June 9-15, 2024
The Art Week Des Moines fellowship program is a way to invest in local, community-focused artists leading the creation of new work in one of our neighborhoods while creating a focal point for activating artists and benefiting neighbors.
Fellows work to:
- Integrate the neighborhood with the project
- Partner with supportive community interests
- Activate the community with the idea
- Create gravity in the neighborhood for other artists
Neighborhood Activation: Highland Park/Oak Park
Jo Allen is a 25-year-old Des Moines native and a beacon of inclusivity! Jo’s platform is a celebration of all humans, with a primary focus on fostering a safe space where LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC individuals are embraced and loved for exactly who they are.
Recently venturing into new artistic realms, Jo has expanded beyond photography, delving into the world of digital art and linocutting. This multi-medium exploration adds a dynamic dimension to Jo’s creative expression.
Behind the lens, they weave magic, capturing the essence of their community with a passion for visibility and representation. Beyond artistic pursuits, Jo aspires to carve a path in activism. For Jo, this journey is not just about capturing moments – it’s about building a legacy of acceptance, love, and empowerment. In every frame and every endeavor, Jo Allen is a force for change, a storyteller advocating for a world where diversity is not just acknowledged but celebrated.
Neighborhood Activation: Drake Neighborhood/Dogtown
Artist, activist, actor, puppet-maker, Brant Bollman helms Uplifting Puppet Co. out of Oskaloosa, Iowa. He builds and performs giant street puppets (that he calls ‘Uppets’) for parades, marches
and rallies on a variety of social topics. He aims to tap into the primordial myth-making role of the shaman summoning masked dancers about the campfire.He also is the Director of Theatre Arts at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa where he teaches studio art, directs plays and creates giant lighted puppets for the town’s annual holiday spectacular The Oskaloosa Lighted Christmas Parade.
Brittany Brooke Crow
Neighborhood Activation: Columbus Park
Brittany Brooke Crow uses image-making to confront her fear of vulnerability while exploring intimacy, ways of seeing, and the expansive possibilities of creating photo-based art. Crow’s latest work combines self-portraiture and collage in an exploration of the materiality of the printed image. In 2020, Crow received an Iowa Arts Council Art Project Grant to support the creation of the photographic installation Exhibition(ist). One year later, Crow was named an Iowa Arts Council Artist Fellow. Most recently, she received another Iowa Arts Council Project Grant to support the exhibition artist as model | model as artist. Crow pursues her arts practice out of Mainframe Studios in Des Moines.
Neighborhood Activation: Franklin Area
Seso is an Iowa-born artist from Des Moines, Iowa. His works are a commentary of his life experience being raised as a Mexican-American in Iowa. Born between the fine line of 2 cultures that create distinct roles for males, his work comes from his unique experience as a father creating momentum for fatherhood rights in the state of Iowa, and advocating for underprivileged individuals both youth and adult to break out of stereotypical stigmas. His work, much like himself, cannot be labeled with just one style. He is a multi disciplined artisan with a degree in visual studio arts with a unique way for story telling to best describe his multifaceted style.