Events and Classes for July 2016!

‘Town & Country’ Exhibition Continues through August 4th

The works of Janet Bergeron and Marybeth Heikes continue on display.  Plus a number of new works of the other artisans, including newcomers Annick Ibsen, Jacqueline Stoken and Katie Geraty – Stone Bone Wood Cloth.

Hot - New Work
Hot – New Work


Valley Junction All-Iowa Bash

Sunday July 3rd – we will be open 12 – 4pm. Celebrate America!  Join Valley Junction for a revamped celebration of the United States and all things IOWA!!  Try food and drink from local Iowa vendors, crafts from Iowa makers, music from Iowa bands, and more!

Eco Scarf Printing Class

Make and Take Class by Annie Temple – learn how to print a silk chiffon scarf using flowers and greenery on Sat, July 9th from 2:00 – 5:00.  Details can be found here.

eco print eco print3 eco print2





Valley Junction Christmas in July and Sidewalk Sale, Fri/Sat July 15-16:

We will be participating and will have some works on sale, both on the sidewalk and in the Gallery.  Come and get some great sales pre-holiday season!!

Book Talk Monday, July 18th from 6:30 – 8:00pm

Come hear Iowa Authors, Sparkle Abbey, discuss their latest book, Raiders of the Lost Bark, Book Eight in the ‘Pampered Pet Mysteries’.

Exhibit News!

One of our artists, Annick Ibsen, will have sculpture on exhibit at the ARC Gallery in Chicago, 2156 N Damen Ave., in the ‘It Figures: The Body in Art’ exhibition June 22 – Jul 16.  Congratulations Annick!

Extended Shopping Hours during Valley Junction Events!  We will be open and joining in the various Valley Junction events in July and are open most Thursday evenings for the VJ Farmer’s Market.

RAGBRAI crosses Iowa 7/24-7/30 and a number of our artists have bicycle-themed works in the gallery for that perfect gift!

Coming in August… Aug 2nd New Moon Bracelet Workshop by Katy Geraty – Stone Bone Wood Cloth.  Don’t forget to sign up for this popular session!  See more information here.

SAVE THE DATE!  Our next opening of New Works is on Friday, August 5th from 5pm-7pm 

Our calendar on our website is continually updated as we add new offerings.  Check back frequently!.

Other classes, events, and new artists are in the planning stages.  If you have any ideas, requests or suggestions for classes, events or artists please send us a note:  [email protected].

Events and Classes for June 2016!

Exhibition ‘Town & Country’:  The main event in June is the opening of our next exhibit, Town & Country which will focus on exploring the vistas of country, towns, and cities with an opening evening reception on Friday night, June 10th featuring artists:  Janet Bergeron and Marybeth Heikes.  Come and join us for a wonderful evening, 5pm-7pm.

Pilot Alone in the AirHeikes_Ragbrai





Father’s Day Gift Make & Take Class:  fish hook braceletLouise Mcilhon will be offering a class for ages 10 and up to make your choice of gifts – either a fish hook leather bracelet or leather key chain with your personal stamped message.  Class Dates: June 9th or June 16th from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm.  Pre-registration is required – see our website for details.

Dad leather key chain
Welcome our newest artist, Annick Ibsen!  Annick_janShe’s a well known sculptor and painter with a diverse background forming the basis for her art. Since her first paintings in 1995, her work has evolved from pure figurative portraits to cubist interpretations.  Annick is a resident artist at the Ankeny Art Center and in 2012 was awarded the People’s Choice Prize for sculpture installation. Come see Annick’s sculptures in the gallery and learn more about her on our website.

The Gallery welcomes Katie Geraty, founder of Stone Bone Wood Cloth!stone bone wood cloth 1
The intention behind Stone Bone Wood Cloth is the idea that we live and we create and we become a collection of all our intentions.  Hand-made unglazed porcelain vessels and cloth tassels incorporate metaphysical properties of gemstones that help us focus our intentions.    Read more about her here.
Book Launch Event Monday, June 27th from 6p-8p for Kali VanBaale, an Iowa author, and her second novel “The Good Divide”.  “VanBaale presents a vivid portrait of one woman’s lifelong struggle to find peace with what she has rather than what she desires. Fiction doesn’t get more real than this.” ~Publishers Weekly

Extended Shopping Hours!  We are going to be open and joining in the various Valley Junction events in June on an occasional basis and we will be open most Thursday evenings for the VJ Farmer’s Market.

Classes & Events:  Our calendar on our website is continually updated as we add new offerings.  Check back frequently!.

Coming in July and August…. We will have another book talk July 18th with Sparkle Abbey that dog, cat, and art lovers will be sure to enjoy, and August 2nd is a return of the New Moon Bracelet Class.  Other classes, events, and new artists are in the planning stages.  If you have any ideas or suggestions for class, events or artists, please send us a note to:  [email protected]m

We accept tax-deductible donations!

In order to expand our art classes, we are in need of a utility sink.  We have estimates ranging between $800 – $2,000. Every donation will go solely to this project unless otherwise specified.   Please consider supporting your community gallery and allowing us to expand our offerings!

Artisan Gallery 218 is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts and services organization.  Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law and can be made in person or via our website:

Thank you for your support and continued patronage!!  Stop in to see us!  [Mary Louise, Annie and Victoria]  We are regularly open Tuesday through Saturday and often on Mondays as well.

Events and Artists for May 2016

We now have a CALENDAR ON OUR WEBSITE with all the events and classes coming up!  Check back frequently as we continue to add events.

Trunk show May 3 – May 7th

187 DSC05687 181





We are hosting a special Trunk Show of the cobweb felt scarves, purses, and felted flowers of Seattle artist Hilary Hutchison Grant.  Just in time for Mothers Day, come in May 3rd through the 7th to buy one of Hilary’s favorites at a special discounted price.  Hilary is teaching classes at the gallery on ancient felting techniques.  We still have openings for creating a felted flower Friday May 6th from 5:30 to 7:30.  On Saturday, her cobweb scarf class has been filled, but feel free to come to the gallery to watch some of the class and check out her trunk show.

New Moon Intention Bracelet Workshop May 7th:  

One of our new artists, Katie Geraty, founder of ‘Stone Bone Wood Cloth’ will hold a class “New Moon Intention Bracelet Workshop” May 5th from 7p – 9p. Create your intention bracelet from hand-dyed silk cords and a selection of gemstone beads and sterling silver charms that uniquely represent what you want to manifest in your life.

SBWC-184 SBWC-181 IMG_2417





Wine Tasting May 20th:

We are hosting the Wine Shop of Iowa’s tasting of Iowa Wines on Friday, May 20 at 6:00 pm.  Come sample some wonderful Iowa wines and enjoy the fine art of our Iowa artists.

Book Signing May 24th:


Book Signing 5/20 from 6p-8p for Jennifer Wilson, an Iowa author, and her new novel “Water” published by Raygun.

Extended Shopping Hours!

We going to be open and joining in the various Valley Junction events in May – Farmer’s Market [Thursdays] and the Valley Junction Art Festival on Sunday May 22nd from 11am – 4pm.

Coming in June….

On June 4th [Saturday] and for the next 11 Saturdays, Mary Kline-Misol is again offering her Kids Draw Along Class.  Sorry, this class is now full, but if you are interested in future classes of this type, please email or call us so we can note your interest.

Dreamtime Birdhouse Painting:

dreamtime birdhouse

Mary is also teaching a craft class for ages 9 – 12 which starts on the 4th and continues through July 16th.   This session is designed to create a global awareness and develop an appreciation for the culture of the desert Aboriginals of Alice Springs, Australia.  Students will go home with a finished hand painted decorative birdhouse.

Exhibit ‘Town and Country opens June 10th:  Our new exhibit  themed “Town and Country” will open with an evening reception and will include a special showing of the art of Janet Bergeron and Marybeth Heikes.  Come see their new works, visit with them and enjoy the other works focusing on the vistas of country, towns and cities in Iowa.

Book Launch /Signing  June 27th:  We are hosting the book launch of a new book by Iowa author, Kali VanBaale,  called “The Good Divide”.  More details will be forthcoming on our website and in our next Newsletter.

As always, come and drop in, enjoy the art and visit with the artists.  Keep an eye out for announcements on our website and Facebook page.  And if you’d be interested in a specific class or event, let us know!!!


Artist Spotlight: Janet Bergeron, Fabric and Fiber Artist

You are involved in the Studio Art Quilt Association.  Tell us about this group.

Nebula - New Work
Nebula – New Work

“I am the Iowa Representative of the Studio Art Quilt janet profile picAssociation  (SAQA), an international group of fiber artists who promote Fiber Art by education, gallery exhibitions, and conferences.  The most exciting thing they do is curate traveling exhibitions and actively promote our work to galleries. We have quite a few members in Iowa and the Midwest.  I am also a member of the American Quilters Society (AQS).”

How did you get started in fabric and fiber artwork?IMG_3306

“Textiles have defined my world since the age of 8.   From work clothing to costume design, dyeing and construction to quilting to hand and art quilting to three dimensional works, my “happy place” has always been the sewing room.  I have practiced these skills as a student as well as working at Living History Farms, freelance costuming, competitive costuming, and dance wear.”

 Where have you exhibited?

Catching the Breeze, Iowa State Fair, and national Calendar
“Catching the Breeze” –  Iowa State Fair, and AQS National Calendar

“My representational works and abstract work  have been exhibited in several major and smaller art shows, such as American Quilter’s Society (AQS) Houston, AQS Des Moines, Iowa State Fair Fine Arts, traveling Studio Art Quilt shows , Fairfield Iowa, Marion Iowa, Grinnell, and currently at the Des Moines Botanical Gardens.  I’ve had some pieces printed in quilt related magazines as well as national calendars.”

Hot - New Work
Hot – New Work
The Hercules facebook
The Hercules
Pilot alone in the air
Pilot Alone in the Air

What type of work do you like to create, and how do you maintain your skills?

IMG_1061 (1)

“I really enjoy pushing the medium and love to make bowls, jewelry, clothing, and quilts with unusual topics.  I also create custom quilts of buildings based on photographs.   I have taken numerous art and drawing classes, as well as Shibori classes, fabric painting classes, dyeing classes, etc.  I am continuously exploring and learning new things from classes to participating in exhibits and interacting with other artists such as other SAQA and AQS members.”

Come see Janet’s art at Artisan Gallery 218 – 218 5th Street, West Des Moines, Iowa!

April Events and Artists!


Flowers at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens & Marsh
Flowers at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens & Marsh

Our next exhibit Primavera (‘spring’ in Italian) opens April 8th with an evening Open House from 5 – 9:00pm during Gallery Night in Valley Junction!


We welcome our newest Artists!jackie

Photographer, Dr. Jacqueline Stoken.   Dr. Stoken develops and prints her archival quality black and white photographs in her own darkroom. She has developed a thought provoking body of work of Iowa life and landscape as well as capturing her travels across the  country and globe.

Silversmith, Elyse DemarayelyseDemaray Designs joins us with her beautiful silver and semi-precious stone pendants!  “My current collection explores pre-historic and ancient art… from ancient Greece, petroglyphs and rock art from the American Southwest, and African masks from many cultures have influenced the works in this exhibit.”

elizabeth2Fiber Artist, Elizabeth Rhoads Read:  Elizabeth is a Fiber Artist from Cedar Rapids who is drawn towards working with simple materials to create her visions including paper and paper cords, used fabric, and other items.  Elizabeth’s work involves varying textures and her philosophy is to immerse herself in textures and tones to express the intensity of emotions.

John Evjohnans is an impressionistic artist from southern Iowa working primarily in pastel and colored pencil.  A retired art teacher, is a charter member and President of the Iowa Pastel Society and many of his works evoke the quiet and subtle beauty of the Iowa countryside.


Please pre-register via our website or by calling us at 515.255.0218

Hilde DeBruyne is again offering a class for 6-9 yr. olds, “It’s a Small World” starting April 6th and continuing on for four Wednesdays from 3:30 – 4:45 pm.

Julie MCCullough is offering a full day class in Fabric Dollmaking on Saturday April 9th from 9a-5p.

Annie Temple will be offering a Needle Felting Make and Take class where you will learn how to needle felt a design on a felt purse, on Tuesday evening April 26th, 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Wine and munchies provided!

Coming in May and June…

Hilary Hutchison Grant will be coming to Iowa to teach two classes (Wet and Cobweb Felting) in early May.  The classes are almost full, so don’t miss out and sign up now!

Coming in June…. Mary Kline-Misol will be offering two classes for children ages 6-9 and 9-12:  Draw Along Studio  and Dreamtime Birdhouse.


We will be holding an ALL IOWA night in conjunction with Wines of Iowa, right up the street, on a Friday night in May [keep an eye on our calendar and website for details]:  come visit the Gallery to see our Iowa artists and enjoy a sampling of Iowa wines.

We accept Tax-deductible Donations and are Seeking Sponsors and Donors!

In order to add more artists and extend our reach in the community, we are in need of building movable walls to display more flatwork.  Wall additions will allow us to display more artwork and are estimated to cost about $4,000.  Your donation would help us defray these costs!  Donor names will be displayed on the wall your donation helped to build!

Would you like to sponsor a child to take an art class?  You can specify who the child is, or provide a scholarship in your name.  Please contact us for details!

Artisan Gallery 218 is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts and services organization.  Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law and can be made in person or via our website:

Thank You!

Thank you for your support and continued patronage!!  Stop in to see us!  [Mary Louise, Annie and Victoria]  We are regularly open Tuesday through Saturday 11 – 5:30 and often on Mondays as well.

Please ‘Like’ our Facebook page where you can find the latest news,, and Share that news with your Friends!

Spring into the Season with Adult Art Classes at Artisan Gallery 218!

Learn and create something new with our Adult Art Classes starting next week! Besides the children’s classes focused upon in our last blog post, Artisan Gallery 218 is hosting “Make and Take” classes for teens and adults in its workshop area from now into the summer.  The following classes start our line-up of fun and interesting classes that are sure to spark your inner creativity!

Needle Feltingneedle felting sample cropped

Annie Temple is presenting a Beginning Needle Felting Class on Tuesday evening, March 22nd.  Enjoy learning about felting, a bit of wine, and taking home your own hand-made treasure.  Annie will then follow that up on April 26th with another Beginning/Intermediate Class where you will learn how to  needle felt a design on a felt purse which you will take home.

 Fabric Doll Makingjulie doll

Urbandale Fiber Artist, Julie McCullough, has taught doll-making for over 25 years across the country and in Australia!  She will be using her own doll patterns to offer a class on Fabric Doll Making on April 9th.  A popular full-day class [bring your sewing machine!] she’ll show you how to make your very own colorful Elf, Angel, or Mermaid doll.  To get an idea of the quality of her creations, stop in and see Julie’s dolls and fairies we have in the gallery!

Wet Feltinghilary scarves hilary felt flowers

Seattle Fiber Artist, Hilary Hutchinson-Grant will be in Des Moines to teach a special group of classes on Friday May 6th and Saturday May 7th only at Artisan Gallery 218!  On Friday evening Hilary will offer  “Felt & Wine night”,  an Introductory Wet Felting Class to ‘Make and Take’ a wet felted flower, a phone case, or a small felt painting – your choice!

This is followed on Saturday with her Introduction to Cobweb Wet Felting Class where you will learn how to make your own Cobweb Felt Scarf in a color of your choosing.  To get an idea of the scarf you will be making, come in now to see Hilary’s beautiful scarves we have in the gallery!

Children’s Art Classes at Artisan Gallery 218!

Want your child to have some fun and be creative?  We have just the line-up of classes to spur your child’s creativity while learning art methods and exploring the world!

Artisan Gallery 218 is hosting classes for young children ages 6 – 12  in its workshop area on various days from now into the summer.  Complete details and sign-up instructions can be found at our website,

It’s a Small World!kangaroo

Hilde DeBruyne teaches “It’s a Small World” for ages 6 to 9, on Wednesdays from 3:30 – 4:45 for 4 weeks starting April 6th.

Get ready for an artistic and creative adventure, traveling around the world and using art, music and food to get to know different cultures and be inspired to create their own culturally diverse artwork.

Draw Along Studio Exercise Summer Classmary cat for class

Mary Kline-Misol will again offer her “Draw Along Studio Exercise” class for youth ages 6 – 9 for 12 sessions on Saturdays from 11 – 12:30 starting June 4th.

Child psychologists tell us that drawing is as spontaneous and human an activity as learning how to walk and talk. Drawing is a complex process that requires the individual to isolate discrete bits from the whole entity in three dimensions, and to reproduce those bits accurately in only two dimensions, by relating them logically to each other all the while moving the hand with attained skill.

Mary’s teaching method involves training children to perceive visual data with a basis of the five elements of shape and demonstrating how the general shape of an object is composed of those elements. The language in the class is geared toward creating a non-competitive and non-judgmental environment in which each child will learn that there is no wrong way to draw and that everyone can be successful.

The kids in the current session are having a great time and will have an exhibition of their artwork on April 2nd!.

Dreamtime Birdhouse Craft Classdreamtime birdhouse

Mary is also teaching a craft class “Dreamtime Birdhouse” for youth ages 9 – 12.  This 7 week session is on Saturdays from 1:00 – 3:00 starting on June 4th.

This session is designed to create global awareness and develop an appreciation for the culture of the desert Aboriginals of Alice Springs, Australia.  Each student will have an unfinished birdhouse to decorate with personal color and design choices using acrylic paints,  Students will have an exhibition of the final product at the end of the session.


Artist Spotlight: Hilde DeBruyne

One look at Hilde DeBruyne’s sculptures sweeps you into an outdoor oasis. Her work transports you from an art gallery into the natural, beautiful world of a wood or meadow. This is precisely Hilde’s goal:

“I especially love the texture element in nature: the tree bark, weathered surfaces, driftwood, the pattern in leaves and wings…It reflects in my work in the added “texture”, as if leaving my marks and traces, and telling a story, history or memory.”

More than that, the juxtaposition of simplicity and complexity in nature inspires Hilde’s sculptures. She cites the Wabi-Sabi element as another level of inspiration. This is a Japanese aesthetic that places value on imperfection. For example, a weathered structure or decaying tree.

It comes as no surprise Hilde chose art as her life passion. She grew up in a family of artists and joined her father’s sculpture classes during her teen years. She remembers her childhood home encapsulating various art pieces representing cultural diversity, from Buddha figures to remnants from Christian buildings.

Hilde’s broad portfolio of work includes sculptures in private and public collections, including various public pieces around the Des Moines area. Included in this distinguished list is “Heart Beat,” a clay sculpture at Mercy Medical Center; “The Birth Place of Des Moines,” a porcelain tile mural in Principal Park; “Tree of Life”, a permanent public art installation at Sesquicentennial Park in Indianola; and “Circle of Life” a permanent installation at City Hall in West Des Moines.


Hilde, born in Belgium, was sought out by Mary Kline-Misol, one of the Founding Mothers of Artisan Gallery 218. Hilde recognized the unique opportunity to showcase her work along with other regional artists. Moreover, she recognized Valley Junction as a relic of her roots:

“It reminds me of the small European shops with their own unique character, feel and individuality. You enter a shop and are welcomed by a person who really cares about their shop…what makes 218 unique is that visitors can talk to the artists and hear about their creative journey. It adds so much more personality and meaning.”

When asked if she had a favorite piece, Hilde lamented that was like choosing who her favorite child is:

“They are all my favorite, especially while in the process of making them…It takes a while to detach from a sculpture. It can be hard to see it go.”

Stop in Artisan Gallery 218 to see a variety of Hilde’s work. You may also see her portfolio at and on her Facebook page.


5 Spots in Des Moines for Winter Photography

There is no doubt Des Moines is a beautiful city. The architecture, budding sculpture gardens and flowing rivers create stunning photographs or backdrops. However, most of these photos are taken during spring or summer when the sun is out, flowers are blooming and a thick blanket of snow doesn’t cover the grass.

But there is something to be said about the beauty and elegance of wintertime. There is nothing more magical than looking out the window and marveling at the way the snow graces each branch of a tree or how a frozen river completely transforms the look of the landscape that surrounds it.

Instead of curling up with a blanket and lamenting about the dropping temperatures, grab a loved one, bundle up and take a thermos of hot cocoa and your camera. Then, go enjoy the beauty of our top picks to enjoy the Winter Wonderment of Des Moines, Iowa.  Our expert travel photographer, Victoria Herring, has great tips for capturing the perfect snapshot at each location!

World Food Prize Hall of Laureates

Victoria’s Tips:  The exterior is lovely, particularly as it is next to the river.  But the inside has numerous images worth viewing [including a diptych by Mary Kline-Misol].  The staircase is worth a shot, as is the stained glass window on the way up.

WorldFoodprize stainedglasswindow WorldFoodprize Diptyche WorldFoodprize Ceiling

Iowa Capital Grounds

Victoria’s Tips:  The outside is beautiful and grand, but so is the inside.  The rotunda [ceiling] is impressive and if you go up to the 2nd level and visit both the House and Senate chambers, there are plenty of interesting places to see and to use as background.  Most impressive is the State Law Library with its winding staircases.

Iowa Capitol at night copy

Law Library
Law Library
Dome Looking Up
Dome Looking Up

Robert D Ray Asian Temple next to Des Moines River

Victoria’s Tips:  Capture the temple and the river behind it, and don’t forget the stylized lions guarding the Temple.  Focus on the designs and the red color, perhaps at sunset especially.

Dale Maffitt Reservoir

Victoria’s Tips:  This is a hidden gem, wonderful in the fall when the leaves are turning.  Plus you get the added bonus of some interesting farming images.

Des Moines Art Center

Victoria’s tips:  The Visitor’s Guide says:  “Personal photography of the permanent collection is permitted. No equipment, flash, or professional photography of any kind, unless with prior approval by the Art Center’s marketing department. Photography of temporary exhibitions is permitted unless signage states otherwise.”  In spring and fall, go outside and enjoy and photograph the Rose Garden and the front of the building, and in back, the I.M.Pei wing.  The sculpture on the grounds also makes a good subject or background.

Des Moines Art Center for 'Focus Your View'


Give the Gift of Art

When you walk the aisles of Target or any other store with dedicated sections of children’s toys, you may notice everything is electronic, battery powered. Toys are flashing, blinking, moving.  Older kids have iPods and game consoles to fill their wish lists.  But what if we removed the batteries, the noise, the i-this and i-that electronics? What would we be left with?


This Christmas season, consider banishing the notion of buying your children, grandchildren concrete gifts. Give them the gift of creativity and exploration. Give them the gift of art.

Our in-house artist and founding partner, Mary Kline-Misol is offering a children’s art class. This class is focused on drawing. This isn’t a typical construction paper and glue art class. Mary recognizes that even at a young age, children have the ability, and desire, to learn the technical elements of drawing. She employs a method to foster each child’s creativity:

“My method to be used involves training children to perceive visual data with a basis of the five elements of shape and demonstrating how the general shape of an object is composed of those elements. The language in the class is geared toward creating a non-competitive and non-judgmental environment in which each child will learn that there is no wrong way to draw and that everyone can be successful.”

This class is open to 6 to 9 year old children and will be held on Saturday mornings from 11:00 to 12:00. The first class is on January 16th and continues for the next 8 Saturdays.  The last class includes an exhibition at the art gallery of each student’s work for family and friends.

The fee is $160 per student and all materials are included in this class fee.

The best gifts don’t include assembly directions and can’t be found in the aisles of toy stores. The best gifts are ones that last a lifetime. They are the gifts that your children look back on and say, “Remember when you surprised me with that art class? I will never forget that!”

This holiday season, give the gift of art. Give the gift of creativity. Give the gift of exploration.

To reserve a spot, please contact Mary Kline-Misol at 515-255-0218 or email [email protected]

Enjoy a sampling of art from past students:

ArtClass1 ArtClass2 student work age 5ArtClass3