A quarter-million people are expected to stroll along the streets and bridges of downtown Des Moines this weekend — avenues that are closed to traffic and open for the eighth annual Des Moines Arts Festival. Director Mo Dana says more than a-thousand artists applied to be among those selected to display their works. Dana says there are 150 artists from across the U.S. and several other nations, including Australia, New Zealand and England. 14 of the artists are from Iowa. There are 14 categories of art including: painting, ceramics, jewelry, fiber, drawings, pastels, glass and sculpture. She says there’s something for shoppers in every tax bracket. Prices range from 30-dollars up to 75-thousand dollars. The Des Moines Arts Festival now ranks as the fourth-best fine arts festival in America, up one place from fifth in 2003, out of 600 festivals nationwide. Dana says that’s a huge honor.The festivals are ranked on factors including the amount of art sold, the graphics, the layout and editorial comments from the artists themselves. The top ranked festivals are in: San Francisco, Denver and Milwaukee — with Des Moines fourth. The festival opens at 4 P.M. today (Friday) and runs through Sunday. For more information, surf to “www.desmoinesartsfestival.org”.
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