Iowa Artist Directory

Calling all Iowa Artists! Create a Profile on the ALL NEW Iowa Artist Directory.

Answering the call from artists across the state, the new website, the Iowa Artist Directory, will serve as a state-wide hub for the community to find artists and for artists to find opportunities. The site is made possible thanks to generous support from the Iowa Arts Council.

The site is available NOW, but needs to be populated with artists like YOU before it can be promoted. Please join us by creating your FREE profile at

When ready, the site will be promoted as the best website to find artists of all disciplines across Iowa by the Des Moines Arts Festival, the Iowa Arts Council, the Des Moines Music Coalition and more. It also allows businesses and organizations to create opportunities for artists to respond to. This includes, but is not limited to, commissions, auditions, grants, murals, public art projects, events and more.

Our goal is to publicly launch the site this fall, but we can’t do it until the site is filled with Artist Profiles.

Click here to get started!

Thank you,
ARTSwork Team

Gallery Night

Gallery Night | Valley Junction

Riverview Artist Salon 23
Artists of Phenix and Friends Pop-Up Group Show

Friday, October 13th, 2023
Five Monkeys, 134 5th Street, West Des Moines, IA 50265

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Since 2014, River City Art and Music Des Moines (RCAM) has promoted and supported Iowa Creatives through social media, a website, and special themed and curated events such as Riverview Artist Salon (RAS).

Please join us on Friday, October 13th from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM for this RAS Special Edition Pop-Up Group Show at Five Monkeys!

RAS23 includes artists from the Phenix School, an artist work/live property in Valley Junction, plus a few creative friends! Visual art, live music, and delicious food and beverage offerings!

Artists of Phenix

Valerie Van Horne
Jean Rothfusz
Kirk Sloan (Event Musician)


Dina Bechman
Sarah Spain
Maggie Barbour
Ashton Jordan (Event Photographer)

Five Monkeys, is a paint your own pottery studio located at 134 5th St, West Des Moines, IA 50265

Click HERE for more information about Gallery Night in Valley Junction!

Thank you for supporting live music and artists in Iowa!


Des Moines Arts Festival Answers the Call from Creative Entrepreneurs
ARTSwork launches with a mission to positively impact the creative economy.

(Des Moines, IA) – The Des Moines Arts Festival is making a dramatic shift to expand its scope of work and launch new programming and tools designed to positively support creative entrepreneurs and advance the creative economy. Creative entrepreneurs take their work and create a business model around selling their product or service to sustain a living for themselves. This can include artists (painters, ceramicists, designers, writers, illustrators), makers (jewelry, hatters, florists), and movers (dancers, musicians, actors).

To begin this work, the organization is launching ARTSwork. The new arts organization recognizes that a thriving arts ecosystem is anchored by successful creative entrepreneurs, strong arts organizations and world-class arts and cultural institutions. As business and civic leaders continue to recognize the role the arts play as an economic driver as well as enriching the cultural vitality of the region, ARTSwork will focus on professional development and capacity building for independent artists of all disciplines with a shared vision to advance sustainable careers.

ARTSwork extends the organization’s four primary strategic initiatives – Expand Support for Artists, Arts Year-Round, Inclusivity, and Elevate the Impact of the Arts in the region. All of these initiatives are rooted in the Central Iowa Regional Cultural Assessment and supported by the Capital Crossroads Vision Plan catalyst priorities. The Assessment identified individual artists and creative entrepreneurs as Des Moines’ arts and culture ecosystem cornerstones. It also called for the “strengthening of the creative economy by developing the talent and skillsets of creative entrepreneurs and artists” as one of the four cultural priorities. ARTSwork will emerge in 2023 with three significant programs that will join the work started in 2022 with the MicroGrant Dinner, A Seat at the Table and Wine & Clay.

First, in partnership with the Iowa Center for Economic Success, the organizations are presenting a new professional development series designed for creative entrepreneurs called the Creatives’ Breakfast Club. Like a rotary group or chamber, the Creatives’ Breakfast Club will meet monthly and provide the entrepreneur’s career development and education. Each session will feature a guest presenter who is an expert in a field applicable to the creative’s needs. More importantly, the presentations are followed by training opportunities or one-on-one professional consultations.

Next, working in partnership with the Iowa Arts Council and several non-profit arts organizations, including Des Moines Music Coalition, Ballet Des Moines, and Iowa Stage Theatre Company, the organization is developing a new website to serve as both an Artist Directory, an online resource for the public searching for creatives and creative services, and an Artist Resource Directory, an online hub for creatives to search for grants, public art projects, commissions, auditions, performances, art shows, festivals, and all other opportunities that call for artists across Iowa. The goal is to have the sites available by summer.

Artist Connect will connect the education community to artists. The program pays professional artists to demonstrate their work and showcase their skills and working studios to students, ages 5 – 18, and their teachers. The interactive educational program is at no cost to the schools and is made possible by a Community Betterment grant from Polk County and a grant from the Iowa Arts Council.

“All of these programs were developed following a series of studies which focused on assessing the needs of artists in the local ecosystem,” said Stephen King, Executive Director of the Des Moines Arts Festival. “The studies showed a great need for cross-discipline artist networking and life-long learning opportunities to ensure a variety of access points for artists at all stages of artistic development.”

The new programming is a further example of the Des Moines Arts Festival’s expansion into supporting the needs of creative entrepreneurs in Central Iowa. In 2022, the organization successfully launched arts-centered events, MicroGrant Dinner and Wine & Clay, while continuing its work producing A Seat at the Table and 25th Anniversary Des Moines Arts Festival. All of these programs will continue in 2023.

About the ARTSwork and Des Moines Arts Festival. ARTSwork and Des Moines Arts Festival® are committed to strengthening a vibrant and creative community. Dedicated to the principles of collaboration and creative expression, the ARTSwork and Des Moines Arts Festival inspire engagement with the arts, fosters and celebrates inclusion, values professionalism and quality, and champions new and emerging ideas.

ARTSwork and Des Moines Arts Festival produces an annual outdoor festival celebrating arts and culture, provides programming and support to artists and arts organizations, advocates for an “arts first” leadership model, and inspires individuals to find their creative voice.

Stay Connected: Facebook Twitter Instagram

Valley Junction Gallery Night

Gallery Night is back in full swing this fall. Valley Junction’s galleries come together to showcase new artwork by regional, national, and international artists. This event is free and open to the public.

Gallery Night has grown into a popular community event. It is one of the largest merchant events in Historic Valley Junction and a terrific opportunity to rediscover this eclectic shopping district. The galleries of Historic Valley Junction offer original artwork, custom jewelry, ceramics, glass, furniture, folk art, and fine art reproductions, as well as many other one-of-a-kind objects. Gallery Night supports many locally owned businesses and showcases the community of Historic Valley Junction.

2AU Limited – 200 5th
A Okay Antiques – 124 5th
Artisan Gallery 218 – 218 5th
Five Monkeys – 134 5th
Kavanaugh Art Gallery – 228 5th
Kunzler Studios – 324 5th
Olson-Larsen Galleries – 120 5th

When deciding where to dine with us this evening, please consider one of these Gallery Night sponsors:

Big Acai
The Winchester

Art Week Des Moines

Art Week Des Moines | Valley Junction

Riverview Artist Salon 22
Artists of Phenix and Friends Group Show

Thursday, June 23rd, 2022
The Venue, 209 5th St, West Des Moines, IA 50265

3:00PM – 7:00PM

FREE Tickets Available through Eventbrite

Thursdays are Farmer’s Market Day in Valley Junction! And every Thursday after 2:30pm there is no parking on the 100, 200, and (sometimes) 300 blocks of 5th and Maple St out to the alleys. Please use the 24-hour FREE parking off 4th and 6th Streets. 

COVID-19 Protocols

RCAM strongly encourages the use of a mask while in The Venue; however, masking is not required at this time. This protocol will be re-visited periodically and may change based on Polk County infection and vaccination rates. Masks will be available.

If you would like to obtain a Covid-19 vaccine, please click HERE to find a vaccine location.

Thank you for supporting Iowa live music and artists!

Find out about the best arts festivals coming to Des Moines!

River City Art and Music’s Founder was a recent Guest Writer for the Des Moines Register’s FREE Off Hours Newsletter. For further details about arts festivals coming to Des Moines, read the full article HERE!

To subscribe to the Register’s FREE Off Hours newsletter, click HERE!

Iowa Artists

Today, the rain didn’t stop River City Art and Music from speaking with Marissa Kay Apothecary at the Valley Junction Arts Festival. You can plant their greeting cards! What a novel idea and great for the environment! A lasting way to remember those who shared their thoughts with you!

You can find these one-of-a-kind cards at, Facebook and @marissakayapothecary


Iowa Musician

River City Art and Music met Joshua Sinclair yesterday morning at Ted Lare Design Build & Garden’s, Art in the Garden, in Cumming, IA.

Josh has made 16 albums and is just getting started. He’s been a songwriter for 20 years and captures what life is like being a songwriter and all the highs and lows of life on the road. His songs will make you laugh, sing along, and raise a cold one in the air. Here’s his latest, Ten Songs for Summer.