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Des Moines Arts Festival® Announces 2022 Artists

The Des Moines Arts Festival® presented by Nationwide has released the list of the 190 professional visual artists that are invited to exhibit in the Juried Art Fair at the 25th Anniversary Festival, June 24 – 26, 2022, in downtown’s Western Gateway Park.

 The announcement follows REVEAL presented by Foster Group, an event which raises funds for arts education and artist professional development, while offering an exclusive sneak peek at the invited artists. REVEAL took place at Franklin Jr. High on the evening of Thursday, March 3.

 Artists were selected last month through a rigorous five-person jury process led by two peer jurors, Nicario Jimenez and Sue Mersman, and jurors Ann Priftis, Lee Running and Kaleb Stevens. Over the course of three days, the Jury participated in a Blind Jury process. Through this, they were only privy to images of the artwork with associated pricing, booth images and an artist statement. No other information was provided to the Jury. The Jurors previewed more than 4,500 images in a variety of mediums submitted by a pool of nearly 800 applicants from across North America. The Jury used a 1 – 7 scoring system for the first round, followed by rounds of voting, eventually narrowing down and composing the final show for 2022.

 In addition to the professional visual artists, the jury compiled the list of Iowa artists to exhibit as part of the Emerging Iowa Artist program presented by Principal. Since 2003, the Emerging Iowa Artist program offers a unique opportunity for visual artists who are Iowa residents and currently enrolled in an institution of higher education to showcase their talents at one of the nation’s most decorated arts festivals.

 The invited artists come from 34 states and Nova Scotia with 17 artists coming from Iowa (11 professional and 7 emerging) and 53 coming from neighboring Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin. Other leading states include Colorado and Florida. The Festival will welcome 100 new artists (53%), of these, 25 are first time applicants.  

 “We pride ourselves on creating every opportunity for every artist that applies to our show. Our jury is thorough, fair, balanced and transparent. Our process is why our Festival is considered one of the best in the country,” said Stephen King, Des Moines Arts Festival’s Executive Director.

 The full list of invited artists can be found today on the Festival’s website, While viewing the gallery of artists, the Festival encourages visitors to click links to the artists’ websites, email the artists directly, and even share artist information with friends through an email function.


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