Central Art Gallery

Gary Hoard Photography

"Naturally Iowa"

A photographic collection by Gary Hoard

September 4 - October 12, 2018

Artist's Statement:

Photography is my way to capture the ordinary and unusual moments in the nature around us. These images represent particularly my experiences in Iowa’s state and county parks. Looking through the lens and composing an interesting shot forces me to be more aware of what is going on around me, enhancing the outdoor experience. I enjoy this natural experience whether or not I get the photo – the image is a bonus which allows me to share a special moment with others.

This ‘Naturally Iowa’ exhibit is a collection of photographic images on metal of predominantly Iowa plants, birds and animals in their natural environments. I also include some Iowa landscapes that evoke the feeling of peace and solitude that being ‘close to nature’ brings us. The images are printed on metal which reflects the vibrancy I see in the natural world.

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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 gallery

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!