The Des Moines Arts Festival is underway in the capital city’s Western Gateway area, while ArtsFest Midwest is being held at the Iowa Events Center. ArtsFest Midwest director Bri Steirer says it’s their biggest show yet. “We have over 160 artists, I think we’re clocking in at 162, all types of mediums from jewelry to metalworks to painting, mixed media,” Steirer says. “We’re hoping for a big crowd. It’s our first year downtown. We usually have the opportunity to meet about 20,000 guests.”
In past years, that show has been held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Steirer says they’ve made a deliberate effort to spotlight artists who are from our state. “Over 50% of our artists this year are Iowa artists and over 80% are actually from the Midwest,” Steirer says, “so it’s very much an Iowa-centric, Midwest-centric show.”
While the Des Moines Arts Fest stretches over several blocks of the downtown and is outdoors, ArtsFest Midwest is inside and air-conditioned, which Steirer says could be her show’s biggest advantage, given the hot, muggy, rainy forecast. Whether you’re looking to spend $10 or $10,000 she says you’ll find what you’re looking for at Hy-Vee Hall.
“We get feedback from our customers and the people who attend and that’s always what we hear, that this is a great event for folks who are looking maybe their first piece of art, or new homebuyers that are looking to purchase a special piece of art for their new homes,” Steirer says. “We have everything for every budget.” ArtsFest Midwest is underway Saturday and Sunday while the Des Moines Arts Festival runs today through Sunday.