Des Moines Art Center hosts public discussion on “The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life”

Posted on Friday, January 20, 2017

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Briggie-Smith
Tel: 515.271.0343

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Des Moines Art Center hosts public discussion on The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life

DES MOINES, IOWA (January 2017) – On Thursday, March 23, 6:30 – 8 pm, the Des Moines Art Center will host a public discussion on Sharon Louden’s latest book The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life. Louden is an artist, advocate, and editor of the book. Featured speakers are Hrag Vartanian, editor-in-chief and co-founder of the arts blogazine Hyperallergic, who wrote the forward of the book, and Art Center Director Jeff Fleming. (Hyperallergic is a forum for serious, playful, and radical thinking about art in the world today, founded in 2009.) The discussion will be moderated by Louden, will take place in Levitt Auditorium, and is free and open to the public but reservations are required.* The community is highly encouraged to attend and engage in the discussion.

This extraordinary event is organized around the launch of the book and speaking tour, with the goal being to demythologize the tired cliché of the ‘artist hero’ by dispensing with the notion that contemporary artists should be treated differently from other members of our communities. Topics will include: views on current issues in the art world today, an exploration into what models exist that allow an artist to sustain his or her creative life, and what it means for an artist to be a "culture producer."  The community is invited to a book signing in the lobby of the museum following the program.

*FREE reservations can be made by visiting and clicking on EVENT RESERVATIONS.

About the Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the 19th century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velásquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind.

The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect – Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn have provided funding for and donated 28 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Mark di Suvero, is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park was created in collaboration with the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.

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