P A S S I O N
In January, 2014, I started promoting and supporting Iowa Creatives through a small Meetup.com group called River City Art and Music. It was my community service project and a way to reconnect with my art, my love of music and other creatives. The first “Meet and Greet” event was a luncheon at the Des Moines Art Center and a Facebook Community page, and website were launched thereafter. Over the ensuing years, events fostered friendships and built connections between new and existing residents, art advocates, benefactors and creative community members.
In 2019, the name of the group was changed to Salonniere DSM and events included dining followed by art and music events. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-10 pandemic, events were placed on hold and the group was disbanded until further notice.
While attending an event at the Des Moines Social Club in August, 2016, the formation of an “artist salon” was mentioned. Someone approached the Des Moines Social Club with this idea, and they were interested enough to put it on their calendar; however, an unfortunate series of events transpired and the salon was cancelled. That November, I began development of Riverview Artist Salon (RAS) based on a modern day salon in Baltimore, Maryland and famous historical salons of Paris and New York. From interactions with creatives over the previous two years, this concept was needed, so I joined my experience and love of hospitality with my soul’s reason and passion for being and held RAS1 on Thursday, January 26th, 2017 at the Historic Gabriel House at Union Park.
On February 23rd, 2017, RAS2 was held at what would become it’s ‘homebase, the Des Moines Social Club. Over the next two and half years, 16 events were held (RAS10 at The University of Iowa’s, Pappajohn Education Center) with the final, RAS17, on August 28th, 2019, right before the club shut down in September. On October 17th, 2019, RAS18 was held at Mainframe Studios before moving to it’s new “homebase”, xBk Live for RAS19 on March 11th, 2020, the day the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. It would turn out to be what was thought to be the final in-person RAS at xBk Live.
Five Riverview Artist Salon’s were scheduled at xBk Live. In addition to March 11 (RAS19), other dates included April 8 (RAS20), June 23 (Art Week/RAS21), August 12 (RAS22) and October 14 (RAS23). It’s in-person future unknown.
From June 19th through June 26th, 2020 RAS20 went online with a barrage of social media promotions on Instagram and Facebook with works by Central Iowa Creatives curated organically for ArtWeek Des Moines. Artist’s works and actions effecting change at the local, regional, national and international level through creative expression were posted daily on River City Art and Music, and Riverview Artist Salon’s, Instagram and Facebook feeds as well as on www.rivercityartandmusic.com.
On June 23rd, 2021, a hybrid RAS21 was held at xBk Live during Art Week 2021 with prerecorded videos and a live performance by Billy Weathers (B. Well). This event was RAS’ first fundraiser and netted the B. Well Foundation $500 in donations. As of this writing, future events are on hold.
RAS is grassroots and it’s events are driven by members of a Facebook Group of the same name and funded by it’s Founder. It has over 300 full time, part time, emerging and returning Iowa creatives from all disciplines as well as businesses, organizations, educators and advocates of Iowa art and culture.
Through these events, group members, and invited guests, are provided with a free opportunity to share their words, sounds, passions and works through presentations, displays, performances and shows.