June 20, 2017
July 1, friends -- less than two weeks away, then nominations close for 2017's Sages Over 70 honor. We don't want to leave out deserving candidates simply because everyone thought someone else would do the nominating. It's up to you. Click here to start the nominating process. Each year's sages are profiled in an issue of dsm magazine and are honored at a ceremony in November. 

The 2017 Des Moines Arts Festival starts this Friday! Chaden Halfhill shares his story of returning to Iowa as a struggling young artist and announces the opening of the Festival Salon - a special art gallery housed in the Arts Festival VIP Club.  ... 

Plants and artwork share the display space at Art Terrarium, new to downtown Des Moines and a direct result of Art Week.
Art Week, happily now underway, is a day-by-day ramp-up to the Des Moines Arts Festival. Art Week co-creators David Safris and Liz Adelman worked with the community to host a variety of events during the week such as public art tours, culinary arts events, gallery shows, artist demonstrations, a performance by Ballet Des Moines and much more. You can find a list of Art Week's wide-ranging events here.

Alas, as fun as it is, Art Week lasts but a week and then it's gone for another year. But a legacy of Art Week lives on: Art Terrarium, a new downtown salon selling plants and artwork, got its start last year as an Art Week pop-up shop. Owners Andrea Metzler, Levi Biel and Shylah Statler had such fun, they didn't want it to end. So they opened the permanent business earlier this month at "elevencherry," a new consortium of independent ventures at 11th and Cherry streets downtown.

"We're specializing in easy-to-care-for house plants, cacti and succulents," Metzler says, "and we have many of them ready to go in handmade planters." A primary market is the expanding residential population downtown, which doesn't have easy access to soil or plants. "So we even have a little potting bar where customers can plant their own or even bring in their own containers," Metzler adds.
And as many have discovered, in trying to keep house plants healthy, that's an art all its own, every week of the year.

Art Terrarium is at 106 11th St. Hours and more info are available online here. You can read more about elevencherry in the upcoming issue of dsm, which will be published June 27.

Pieces We Loved At The Spring Highpoint Furniture Market
We love going to the Highpoint Furniture Market each spring and fall.  It's so fun to see all the newest styles and products - and to bring them back to our store for our clients.  We wanted to share some of the photos we took at market this spring...let us know if you see anything you like.  ...

by Design presents dsmDining

The fried egg salad at Cool Basil delights adventurous diners with its combination of enticing ingredients.
By Wini Moranville

"It's magnificent!" my friend said as she tasted, for the first time, the insanely good fried egg salad at Cool Basil. But before you take our word for it, let me warn you: This salad is not for everybody. I've also lunched with less-adventuresome diners for whom the dish fell flat. It's one of those things, like smelly cheeses or fresh anchovies, that you'll either love or hate.

Me, I'm crazy about it. The dish brings cool lettuce, cabbage and shredded carrots alongside a mixture of red onions, green onions, tomatoes, cilantro and strips of warm fried egg.

What sends this salad over the moon (for some) are the eggs and the dressing. The eggs are lightly scrambled -- you still see swirls of sunny yellow and creamy white; then, they're fried in enough oil to make them lightly crisp on the outside, while fluffy on the inside. For the dressing the kitchen stirs together lime juice, ground chiles, palm sugar and fish sauce; the latter, with its salty fermented-fish flavor, is where the salad might lose a few fans. But if you, like me, find yourself digging in for more whenever flavors get a little bit funky, you'll enjoy it.

We also ordered the larb, a salad of ground meat (our choice was pork) along with the same overall spicy-sour-salty-fermented flavors above, but with a bonus of fresh mint leaves. The mixture comes alongside iceberg lettuce leaves for wrapping. Sound familiar? Yes, the dish resembles P.F. Chang's famed lettuce wraps, only enticingly more intriguing.

Cool Basil is at 1250 86th St, Clive; 515-225-8111; coolbasilcliveiowa.com.

Wini Moranville covers food and dining for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food - DSM Wini Moranville.  
Jessi Strander, Megan Blum, and Ali Collins enjoyed a recent dsm launch party. Meet your friends and make new ones at the debut party for the July/August issue next Tuesday, June 27.
Please join us next Tuesday, June 27, to celebrate the arrival of dsm's July/August issue. We haven't missed one of these launch parties yet, and every single one of them has been fun.

The site is Ankeny's newest home furnishings store, The Elements at Prairie Trail, 1380 S.W. Vintage Parkway. We'll enjoy music by the Tanner Taylor Quartet and food catered by District 36 Wine Bar & Grill, Whiskey River, and Teitel Brothers from New York City. Drinks will be served by District 36 and New American Brewery. Get a keepsake of the evening with a picture from the photo booth that our hosts will provide.

Partying and revelry are scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m., with some brief comments and the distribution of our new issue at 6 p.m. We have some surprising stories in this issue that we're eager to share with you
. To make it easy as well as fun, our hosts will provide valet parking services. See you there! 
From paintings to furnishings to whimsical creations like these tiny "Hot Houses," production rolls from the studios of Hidden Springs Designs, an enterprise drawn to Iowa by the Des Moines Arts Festival.
Sure, almost everyone loves the Des Moines Arts Festival, which returns for its 20th year this weekend. But would you move your residence for it? That's what husband-and-wife artists Rob Matthews and Leslie Guinan did -- packing up from California and settling in Iowa. Now that's a compelling festival. 

"That is the core of why we're here," Matthews says from their home on the city's south side. He is a longtime sculptor and stained-glass artist. Together, the couple creates furnishings and decorative pieces. Guinan, a former environmental lawyer, has become passionate about encaustic painting, a method that incorporates heated wax as well as pigments.

"We came to Des Moines initially seven years ago, and we were impressed by the sculpture garden right off the bat," says Matthews, 66. "We've watched the Arts Festival grow every year, and moved here in April."

The couple sells most of their work in similar festivals nationwide (and to clients who initially discover them there), so Des Moines' central location appealed to them logistically, as they drive their artwork to various events. They moved here from Northern California and have been delighted by the change, Matthews says. His art has been featured in several years of the Des Moines Arts Festival; this year that honor fell to Guinan.

"We're just happy to be here and to be a part of it," Matthews says.

Once again, the Arts Festival opens Friday with a bang -- the Interrobang Film Festival, which continues to grow. Dozens of short films, documentaries and features will be screened throughout the weekend, with details available here.

As always, artists and performers will fill downtown's Western Gateway with beauty, music and throngs of fans and consumers. Musicians are scheduled throughout each afternoon and evening, with local favorites each day, including the Maytags at 3:15 p.m. Friday, Abbie and the Sawyers at 7 p.m. Saturday, and the NOLA Jazz Band at 12:15 p.m. Sunday. For a complete list of musicians and times, click here.

Get all the details on Festival activities with one click: desmoinesartsfestival.org.  
Singer Max Wellman will be backed up with a half-dozen instrumentalists Thursday at the Des Moines Botanical Garden.
The Max Wellman 7 performs at the Des Moines Botanical Garden Thursday, June 22, kicking off a summerlong series of evenings filled with live music, food and beverages in a lush environment.

Dubbed Social Irrigation, these Thursday evening events run from 5 to 8 p.m. Trellis Cafe will be open with small plates and popular beverages. Attendance is free with admission to the garden. For more information, here's a link to the Botanical Garden website. Questions? Call 515-323-6290. 


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