As a restless teenager I could not wait to leave Des Moines to see the world. I never once entertained the idea of moving back, snubbing my nose at the idea every time my parents pleaded with me, but you know what? Sometimes it takes distance to truly appreciate where you came from. I forgot how beautiful the city is, and all

Des Moines Art Center classroom wing on the edge of Greenwood Park

Des Moines Art Center classroom wing on the edge of Greenwood Park

it has to offer. This is one wing of the Des Moines Art Center, an architecturally significant building in it’s own right set on the edge of Greenwood Park, and if you look at the windows on the lower level to the left you will see where my mother sent me for art lessons every Saturday. That’s precisely where my love of art began.

Jean Michel Basquiat at Des Moines Art Center

Jean Michel Basquiat at Des Moines Art Center

I grew up amongst art ranging from Henry Matisse to Jean Michel Basquiat, and every master in between.  My favorites were always Roy Lichtensteins’ Pyramids, and everything Andy Warhol. Later, Andy, and Jean Michel  were both close personal friends, and Nick and I were fortunate enough to purchase one of the rare, museum

Andy Warhol Flowers at the Des Moines Art Center

Andy Warhol Flowers at the Des Moines Art Center

size collaborations they did, not long before we lost them both. Those were incredibly sad days. I can’t speak for Nick, but I know I still miss them dearly, yet every time I see a piece of their work, it’s like a piece of them is

Julie Anne and Nick Rhodes  at home in front of a Warhol-Bsquiat collaboration

Julie Anne and Nick Rhodes at home in front of a Warhol-Basquiat collaboration

still here – they will never be completely gone from the world, or my heart. My last post on art poked fun at my emotional attachment to the few pieces I still have by my friends, that I would rather lose my home to keep my art. This trip home taught me that I get an even bigger thrill coming around the corner of a museum or gallery, and gasping with joy as I unexpectedly find a piece by my friends I haven’t seen in a long while. That joy is amplified when I then look around to see other people sharing in the experience of appreciating their genius.

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