Des Moines ArtFest Midwest shines a spotlight on local Iowa talent


My fellow artists from Iowa and I look forward to returning to festivals, performances and events this summer after a long and difficult year outside of our beloved arts community. Now in its 18th year, ArtFest Midwest is well known for its support of local talent. Almost half of the artists showcasing their work at this year’s event are from Iowa. Over 80% are from the Midwest, cultivating a community of artists who reflect the people we call friends, family and neighbors.

Held at the end of Arts Week on Saturday June 26 and Sunday June 27, this show is unique in that artists from Iowa present their work to audiences in Iowa. ArtFest Midwest is a fun, family day out.

As a young girl, my mom helped instill a love of the arts, and we’ve really enjoyed attending ArtFest Midwest since its inception. In fact, I bought my first piece of art at the salon. It is a beautiful pottery statue of a goddess that has only nine toes. The artist told me that she only put nine toes on her goddesses to remind us that even goddesses are not perfect. These words marked me and became my mantra.

In 2014, with the support of my family and friends, I opened Winged Goddess Studio. I chose the name in part to honor my late father who is my guardian angel and to pay homage to my first work of art. As a jewelry artist, I love to create and incorporate a variety of textures and styles into my work. Making parts by hand gives me the pleasure of trying new techniques and even turning a mistake into an “ah-ha” moment. I believe in a simple design that allows the wearer to choose to wear the piece on its own or layered with other jewelry. It gives me great pleasure to say, “Thank you for being a part of my journey. “

For me, an artist from Iowa, it is truly an honor to participate in ArtFest Midwest. I admit, however, that it’s much more than selling my jewelry. It’s about building relationships with clients and meeting my fellow artists, many of whom have become lifelong friends. It is also the dedication of the staff and volunteers whose hard work makes this event such an exciting event. It never fails that when I attend Art Fest Midwest, I am in awe of the talent of painters, potters, photographers, blacksmiths, jewelry makers and many other artistic disciplines.

I’m excited that ArtFest Midwest is moving to Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center this summer. The downtown location puts us artists at the heart of the metro. With the free shuttle service to 12th and Walnut streets every half hour, it’s easier than ever to attend this year’s event. More information about the festival and the artists are on artfestmidwest.com.

When planning your summer plans, make sure you don’t miss ArtFest Midwest on June 26-27. Come discover the best talent in the Midwest and stop by the Winged Goddess Studio to say hello.

Shana Rainey de Boone, owner of Winged Goddess Studio, is an artist who spends time creating between her full-time job, mother and wife.


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