January 24, 2017
From "Party's Over" by Chris Vance, who will be a key player in the Reveal party, where he will create a new painting on site.

Sure, the Des Moines Arts Festival isn't until June, but who can bear so much anticipation? OK, how about a sneak peek? That's the offer for the Festival's big "Reveal," a 6 p.m. dinner party Thursday, Jan. 26, at Wells Fargo Arena.

You'll get an exclusive first look at some of the work of artists who have been selected from more than 1,000 applications for the 180 spots in the summer festival. Included in the evening's program, Executive Director Stephen King will take you behind the scenes of the rigorous jury process, and artist Chris Vance will paint a large canvas during the event, to be auctioned at the end of the evening. Admission is $125, with discounts for artists and young professionals.There are no physical tickets, but you can reserve your spot and get more information by clicking here.

New photos of this sunroom and outdoor oasis in-progress show how we helped our clients fix a hot western facing exposure. Their vision for cool summer entertaining will come to life soon! ... 

Great food, fine wine, some friendly competition and genial conversation -- the four-star recipe for fun at Iron Somm. Photographer: Christopher Maharry

By Wini Moranville

Of all the Winefest events held each year, Iron Somm may be my favorite. At this lavish gathering, Feb. 18 this year in the ballroom of the Temple for Performing Arts, attendees enjoy a five-course dinner, and two competing sommeliers choose a wine to pair with each course. Then, it's up to the diners to decide which wines best complement the food.
Ben Nelson, formerly of Splash Seafood Bar & Grill, took home the prize in 2015. Last year, the title went to Josh Buchsbaum, formerly of Proof and now-closed Lurra Cocina.

This year, the competing sommeliers are Kelsey Seay from Gateway Market and Angel Arevalo from Django.
"Angel is a fantastic server at Django and is quickly earning himself a great name as a sommelier in Des Moines," says Natasha Sayles, Winefest's executive director. "He is one of the recipients of our Winefest Sommelier Scholarship, and since October has obtained both his introductory and level-one certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers."
Anyone who has bought a thoughtfully purveyed bottle of wine at Gateway Market in the past year has already gotten a taste of Kelsey Seay's expertise. "Kelsey has played an important role in Winefest," Sayles says, "and since taking over as the manager of Gateway in 2016, she has continued to showcase an impressive array of wines." 
Chefs for the event include Justin Comer of Goldfinch, Dominic Iannarelli of Splash Seafood Bar & Grill, Derek Eidson of Centro, and Christina Moffatt and Holly Evans of Crème Cupcake and Dessert Lounge.
The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $175 per person and can be purchased by emailing or calling Sayles ( natasha@winefestdesmoines.com; 515-244-0039).
Wini Moranville covers food and dining for dsm . Follow her at All Things Food - DSM Wini Moranville.   
Interior designer Amanda Reynal awaits your arrival at her sunny downtown location on Walnut Street.

Interior designer Amanda Reynal's new retail shop and design studio downtown may not occupy a big space -- but it makes a big impression. When we stopped in last week for the opening party, we thoroughly enjoyed browsing the furnishings (couches, chairs, ottomans and more), decorative items and accessories (accent pillows, bookends, candles, frames, among others), artwork, and even home and garden coffee-table books.
The selection is impeccably curated. Reynal "chose brands not available or well-represented elsewhere," she says. That includes the artwork, created by emerging or established national artists whose works aren't found locally.
In addition, Reynal wanted to ensure a mix of price points, from a $25 vase to couches that may run into the thousands. "We work in a variety of budgets," she emphasizes. "You can have a higher-end look and not break the bank."
As a designer, Reynal's aesthetic combines tradition -- rooted in her studies of art and classical design -- with a fresh and updated sensibility. Her fluency in a variety of design styles, from antiques to modern looks, is evident in both the retail space and the studio.
Amanda Reynal Interiors is located at 1417 Walnut St., Suite D. "When I decided to expand, I knew I wanted to be downtown -- in the heart and soul of the community," she says. For more information, go to Reynal's website and check out this story from the dsm archives.
Authors will speak with writing and reading enthusiasts Saturday at the Barnes and Noble on University Avenue.

Want to improve your writing? Meet published authors? Gain insights into the literary arts? Sign up for "Writers' Day" at Barnes & Noble this Saturday, Jan. 28. Events from 1 to 4 p.m. include literary panels, workshops and a networking hour. It's a project of the Iowa Writers' House, a nonprofit network of several hundred writers organized to promote and support the craft of writing. For details on the workshops and the featured authors, and to reserve your seat for specific programs, click here.  
Emma Kay Banner is Daisy Buchanan and Matthew Phillip Smith is Jay Gatsby in "F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby," Jan. 27 to Feb. 12 at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. Photographer: Steve Gibbons.

The glamour of the Jazz Age comes to life onstage in a new adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, "The Great Gatsby." The show opens Friday, Jan. 27, and runs through Feb. 12 at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. Elegantly flawed and outrageously wealthy Jay Gatsby still longs for the lovely Daisy Buchanan, or his richly crafted fantasy of her. But, as Fitzgerald wrote, "No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart." They're played by Emma Kay Banner and Matthew Phillip Smith in this production, directed by Jay Viars. Admission is $25 to $36. Click here for show times and tickets.


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