Central Art Gallery

Jim Bryson

Oil Paintings by Jim Bryson
March 4 - April 19
Central Library Second Floor

Artist's Statement

I have loved art all my life but never had the opportunity to pursue formal training. As a result, I only dabbled in art periodically. My retirement allowed me to have the time to pursue it more seriously and I was delighted to find that others enjoyed my work. My only purpose in producing oil paintings is to replicate the beauty in the world, hopefully in a way that brings pleasure to those who view it. Each time I paint I learn from my endeavors with the hope that I can add additional skills for my next effort. I am particularly pleased when one of my paintings is not only perceived to be a “work of art” by those who view it, but beyond that it creates a connection that allows them to enjoy sentiment of a time or place that was beautiful in their lives. It is wonderful that art can afford such an experience that is truly timeless, and it ought to be celebrated.

Bryson 1

Bryson 2


Art Gallery History

In 1916, the Des Moines Public Library, working in partnership with the newly-formed Des Moines Association of Fine Arts, made a gallery space available in order to “purchase and hold title to paintings acquired for the benefit of the public, and to bring exhibitions to the city.” Several exhibitions were shown each year, and works of art were periodically purchased for the association’s permanent collection. After a period of inactivity in the 1930s due to the Depression, the DMAF in 1938 moved their collection to a building on Walnut Street, and, with funding from the Works Progress Administration in the 1940s, provided galleries and studio space. The Des Moines Association of Fine Arts voluntarily dissolved in 1945 and their assets were turned over to the [James] Edmundson Art Foundation. That entity funded construction of the new Des Moines Art Center, which opened at its present location on Grand Avenue in 1948.

Old Art Callery

The Art Gallery at the Central Library, which opened in May, 2016, is located on the second floor and offers an accessible and welcoming environment for encouraging and celebrating Iowa artists. Exhibitions of original art work will engage, enrich, and be enjoyed by our patrons and enhance our community as a whole. These exhibitions expand the library’s role and bolster creative and expressive energy in the Des Moines community.

We are excited to continue the rich tradition of art at the Des Moines Public Library into a second century. Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you at the gallery!