor Field), and that the artist was a colleague when Joe and I met working at the Register. Plus, with the gold dome of the Capitol in the background, if we ever leave Des Moines we’ll be able to take a landmark with us. And I thought it was just plain cool, especially since it’s acrylic painted on wood and has some heft to it. I talked with Bonker about the piece, which I first saw on his Facebook page, and we were able to work out a deal that fit my budget. I’d purchased art on Etsy before, but this felt like a real investment in a local artist, and it was exciting! I knew Joe would love it, too.

Fast forward and it turns out I chose an award-winning painting. Bonker submitted an image of the work for inclusion in the Des Moines 2011 Performance Report, and it won People’s Choice!

Bonker was able to pop by and borrow back his painting back for a couple days to get some higher quality images, and I get to be tickled that the Iowa Cubs wanted to buy it from him, but he had to tell them it was mine! Sounds like there might be a commission in the works. When I ran into him at Americana the other day, Bonker told me that he’s recently moved into the Fitch Building, where he’ll finally have a studio, and is newly represented by Kavanaugh Gallery. It’s exciting to see passionate people gain momentum like that.

I’m already running out of space, and there are a bunch of local artists I still want to purchase. I’ll follow up this post with some stories of other art we’ve acquired (on a budget) for our home so far. It’ll be a fun little tour, because I’m a total nerd.

P.S. TEDxDesMoines speaker and local artist Rachel Buse had a thoughtful post on the art choices for the Performance Report on Art Beacon Des Moines.


Filed under At home

As seen on…

It appears that a bunch of little side projects I’ve been working on recently all debuted in the world, so I thought I would share them with you!

First off, if you pick up the latest issue of Do It Yourself Magazine (Spring 2012), there’s something I made on page 60! (The guy at the Walgreen’s checkout did not share my excitement.)

I occasionally write for this magazine (which is edited by one of my favorite ladies), but I’ve never made anything for it before. The pressure was on when I got a white canvas delivered to me and was basically told to, well, paint anything! Mine is #8. Not the coolest, but it doesn’t look totally lame, so it was neat to see everything come together.

I feel like it’s so easy to spend time thinking about crafting and adding to my stash hoarding supplies, but I forget to carve out time to just get lost in a project instead of hurriedly making a gift or just not crafting at all. The clock hands are reused from a 25-cent garage sale clock I poked through the canvas (batteries taped to back) and the circle outline is slices made out of paint chips.

Then last week, I had the Juice magazine cover story, “Home Sweet Warehouse,” for the first time as a freelancer.

It felt so good to write in the Juice “voice” again, but I will admit that the night before my stories come out, I get wicked nervous. I had to get up in the middle of the night and just play on the computer because I couldn’t sleep! It’s nerve-wracking because it’s so easy to see the reaction to those pieces online, and I actually see most of these people on a regular basis. I’m glad so many readers seemed to have liked it.

And today, Danny Heggen posted my entry (#10) in his “31 Tips for DSM in 2012” series. It’s about introducing people.

Re-reading it, I’m a little worried that it comes off like I’m saying you have to introduce people otherwise they’ll be lame, which I didn’t really mean. I mean there are a lot of cool people doing interesting things, and I sometimes assume they already know each other, which isn’t necessarily the case. Also, making friends as an adult takes some guts. So don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and connect people, in case something constructive could come from it!

I met up with my amazingly talented friend Amy, and the lovely Jillian (a mostly online acquaintance) for coffee this evening after work. Going into a friend date can be even scarier than a romantic date, but it was a nice chat and it might turn into a progressive dinner sometime! Leave it to me to find more people to cook for me.


Filed under I love Des Moines