NOVEMBER 22, 2016

The sculpture "Radiance" by Peter Marasco is permanently parked on a street in Clive.


Roadway medians are seldom graced by anything more engaging than streetlights and traffic signs. Chalk one up for the city of Clive, home to splendid works of public art, including the newest: a steel sculpture handsomely posted in the median of Woodlands Parkway at Northwest 128th Street.

"Radiance," designed by local artist and retired art teacher Peter Marasco, was dedicated last week, two and a half years after Marasco donated the design to the city where he has lived much of his life after emigrating from Italy with his family as a boy. The $140,000 project rose from the artist's 14-inch model to the 18-foot-tall, 8,000-pound sculpture that gleams in the median today.
A season of thanksgivings and gratitude to the Silent Rivers team and especially our clients, who who believe in us and trust us with making dreams come true! ...  Read More »
Mug shots: Glüwein, a spicy mulled wine, is a traditional sip at Christkindlmarkets. German artist Sabine Voigt, who designs mugs for Christmas markets around the world (including in Cologne, Germany), designed this Glüwein mug for the first Des Moines Christkindlmarket.

By Wini Moranville

Originating in Munich, Germany, around 1310, the Christkindlmarket is a lively  street fair that celebrates all things Christmas. Over the past 700 years the tradition has spread throughout Europe and beyond: Chicago and Denver, notably, have their own homegrown versions.
Now, thanks to the European Heritage Association, it's our city's turn to experience the tradition. From Dec. 2 to 4 at Cowles Commons downtown, 14 vendors will sell European-inspired, artisan-made crafts--such as holiday ornaments, letterpress cards, jewelry and linens--and, of course, food.
According to volunteer director Suzanne Hall, the organizers were especially looking for food vendors who could notably evoke a sense of the sights, sounds and smells of a European Christkindlmarket. Hopefully, the aromas of candied roasted nuts, freshly baked pretzels, sizzling sausages, German Bier cheese soup, English Christmas pudding, Glüwein (a spicy mulled wine) and other Old World classics will do the trick. Also look for craft beers from Iowa and Germany, plus seasonal brews.
To add another layer of authenticity, some vendors will be housed in classic wooden vendor stalls--a mainstay of traditional Christkindlmarkets. These have been crafted in partnership with Waukee High School's industrial arts program.
Family-friendly attractions include the Kinder Corner, a children's area that will offer crafts, games, storytelling and songs.
Admission is free; hours are Friday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find out more at christkindlmarketdsm.

Wini Moranville covers food and dining for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food - DSM Wini Moranville   
The energetic Brazilian 2wins, Walter and Wagner Caldas, celebrate Christmas Dec. 1.


Nothing says holidays quite like music. From sanctuaries to grocery stores, the sounds of the season are all around us. Carolers are coming to the dsm offices, and we've cherry-picked a few concerts that we're looking forward to attending: 
  • Holiday Grande 2016: Pianist Jim McDonough performs at Hoyt Sherman Place Sunday, Nov. 27, at 2:30 p.m. The show, which includes an orchestra, singers and dancers, is one of nine in a series of fundraisers for Camp Courageous of Iowa. Click here for more information and tickets ($29-$49).
  • Brazilian 2wins Christmas: Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place. Expect a high-energy musical show with actors, comedy, dancing and snow! $25 in advance; $30 on Dec. 1. Get more info and tickets here.
  • Canadian Brass holiday concert: Friday, Dec. 9, 7:30 p..m. at Drake University's Sheslow Auditorium. Civic Music Association presents this quintet, which has performed throughout the world and sold 2 million albums. More info and tickets, $25 to $55 ($10 for students), are available here.
  • Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble performs "Silver Reflections: Christmas with Vocal Arts" in a holiday celebration of the group's 25th anniversary. Sunday, Dec. 18, 4 p.m. at First Christian Church, 2500 University Ave. Click here for more info or to purchase tickets ($18 for adults, $5 for students).
  • Max Wellman's "Home for the Holidays": This local favorite returns to Noce, Wellman's jazz club on Walnut Street, for shows Dec. 16-18, Dec. 23 and New Year's Eve. Times and prices vary, but all the details are here.
Sure, selfies are fun and all, but don't you deserve the full Vermeer treatment?

Now here's a novel gift idea: a quickie portrait with an easy price. As part of Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26) in Valley Junction, Olson-Larsen Galleries is partnering with artists Jen Leatherby and Cat Rocketship for a one-day event.

Participants will sit for a 15-minute portrait that the gallery will frame, all for $49.  Bear in mind that two old Dutch portraits of fairly unattractive people recently sold for $85 million each. So you never know how these things may turn out. Sessions can be scheduled between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., and your portrait can include up to three people. Interested? Call or email to register: or 515-277-6734.

Holiday on nice: Visitors stroll among dozens of creatively decorated trees at the festival.

The annual Festival of Trees and Lights, the popular fundraiser for Blank Children's Hospital, opens tomorrow (Nov. 23) and continues through Nov. 27. A forest of decorated trees awaits you inside the Iowa Events Center, along with  entertainment, children's activities, food and shopping. Admission to this local tradition is $5 (free for ages 2 and under). Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. except Thursday, when the opening time is 1 p.m., and Sunday, when the event ends at 5 p.m.  

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