Ranked third-best in the nation, the Des Moines Arts Festival gets underway in the capitol city’s downtown this afternoon (Friday). In addition to 24 “emerging” Iowa artists for whom this is their first show, fest director Stephen King says 150 artists from as far away as England and Israel are displaying their works in virtually all definitions of art.

King says there are 14 categories: painting, jewelry, photography, ceramics, wood, metalwork, 2-D and 3-D mixed media — and many more. There are 15 family arts activities, four performing arts stages of music and other entertainment, as well as 20 culinary artists.

King says there’s artwork for sale to fit anyone’s budget, from regular folks to Warren Buffett. He says a piece of jewelry can likely be had for 25-dollars while some of the sculptures range up to 25-thousand dollars.

The festival has been held the past several years on the bridges over the Des Moines River downtown, but construction has forced this year’s edition to move several blocks west into the heart of downtown Des Moines, encircling the new library.

King does not expect the venue change to effect turnout. They’re preparing for 230-thousand visitors, about the same as last year. The festival runs through Sunday. For more information, surf to “www.desmoinesartsfestival.org”.

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Des Moines Art Festival info