Last month we reported on an exciting art collaboration between the Des Moines Art Center, Brooklyn-based artist Dave Eppley and students at Findley Elementary School.

Wednesday afternoon we dropped in on an after-school professional development session and found all of the Findley teachers getting involved with the project that’s slated for unveiling on November 5th.

Art teacher Lisa Hesse is coordinating Findley’s contribution to Eppley’s geometric, vinyl vines that will be displayed on the art center’s exterior façade when they’re finished, and she says most of the students’ work is done.

“The student panels are basically finished,” she said. “We’ve been discussing suggestions for titles of the piece since we Skyped with Dave and he said the kids can have input on that.”

The big reveal at the art center on 11/5 begins at 2:00 PM. The hoopla will include speeches, refreshments and suspense. They say too many cooks can spoil a broth in the kitchen, but Hesse says no such problems arose with 120 3rd and 5th graders creating bouquet appliques that are similar at a glance but as unique as their creators upon closer inspection.

“They have had so much fun being a part of this,” said Hesse. “And Dave is so pleased with what they’ve come up with. I think it’s surpassed his expectations.”

The Findley teachers, too, were glad for their chance to contribute.

“This is almost therapeutic for them,” said Findley principal Barb Adams. “They spend so much time and energy unselfishly, but it’s important sometimes to take a break and just do something fun together.”

There promises to be a crowd unaccustomed to gallery openings in attendance at this upcoming one. And by all means, the more the merrier. But if you can’t make it on November 5th be sure to check out the yet-to-be-named objet d’ art if you happen to be passing by the art center between then and January 21st. Because it will be visible from Grand Avenue.

“The original plan was if the weather was poor on November 5th the ceremony would move inside and our work would be installed there,” according to Hesse. “But Jill (DMAC Education Director Jill Featherstone) decided that if the weather’s bad that day we’ll just postpone until a better one. The piece will definitely be displayed outside.”

Eppley (and his team) is one of four artists invited to create artwork made from sign vinyl tape, inspired by the art center’s architecture. The exhibit, Drawing in Space, has been on view inside the art center since September 29.

It’s about time to put up the marquee.

Photos of the Findley Art Center Project

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