The Des Moines Art Center is unveiling a new exhibition titled Immersive Saturday, March 12 and running through June 5, 2022, in the Anna K. Meredith Gallery and the Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey Gallery.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Day
Tel: 515.612.0775 (m)


DES MOINES, IA (March 2022)The Des Moines Art Center is unveiling a new exhibition titled Immersive Saturday, March 12 and running through June 5, 2022, in the Anna K. Meredith Gallery and the Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey Gallery.

Immersive is a multi-part experiential exhibition that invites visitors to be completely immersed in artworks from the permanent collection and beyond. Instead of moving through traditional gallery spaces, one will follow a path from darkened space to darkened space, each filled with light, color, and sound, creating a unique sensory experience.

The first installation is by Kansas City-based guest artist Matthew Willie Garcia, whose combinations of three-dimensional prints on paper and video projections deal with transcendence and alternate realities, exploring our relationship to space and time. In the next space, Ran Hwang’s playful and sparkling Garden of Water reflects light from thousands of crystal-beaded sewing pins as projected rain and spiderwebs fall across the artwork. The third part of the gallery features Bill Viola’s Ascension, in which hypnotic blue light and underwater sounds enhance a film both pensive and hopeful. In the Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey Gallery, Des Moines-based multimedia artist Oyoram uses LED technology to create a room that transports the viewer into a surprising, ground-shifting experience. Collectively, Immersive presents art that provokes emotion and imagination and provides a place to step fully into the art itself.

While the work in this exhibition comes from the 21st-century, artists of all kinds have long traditions of building multi-layered environments for people to experience. Medieval cathedrals filled their massive aisles with stone sculpture, incense, song, and the glow of light through stained glass. Monet installed his giant Water Lilies in a circular gallery, allowing visitors to feel as if they had walked into his garden. Popular culture is filled with immersive experiences, from haunted houses and amusement park rides to 3-D movies and virtual reality video games. The success and longevity of such efforts suggest many of us are looking for a few moments to step into worlds beyond our own, taking in the beauty and spectacle they have to offer. In these four installations, the Art Center hopes you enjoy whatever journey they inspire.

This exhibition has been organized by Curatorial Director Laura Burkhalter.

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About the Des Moines Art Center + John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center, an AAM-accredited institution, has amassed an important collection of art from the 19th century to the present, with a major emphasis on contemporary art. Focused on quality and global in scope, it includes major works by Henry Ossawa Tanner, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Francis Bacon, Andy Goldsworthy, Henri Matisse, Wangechi Mutu, Ai Wei Wei and Kara Walker, among hundreds of others. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a renowned architect—Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn provided funding for and donated 31 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Martin Puryear, Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Mark di Suvero, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Yayoi Kusama, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra and Joel Shapiro is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a collaboration of the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center and numerous corporate and private donors.

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