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    ABOUT THE EXHIBIT    

Des Moines-based, Iowa-born artist b. Robert Moore is known for powerful, striking works of art that confront issues of social justice and Black identity. Visually and emotionally direct, Moore frequently draws on his own biography for inspiration, likewise on the experiences and identities of friends and family members. References to art history and material culture, including flags and gravestones, abound in his work. For Moore, the political is intensely personal, and the personal political.

Featuring the recently acquired “Kin to War” along with new works created specifically for this, his first solo exhibition at a museum, including several paintings and two ambitious installations, this iteration of the Art Center’s acclaimed Iowa Artists series will inspire conversation and community gathering.

    ARTIST STATEMENT   

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take."

In memoriam or “in loving memory” symbolizes the idea that the memory of someone extends past their life. Often found on memorials, tombstones and in remembrance of someone deceased. Essentially immortalizing that loved one in a physical form with a headstone, story or legacy. The act of mourning can also include celebration of life, past and new. (Life After Death) This body of work dissects how the American experience shaped the structure (or de-structure) of the Black Family and home.  The foundation of the American family, like many Black families, was shaped by the history of America’s past, present and future. The experience of the White American family, the Black American family and the Interracial American family can be vastly different while similar. Exploring the dichotomy of the American family experience and history including sentiments of American iconography throughout this body of work is intended to provoke conversation of relatability, of empathy and connection. 

 

Dissecting the themes of black and white; absence and presence; life and death; and White and Black are the most contrasting yet complimentary themes I could personally relate to but also felt could be consumed on a global scale. 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that” – Dr. Martin Luther King

 

The conversation of the dichotomy of Black and White, in a literal sense and also in the sense of racial identity is a focal point of this work. The Sun and the Moon both need to be present in order for life to continue; just like seeking the truth in the day and night. 

My grandma would say, “What’s done in the dark will come to light”.

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EXHIBIT LOCATION

Des Moines Art Center

4700 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA

June 21 - October 20, 2024

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EXHIBITION EVENTS

SATURDAY

June 22, 2024

11am-4pm

Open Studio of
b. Robert Moore

306 15th Street

Des Moines, IA

SUNDAY
June 30, 2024
1:30pm

Artist lecture

with b. Robert Moore

featuring a contemporary ballet produced by SEEDS
EVENT IS FREE WITH REGISTRATION

SUNDAY
July 28, 2024
3:00pm

b. Robert Moore
in Conversation with
Nikole Hannah-Jones

+ book signing
- SEE NIKOLE'S BIO BELOW -
EVENT IS FREE WITH REGISTRATION

GUEST SPEAKER: Nikole Hannah-Jones

JULY 28TH, 2024 | EVENT REGISTRATION

Nikole Hannah-Jones is the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project and a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine. The book version of The 1619 Project as well as the 1619 Project children's book, Born on the Water, were instant #1 New YorkTimes bestsellers. Her 1619 Project is now a six-part docuseries on Hulu and won theEmmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series. Hannah-Jones has spent her career investigating racial inequality and injustice, and her reporting has earned her the MacArthur Fellowship, known as the Genius grant, aPeabody Award, two George Polk Awards and the National Magazine Award three times. She also serves as the Knight Chair of Race and Journalism at Howard University, where she founded the Center for Journalism & Democracy. Hannah-Jones is also the co-founder of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, which seeks to increase the number of investigative reporters and editors of color, and in 2022 she opened the 1619 Freedom School, a free, after school literacy program in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. Hannah-Jones holds a Master of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned her Bachelor of Arts inHistory and African-American studies from the University of Notre Dame.

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TRAVELING TO DES MOINES

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AIRPORT INFORMATION

Des Moines
International Airport

AIRPORT CODE: DSM

Terminal, 5800 Fleur Dr, Des Moines, IA 50321

WHERE TO STAY

  DOWNTOWN DSM  

SURETY HOTEL

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  DOWNTOWN DSM  

HILTON

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  DOWNTOWN DSM  

DES LUX

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  EAST VILLAGE  

AC HOTEL by Marriott

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  DOWNTOWN DSM  

HOTEL FORT DES MOINES

THINGS TO DO IN JUNE

DES MOINES FARMERS MARKET
Every Saturday: May 4 - Oct 26 | Court Avenue

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The Market offers a variety of attractions and activities including shopping for fresh produce, eggs, meats and more.

PAPA JOHN'S SCULPTURE PARK
1330 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312

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The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park features artwork by more than two dozen of the world’s most celebrated artists.

VISITORS GUIDE

WATER WORKS PARK
2201 George Flagg Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50321

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As one of America’s largest urban parks,  explore 1,500 acres of riverside woodland at Water Works Park.

DES MOINES ARTS FESTIVAL
JUNE 28 - 30, 2024 • Western Gateway Park

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One of the world's most respected festivals, hosting 190 of the nation's top artists. Fourteen-time winner of the coveted Grand Pinnacle Award from the International Festivals and Events Association.

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