Proving Des Moines is NOT boring

Lost City

Detail of E.J. Wickes’ Styrofoam cityscape

Detail of E.J. Wickes’ Styrofoam cityscape

There is an art exhibition opening this Friday night at Thee Eye that you won’t want to miss. “Lost City,” featuring the work of nine contemporary artists, will be quite the event. Thee Eye, a massive warehouse space on Bell Avenue, is the perfect space to host an exhibition that speaks to the disposable nature of of modern man’s mass manufacturing of poorly made products. An excerpt from the press release for the exhibition reads:

“The city is empty. Like boxed voids filled with Styrofoam to pack cheaply made goods, we manufacture garbage to build the emptiness in our lives.

The city is a metaphor to our depravity. An eternal memorial built in praise of mankind’s ambivalence towards anything meaningful. A throwaway society packaged in the toxic waste of instant gratification…”

I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the exhibition as it was being installed and let me tell you you’re in for a treat. As you walk in you’ll immediately see E.J. Wickes incredible cityscape constructed from Styrofoam. On a wall to the left of Wickes’ Styrofoam city are a grid of Phil Thomson’s dark somewhat disturbing black and white photos of discarded objects that lay rotting at the bottom of the Des Moines River, only visible when the water is low due to draught. Nearby is Jeff Ashe’s sculpture constructed from Styrofoam and plastic that looks like a cross between a modern day parking garage and the children’s game Mouse Trap. I can’t wait to see it in action. On the far wall there is a huge screen set up for video projections and to the right of the screen are Scott Sjobakken’s highly detailed photo realistic oil paintings of the garbage that surrounds us yet blends seamlessly into the landscape.

Scott Sjobakken’s paintings

I am really looking forward to seeing the rest of the work at the opening. The opening itself should be quite the spectacle – picture a carefully curated exhibition in a giant warehouse space with three large video projections running simultaneously and you’ll start to get the idea. Details are below, I’ll see you there.


A Contemporary Visual Art Exhibition Featuring:

Jeff Ashe

Dennis Atherton

Brad Ball

Michael Lane

Jon Pearson

Scott Sjobakken

Phil Thomson

Michael Van Dyke

E. J. Wickes

Opening Reception on Friday, November 8th from 7 pm until 10 pm


Thee Eye

1235 Thomas Beck Rd. (also known as Bell Ave.) Suite D.


Annick Sjobakken is a Brooklyn transplant who likes long bike rides, loud music, and taking photos. Follow Annick on Twitter @annickmarie and Instagram @annickmarie.  Also follow her personal blog Bushwick to Beaverdale.