Artists' Choice Film Series

  • Des Moines
  • Art Center
  • 4700 Grand Ave
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • 515.277.4405
  • Hours | Directions

  • John & Mary Pappajohn
  • Sculpture Park
  • 13th and Grand Ave
  • Downtown
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Hours | Directions

Each artist in Surface Value selected a film that informs their work and wrote a brief description
about the connection. Exhibition curator Laura Burkhalter will introduce each film.

Levitt Auditorium / FREE admission



    Mickalene Thomas' Pick
    Sunday, July 10 / 1:30 pm

    “I consider Killer of Sheep, filmed in 1977 in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, a great classic. It’s a poignant film that focuses on the everyday life of many black families during that time. The film expresses in a way that words never can, the feeling I recognize from that time. It offers a true reflection of love and family life without avoiding the pain of struggle, and is filmed with incredible beauty. This film gives me an artistic remembrance of my own family during the time I was growing up.”

    Charles Burnett, director
    83 minutes, not rated (intended for an adult audience)


    James Gobel's Pick
    Sunday, July 17 / 1:30 pm

    “I first saw Almost Angels when I was 11, roughly the same age as the main character Tony Fiala. Set in Vienna in the early 1960s, Tony, son of working class parents, is graced with the voice of an angel. With his mother’s support and much to his father’s disapproval, he earns a coveted spot within the Vienna Boys’ Choir. There he will prove his worth and honor as a delicate boy. He was my first true love, and I have painted him and Vienna ever since.“

    Steve Previn, director
    93 minutes; not rated


    Alison Elizabeth Taylor's Pick
    Sunday, July 24 / 1:30 pm

    “I chose Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore because it dramatizes something essential about desert life; it’s the same thing I am trying to capture in my works in this show. In the Southwest it seems like everyone is from somewhere else, lots of shallow roots, like tumbleweed they keep moving around in the desert looking for something better, usually thinking its California. Like the main character in the film, they get sidetracked, and then there they are, going grey in Tucson, Las Vegas, Yuma, or Alamogordo.”

    Martin Scorsese, director
    112 minutes; rated PG