BLOG - Olson Larsen Gallery - contemporary art gallery West Des Moines, Iowa
See Art, Know Art, Buy Art


There's still time!

Posted on 12/18/2013 at 1:04 PM

If you're like us, you pride yourself on giving great gifts - things that surprising and unique and that will be cherished.  We think artwork meets all of those criteria.  Our Small Works Show is full of great ideas for your entire list.

One of Gary Olson's deer assemblages would certainly delight the holiday enthusiast on your list.


A piece from Anna Lambrini Moisiadis' Drawing a Day series would make any collector happy.  



These figure studies on panel by Priscilla Steele are wonderful alone or in a group.  

AND, most importantly - we'll even wrap it for you!


More Small Works!

Posted on 12/04/2013 at 9:56 AM

We just love setting up for our annual Small Works Show. Having the chance to show work by so many of our fabulously talented artists is such a  great way end to the year.  

Here is another look at some of the pieces that will be on exhibit beginning this Friday.  

Join us for fun and festivities this Friday from 5-7 pm at the opening reception! 



Images from top to bottom

Bobbie McKibbin, Formal Gardens 2, Pastel, 10 x 10 inches

Gary Olson, Small Deer 1, Assemblage, 19 x 17 x 14 inches

Randy Richmond, Mississippi Flood 2010, Fairport IA, 1, Van Dyke Print, 7 x 5 inches

Larry Welo, Luigis,  Etching,  6 x 8 inches 

Anna Lambrini Moisiadis, A Drawing A Day Keeps the Guilt Away, Hand-cut paper and gold foil paper, 5 x 5 



It's the little things...

Posted on 11/27/2013 at 2:10 PM

We are so excited to share a preview of some of the pieces that will be featured in our Small Works Show!   

Enamel brooches and pendants by Brian Roberts

Small scale sculptures by Mary Merkel Hess
Prints by Stuart Klipper
Since these are all a departure in either material or size - they feel special and like the perfect thing to give or receive this year!  The show also features NEW WORK by Michael Brangoccio and Wendy Rolfe and Small Works by the artists above, plus Gary Olson, Randy Richmond, Bobbie McKibbin, Anna Lambrini Moisiadis and Larry Welo.
The exhibit opening reception is next Friday, December 6, from 5-7 pm and we hope to see you there!


What a difference a frame makes....

Posted on 11/15/2013 at 1:08 PM

I think everyone can agree that a frame can transform the look of a piece of artwork, in this before and after, the change is subtle but remarkable.  The owner of this beautiful canvas by Gary Bowling wanted to keep it framed, but expose the edges, in the framing world that's called "floating".  She also wanted to add a little width but didn't want make the frame feel overpowering at all.

Original frame

So Mark our framing genius customized a frame that the client LOVED. Here it is all finished up. As you can see in the view from the side, it has added some width and the viewer can get a closer look, rather than being recessed and encased in the frame. You can see the entire painting without feeling like you're missing what's on the edges. Since this frame has sort of a tiered look, the width is there but it's more dimensional rather than being bulky and flat. It's a small change but really allows the artwork to shine!  We love these kind of projects and creating solutions that make clients happy and artwork look fabulous!

What do you think?


Welcome Fall!

Posted on 10/19/2013 at 3:16 PM

We had a fantastic time last Friday at Fall Gallery Night, we saw lots of friends and some new faces.  Our current exhibit features new work by Sharon Booma, Karen Chesterman and Peter Feldstein.  

In addition to her canvases, there are smaller pieces on panel from Karen Chesterman, coincidentally, Sharon Booma also included pieces on panel along with her pieces on paper. 

Sharon Booma's oil and mixed media on panel pieces

Karen Chesterman's oil and wax on panel pieces

Peter Feldstein's works are from his series titled From this Circle, the drawings are derived from a single circle in the upper left hand corner of the first drawing, a grid of 289 circles. From it he repeatedly copied, added, subtracted, and transformed them.  
Peter Feldstein, 8-14-12-3, Inkjet print, 11 x 11 inches
Two arts events that you won't want to miss are on the horizon for the last weeks of October.  The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation will dedicate the new Jun Kaneko mural on October 28th
For its first exhibit, Transient Gallery features the work of Michael Kozien, there is an opening reception on October 26th at 7 pm.
Also, did you know that October is National Picture Framing Month? Well now you do. Read about Olson-Larsen's Custom Frame Shop here.  


Hello, Darling...

Posted on 09/18/2013 at 2:15 PM
Find time to head to Ames this fall!  On August 27th, Iowa State opened an exhibit titled In Pursuit of Wildlife Conservation: The Art of Jay N. Darling and Maynard Reece. The exhibition includes 75 etchings by Jay N. Darling, including Darling’s original 1934 Duck Stamp and etching, and 30 paintings by Maynard Reece, including the five paintings for the Federal Duck Stamps, and a newly commissioned painting to commemorate the Reece-Darling relationship with wildlife conservation.  The exhibit can be seen at the Brunnier Art Museum Iowa State University, 295 Scheman Bldg. It will be on view until December 20, 2013.
Installation shots of the exhibit
There are several events you can attend in coordination with the event:

Lunchtime Gallery Talk - Tuesday, October 15 at 12:00 pm in the Brunnier Art Museum, 295 Scheman
America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. “Ding” Darling - Executive Producer's Film Screening - Sunday, November 3 at 2:00 pm in the Brunnier Art Museum, 295 Scheman
More about Ding Darling here
More about Maynard Reece here


Friday Nights!

Posted on 09/03/2013 at 3:39 PM

The MacNider Art Museum in Mason City will host an opening reception on Friday September 13th for the new exhibit, Landforms.


Featuring drawings by Olson-Larsen artist Barbara Fedeler and sculpture by Rick Knivsland, the exhibit will be on view through November 23, 2013. This exhibition explores the materiality of Iowa through clay and ashes. It examines the relationships of the land, evident in ceramic form and charcoal drawings and investigates change visible in rural, agrarian architectural forms and landscapes.


Join us this Friday, September 6th from 5-7 pm, as we open NEW WORK. Featuring the work of Tim Frerichs, Gary Olson and Lee Emma Running.

A preview of Lee Emma Running’s installation “Gorge”.

Gary Olson’s work all lined up and ready for install.

Though Tim Frerichs can’t attend, he WILL be here in spirit. He sent us this lovely bottle of wine – can you make out the artwork on the label?!

Meet Randy Richmond...

Posted on 08/21/2013 at 10:17 AM


When Randy Richmond sent us his work to review, we all had the same reaction of "I love it!", so the decision to begin representing him was a pretty easy one.  Randy is a pleasure to work with, and much like his work, his personality a delightful mix of mischievous and sincere. You can see more of his artwork on our website here. Randy's work will be on view from September 7 - October 4 as part of the annual Voices from the Warehouse District show in Dubuque.  We hope you enjoy learning more about Randy and his work!
A Probable Descent and Unfinished Prairie Sonata, Selenium Toned Van Dyke Prints, 5 x 7 inches
After spending 20 years in the dark(room) Randy carefully and suspiciously stepped into the light of a glowing computer monitor. His last years of film photography were spent lugging around a large Kodak 8X10 view camera. This made the transition from silver-halide to pixels a difficult one, but it also instilled in him a dedication to detail and a strong appreciation for the aesthetics of past photographic processes. Randy now pursues several photographic projects while subverting the photographic paradigm by converting silver based materials to digital, as well as using imagery that began as pixels and transporting that imagery back in history to handmade cabinet cards and Van Dyke Brown prints. He utilizes this cross-pollination of photographic mediums like ingredients in a photographic cookbook to communicate concepts and observations.
Portait of the artist
Randy has shown his work in numerous solo, group, invitational, and juried exhibits nationally, and internationally. His interpretation of environmental issues has been the focus of special exhibits created for the Door County Land Trust, the Keeweenaw Land Trust, and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. His work is in the permanent collections of The Center For Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado, Kishwaukee College in Malta Illinois, and Project Art of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.


A little more about the Van Dyke process: The Van Dyke brown print process was named for the resemblance of the print color to the brown oil paint named for the Flemish painter Van Dyke. This print method is based on the first iron-silver process, the argentotype, invented in 1842 by the English astronomer, Sir John Herschel. A concentrated silver nitrate solution is hand applied to thick watercolor paper. When the paper is dry it is sandwiched with a negative and exposed to the sun or other UV light source. The resulting image is processed through a series of washing baths, a selenium bath which shifts the tones from van dyke to a deeper chocolate brown, and a fixing bath before being washed for an hour. The selenium bath also helps to make the image permanent. Because the silver solution is absorbed deeply into the paper the image has an amazing tonal range and appears to be dyed into the base material.

Randy removing the exposed print

Meet me at the FAIR!

Posted on 08/09/2013 at 1:33 PM

As you may have heard, the Iowa State Fair has begun.  We are certainly looking forward to all the traditional fair activities, the Big Slide, those awesome peppermint/fudge/cookie concoctions at the Bauder's booth and so on.  BUT, we're headed straight for the art this year.

As part of their Project Spaces initiative, the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation worked with the Iowa State Fair to add this exciting new element. Located at the Patty & Jim Cownie Cultural Center, the installation is high impact and unexpected, kinda like the fair itself, right?  Created by Des Moines artist Travis Rice who uses geometric forms and colorful materials to create simple and playful abstractions that delight the eye. Rice's work has been exhibited locally at the The Fitch Gallery and the Des Moines Art Center among others.

The aim of Project Spaces is to place compelling temporary works of art in highly accessible and visible public spaces. Our thoughts? MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. What's more visible and accessible than the Iowa State Fair?

Add this to your list of "musts" at the fair this year!

We couldn't possibly talk about the fair without sharing these paintings by Doug Shelton.  

Candy Apples, Oil on canvas, 24 x 32

Hot Dog on a Stick, Oil on canvas, 24 x 32 inches

A & W, Oil on canvas, 24 x 32 inches

Hot Popcorn, Oil on canvas, 24 x 32 inches

Hydrangea Variations

Posted on 07/30/2013 at 2:14 PM

We are so excited to share images of a new installation piece by Lee Emma Running.  Hydrangea Variations, at Grinnell Regional Medical Center has been 6 years in the making. After seeing her present at Grinnell College, where she is an Assistant Professor of Art, Lee was invited by the Center's CEO, Todd Linden to create a concept for this space in the Auxiliary Chemotherapy and Infusion Site.  Lee told us, "It's been such a neat process, I've been involved in all of the conversations and decisions about the space, from the flooring to the paint colors and furniture."

The piece is made from etched glass and Sintra, which is the same material as PVC pipes, but flattened to 1/16 of an inch thick. The Sintra was then heated with an iron and hand cut.  

Lee Emma Running, working on the installation

Lee also explained that used heat in another part of the process, "I heated parts of the Sintra and rolled it around cardboard tubes, I wanted to give the piece an illusion of always being in motion".  The pieces are adhered to the walls with drywall screws.

There is a reception celebrating the completion of the project this evening, August 30th from 4-7 and another on August 29th, from 5-7 pm.  

A detail of Hydrangea Varitions

More information and work by Lee on our website, and hers.





© 2021 Olson-Larsen Galleries. All Rights Reserved.